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August 2002 - Nr. 8


The Editor
Antje berichtet
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Alpine Festival
Alpine Fest Events
Alpine Fest
Regina auf der CNE
Double Cruise
KW & Beyond
Delis DO Open
Help for Flood Victims
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Sybille berichtet
Ham Se det jehört?
Romantic Rhine
TSO Wine Auction
125 Years H. Hesse
Gute Zukunft...
Limousine Luxury
Historische Mitte
Berlin Welcomes...
Gäste aus New York
Going Geothermal
Heine Preis
Architecture on Display
Fotograph in Amerika
Rhine on Rebound
Abschied von NY
Tops in Wind Power
Deutsche Autos Gefragt
Thirst for Beer
On the "Green Hill"
ICE Rail Link
Neues Wein-Prädikat
Racing History

Rhine River on the Rebound

TWIG - Germany’s longest river, the Rhine, is in remarkably good health, according to scientists who have been monitoring it over the past two years. The diversity of species living in the Rhine has returned to pre-1940 levels, the research team announced Tuesday (July 16). Biologists have even observed the recovery of the river’s salmon population, an amazing sign of environmental stability for a river that was once considered one of the most polluted in the world.

In the early 1950s, salmon were practically extinct in the Rhine, said Anne Schulte-Wuelwer-Leidig, director of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (Koblenz). Salmon were first sighted in the river again in the early 1990s, after an intensive cleanup effort a few years earlier. Scientists now count a total of 63 species of fish in the Rhine, up from 45 in 1995.

With environmental protection measures in place, the Rhine has sprung back to life over the past 25 years, said Hartmut Arndt of the University of Cologne. For about two years now, fish caught in the Rhine have been safe for consumption. Now it’s time to take the next step, said Arndt. The Rhine shouldn’t be treated like a shipping and drainage canal any more, "but rather like a real river again."

Water quality in other German rivers has also improved considerably over the past two decades, the group reported. The Elbe, for example, has become so clean that environmental experts gave the go ahead for people to take a dip in its waters at 50 different bathing stations between its source in the Krkonose Mountains (Czech Republic) and the North Sea. Scientists report 94 different fish species in the Elbe, including such sensitive fish as salmon and sea trout. Anglers should continue to exercise caution, however, and are advised to consume no more than two kilograms per month of fish that swim in the river. The cleanest of all German rivers these days, according to a study conducted by the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser (Lawa, a government group monitoring Germany’s waterways), is the Danube, which carries little ship traffic. 

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