GB No. 4(19)/95


Since February 1995, the ECOBALTIC Foundation has been managing activities of the "StreamSide WaterWatch Centre" for the Tri-City region of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia. The overall goal of this Centre is to facilitate the co-operation and communication among local youth groups involved in water quality monitoring of streams/rivers, and between these groups and government environmental protection departments in the Tri-City region. Major funding for this project during the first year of activity is provided by the Regional Environmental Centre (REC) Budapest and Milieukontakt Oost-Europa:

Twenty WaterWatch groups cooperage on this project. These groups are provided with a standardised sampling book, and access to sampling equipment. Participating groups are required to sample a "static" site (constant location in a chosen stream) at least once a month. These groups sample for biological, chemical, and landscape parameters at their respective sampling locations. Collected data is mailed by participating groups to the Centres office (located at the foundation) for collation and subsequent evaluation b local scientists, and environmental officials. Results are presented in the Centre's quarterly newsletter "Plusk" (or "Splash" in English).

The Centre's staff is pro-active in developing and implementing an efficient activity program for participating WaterWatch groups, for example: 1) several kinds of training, 2) numerous quarterly meetings, 3) groups projects, and 4) two "associated" environmental education campaigns (i.e. "Friends of the Oliwa River" Campaign (described below), and Limnological Summer Camp Borucino '95) have been implemented by the Centre's staff.


The "Friends of Oliwa River" campaign is a Public Awareness and Environmental Education Campaign for people in the Tri-City region of Gdansk, Sopot, and Gdynia. Campaign activities focus on the Oliwa River (Potok Oliwski) ecosystem. The Oliwa River is a river 6 km long which travels through two urban neighbourhoods in Gdansk: 1) the historical neighbourhood of Oliwa and 2) neighbourhood of Zabianka planned by the communist. This project is financially supported by Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) and it is co-ordinated by the ECOBALTIC Foundation's "StreamSide WaterWatch Centre".

Campaign activities are divided into several distinct actions: 1 ) First trash pick-up of the Oliwa River (which took place on "Clean up the World Day '95); 2) Intensive biological, chemical, and landscape monitoring of the Oliwa River area over a two month period; and 3) A second trash pick-up of the Oliwa River following the monitoring period. These "Friends of the Oliwa River" campaign activities are being implemented by two secondary schools located within the Oliwa River watershed. One school is located in the neighbourhood of Oliwa, and the other school is located in the Zabianka region.

A rally took place in the Jelitkowski Park following the first trash pick-up action on September 16, 1995 (The Oliwa River enters the Baltic at this park.). "Trash Treasure" competitions (i.e. the funniest piece of trash, the most unusual piece of trash, etc...) were enjoyed by all the rally participants and educational speeches were presented during the rally. Several SENIOR environmental officials from the city of Gdansk participated in this first trash pick-up and rally

Water quality parameters for the Oliwa River are currently being monitored by "all star" WaterWatch monitoring groups (WW group) from each of the two participating schools. Locations of sampling activities are divided into two sectors: Oliwa and Zabianka sections of the Oliwa River. Each WW groups is assigned to a sector for a one month period, in which they are responsible for investigating biological, chemical, and landscape parameters in their assigned sector during this period. In addition, these groups are required to implement "special" monitoring projects for 1) areas believed to receive direct pollution inputs and 2) river regions which water quality protection measures (i.e. detention ponds, etc...) have been constructed by the city of Gdansk. The participating WW groups will "switch" monitoring sectors of the Oliwa River after one month.

Results collected during the monitoring part of this campaign will be displayed on "Friends of the Oliwa River" displays in common areas of each respective school. In this way, students in each school which do not participate in these monitoring activities will be exposed to measured results as they occur. Following the completion of monitoring activities, a final version of the project display will be produced by each WW group.

The second trash pick-up of the Oliwa River will take place in spring of 1996. This activity will be similar to that of the first trash pick-up, except the speeches will focus on results of the monitoring program. Materials developed during this campaign (i.e. the Final Report, and final project displays) will be presented to Gdansk environmental officials during the second trash pick-up rally (These officials will be requested to show these displays temporarily in their city offices).

It must be emphasised that the mass media will be requested to cover all campaign activities. It is our hope that the mass media will cover both positive environmental information (highlighting the students' participation in the campaign and the city's past efforts in protecting the Oliwa River) and negative environmental information (highlighting environmental problems within the Oliwa River and its watershed).

Peter Leinenbach
the United States Peace Corps
Ecobaltic Foundation
ul. Wyspiańskiego 5
80-434 Gdansk
phone/fax: 48/58/41 00 82

GB No. 4(19)/95 | Contents