Attempts to improve River Salaca's ecology over next five years

A 'Life is Salaca' project will be implemented for the next five years with a view to improving the river Salaca's water quality and habitats. The project envisages carrying out scientific research in the Salaca, drawing up a conservation plan, restoring streams, and a range of other activities, Latvian Radio reported April 17.

The initiators of the need for research and improvement of water quality in Salaca are the fishing club “Salackrasti”, to which the municipality of Limbaži municipality has also entrusted river management. According to Atis Apelis, chairman of the club's board, one of the goals of this project is to get a conservation plan for the river.

"Salackrasti" has previously carried out a river overgrowth clean, as well as river tributaries have been cleaned, and work will continue this year, but according to Apelis, it will then be carried out under the supervision of scientists.

"We're going to do it in a slightly different way in this project, more environmentally friendly than we've done before, so experts are going to study the work we've done, make recommendations, our works are going to be done under their control. There is no uniform model for proper cleaning of fast-flows, [..] so we will also carry our practice forward in the Gauja and Venta in the third year of the project,” Apelis said.

A total of 20 hectares are expected to be cleaned up over five years.

The Nature Conservation Agency, the Geology and Meteorology Center, and the Institutes BIOR and Silava, have been involved in the implementation of the water quality improvement project of the Salaca and its tributaries.

“Our project budget of five years and five partners totals 5,754,000,” project manager Edijs Leoke said.

“We need to monitor every activity so that we can demonstrate improvements with a scientific approach or how our activities have impacted the environment and nature. Accordingly, knowledge transfer is also envisaged. a series of seminars, workshops is envisaged. We need to develop proposals for legislative changes in areas related to rapid restoration, riverside forest management, also harmonization of water structural directives and habitat directives. We are also developing a conservation plan,” Leoke said.

This project is intended to operate only on the Salaca section from Staicele to the mouth in the Gulf of Riga, but the bigger problems with water quality are directly due to its drainage from Lake Burtnieks, so, as the head of the Valmieramunicipality natural resources Authority Līga Zvirbule assessed, this project is unlikely to improve water quality in general.

“What is quite clear is that the surface water quality in the river starts upstream [..], i.e. cannot solve the surface water quality problems at the mouth in the bay, may mitigate some consequences, but the surface water quality is affected by the activities and human activities taking place in the lake area,” Zvirbule noted.


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