Our Second Annual Meeting is coming up soon
Our project beneficiaries and advisory partners will come together for our second annual meeting in Hamburg on 19 and 20 September 2018. Our work package leaders will give progress updates and provide a look ahead to the last 18 months of delivery. We will also have focused sessions on transnational cooperation and communication, the proposed end-of-waste assessment, bioavailability and the roll-out of the volunteer sampling programme across the North Sea region. In addition, we are looking forward to hearing how our sister project - Nuredrain - is doing and finalising plans to trial our bespoke dipsticks, which have been engineered to detect phosphate in water, in some of their partner locations.
At this year's meeting, we are offering our partners a further opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking. We have worked with the European Sediment Network (called SedNet) to schedule our annual meeting so it runs in tandem with their workshop focused on sediment classification and management decisions - in situ and ex situ. This will enable members of Sednet colleagues to meet our partners and find out more about our project. Likewise, our partners have been invited to attend the SedNet workshop, which runs in the same location through to 21 September 2018.
It will be a very busy few days - we are looking forward to seeing familiar faces, meeting new colleagues and having some great discussion.
Many of the inland waterways in the European Union are under threat due to the introduction of Watch List chemicals that are not currently regulated under the European Water Framework Directive. These chemicals include the so-called “gender benders” such as estradiol and the contraceptive pill, and other pharmaceutical drugs such as triclosan and diclofenac, which have been shown to be harmful to wildlife. These chemicals are introduced to our waterways as a result of our day-to-day activities and through industry. Regardless of the source, they accumulate in the sediments in our rivers and canals.
Water regulators and managing authorities do not always know the levels, the locations or the impacts of these pollutants. Nor do they have the tools to assess sediments confidently and make decisions with regard to managing them. An interdisciplinary partnership of scientific experts, regulators and water managers led by the University of Hull (UK) will develop and test new tools to better assess, treat and prevent contamination from these chemicals. This work will be carried out at nine sites, all of which have a history of sediment problems, in the North Sea Region’s Elbe, Humber and Scheldt river catchments.
The aim of the ‘Sullied Sediments’ project is therefore to enable regulators and water managers to make better decisions with regard to sediment management, removal and disposal, thereby reducing economic costs and the impact of these pollutants on the environment.
The partnership will also endeavour to reduce the amount of chemicals entering the water system by raising awareness about what we, as consumers, are releasing into the environment through the use of common drugs and household products. Part of this includes the involvement of volunteers in a sediment sampling initiative across the region, which will inform and empower these citizens as water stewards and champions.
‘Sullied Sediments’ has been has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme with a grant of 2.043.413 € with equivalent match funding from the partners involved. The project partnership includes public, private and third sector organisations based in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
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