The Sullied Sediments project is in its last few weeks of delivery. Our project ends on 31 December 2020 so we are working hard to complete our activities and achieve the most we can as we still deal with the impact of the coronavirus.
This autumn, we had some excellent news. The 'explainer' video that we entered into the NSR's annual video contest won top prize. We were absolutely delighted as the award was announced at the North Sea Region Conference in November. We also entered a film into the 'people in focus' category. Both videos can be watched on our You Tube channel here:
In October 2020, we resumed our RiverDip citizen science programme with a workshop hosted by our partner, VMM, in Ghent, and with the launch of a new volunteer training website. This website explains what is entailed in the sampling activity and includes a video and step-by-step guide. Please check it out at: https://riverdip.com/.
In October 2020, our Work Package 3 - Sediment Assessment colleagues hosted a webinar on the 'Role of Ecotoxicological Data in Sediment Quality and Dredged Material Assessment Frameworks'. This webinar provided the forum for discussion with experts about our development of a guideline for a biological effect based assessment of sediments.
Other publications and reports are also in production or are at the translation stage, and we will be sharing those with key audiences in the next few weeks.
These are just a few highlights of what we have been up to this autumn. There is, of course, much more going on, including thinking ahead to the final reporting process which will be our focus in the New Year. For more information, please contact Annabel Hanson, Sullied Sediments Project Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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