Monday, April 4, 2011

A short update about the Akerselva River

I attended a scientific seminar this morning having to do with how to restore life to a dead river, specifically the Akerselva River in this instance. It was called ’Kan kunnskap hjelpe Akerselva’, which translated to English literally means ’Can knowledge help the Akerselva’. It was sponsored by The Ministry of the Environment http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/md.html?id=668. It was a well-attended seminar, which was heartening. The Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, opened the seminar and meant that after several weeks of sorrow and mourning for the river that died, it was time to work together to bring the river back to life. And that was why his department had decided to tap the knowledge of those who know rivers—scientists who have spent their entire careers studying them, gathering data on what happens when pollution and chemical spills destroy river life. There were five speakers, who also participated in a question and answer session with the audience afterward. Their individual talks were good and quite informative, and I must say that I gained a lot of new information as well as some new ways of looking at rivers. One of the speakers reminded us that we have to look at rivers from a three-dimensional perspective and that was useful information. It made me understand that the Akerselva River will come back stronger than ever. I left the seminar somewhat optimistic. Despite the massive death of fish and river bottom life, there was some encouraging news. Some of the salmon eggs that had been buried deeper down in the gravel at the river’s bottom had actually survived the chlorine spill. That was good news and a good way to start a new week.   

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