Rower ends EU tour to expose waterway pollution

A courageous explorer concluded an independent rowing expedition across Europe on Sunday, with the purpose of exposing the pollution plaguing the continent’s waterways.

Covering a vast distance from Warsaw to Paris, the determined 58-year-old Frenchman embarked on a challenging journey along 22 different rivers and canals, spanning five countries. Throughout his remarkable 48-day odyssey, Christophe Gruault diligently collected water samples for subsequent scientific analysis.

The remarkable feat entailed rowing over 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles), traversing Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Reflecting on his adventure, Gruault noted that the Polish leg of his expedition showcased the purest and cleanest waterways, with protected areas revered and cherished by the locals.

“In Germany’s eastern regions, there is a palpable sense of harmony between people and nature, devoid of any degradation,” he observed.

Gruault’s collected samples and observations will be meticulously examined by researchers at the esteemed National Museum of Natural History in Paris, an institution that has actively supported his endeavor.

Denis Duclos, the museum’s director of European and international relations, expressed his anticipation for the findings, particularly regarding the impact of urban centers on pollution management.

The issue of water pollution in Poland came into prominence last year when a staggering 250 tonnes of deceased fish were discovered in the Oder River, spanning Poland and Germany.

Initially attributed to toxic algae by Polish authorities, industrial pollution was swiftly ruled out as the cause. However, German authorities labeled it a “man-made environmental disaster,” asserting that the introduction of salt into the waters had triggered the alarming growth of algae.

Source: Agence France-Presse / SGP

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