Monday, 29 August 2022

Cetina Spring Protection - Local Authorities, Ecologists Call for Action

August 29, 2022 - A problem escalated at Veliko Vrilo, the most beautiful river spring of Cetina. The location is not protected, but it has been used by many guests and excursionists this summer again, who keep swimming in the spring. The leader of the municipality of Civljane says that he is powerless, and ecologists appeal to the Government to protect such natural beauties.

As Poslovni writes, among the karst springs of Cetina, Glavaš or Veliko Vrilo is the most beautiful, largest, and deepest.

The shades of blue of the hundred-meter-deep abyss attract crowds of tourists to Civljane, the smallest municipality in Croatia.

However, swimming is prohibited here. At least it used to be.

Visitors couldn't even know. The prohibition sign was removed a few years ago, authority over the spring from the Public Institution Priroda was transferred to our youngest nature park - Dinara - which has not yet come to life, and this means that no one is currently taking care of the spring!

"For me, it is a national shame that people swim and sheep bathe inside the spring. A large part of our county is supplied with this water", says Miranda Mandarić from Split for HRT.

The mayor says that he is powerless, he wrote to whoever he could, but the problem has not been solved yet.

As for the already cloudy spring, if the local authorities were allowed to do so, they would have protected the area themselves.

Environmentalists started voicing their concern as well. They are asking for the urgent adoption of regulations that would finally properly protect these natural pearls.

"What is problematic is that we still do not have such documents for other nature parks and national parks, which means that for only 4 of the 20 protected areas regulations have been adopted, even though all the legal deadlines for their adoption have expired", says Zrinka Jakl of the Sunce Association for Nature, Environment, and Sustainable Development.

Someone will need to explain to curious tourists that, even though they behave politely, they are destroying the spring of an important river.

"We found out about it on Instagram, the spring is beautiful", emphasises Csaba, a tourist from Hungary.

And that way it should stay. The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development is on the move. There is still time until the rush of tourists next summer.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Remediation of Sovjak Pit in Viškovo to Begin by End of Year

ZAGREB, 2 Feb 2022 - The remediation of the Sovjak pit near Rijeka, worth about HRK 390 million, is planned to start by the end of the year. It is estimated there is currently about 152,000 cubic meters of waste in the pit, making this one of the largest and most complex environmental protection projects in the country.

The Sovjak pit is a natural karst sinkhole that has been used since 1949 for the uncontrolled and improper disposal of hazardous waste.

It is estimated that about 250,000 cubic meters of various waste were disposed of in the pit by the 1990s. Examples include acid sludge, a waste material generated as a by-product during the production of lubricants, motor oils and asphalt, waste asphalt from coke ovens, waste oils and fuel oils from shipyards, residues from storage tanks for oil, petroleum products and others.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, Siniša Kukić, underscored the complexity of the project preparation process, during which three remediation models had been proposed. The final model was selected through consultation with the citizens of Viškovo.

"The project is large and complex not only due to high costs, but also due to works taking place in the immediate vicinity of houses", he said.

Kukić also added that the contractors were required to meet the highest standards of environmental protection, adding that the safety of the residents was their priority.

Permanently remove threat to environment and residents

Sanja Udović, the head of the municipality of Viškovo, expressed satisfaction that after many years, the remediation of the pit would start.

"The project will not be easy nor simple, but it will permanently remove the threat to the environment and the consequences the residents have been feeling for decades," she said.

The State Secretary at the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, Mile Horvat, said this was a key moment for the residents of Viškovo because new green space was being created.

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Prefect Zlatko Komadina said that the problem of the Sovjak pit was a result of decades-long irresponsible behaviour.

"The price of remediation is high, but nothing is more expensive than the health of residents", he said.

The remediation project was presented by Maja Feketić, the head of the Sector for EU Funds at the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, saying that the contractors selected in the public call were joint bidders GK Group from Varaždin, Slovenian EKOMO, and IVICOM Consulting from Zagreb.

Deadline 54 months

The deadline for the completion of works is 54 months. 85% of the investment has been secured from EU funds, while the rest will be covered by the Fund.

The remediation is expected to begin by the end of 2022.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

40 Environmentally Friendly Anchorages Set Up in Kornati National Park

November 17, 2021 - With the long-term objective of protecting the sea surface and preserving Posidonia, the Sunce Association through the SASPAS project has installed 40 environmentally friendly anchorages in four bays of the Kornati National Park using a technique that will not negatively impact the environment.

During July 2021, through a project by Interreg Italy - Croatia SASPAS within the Kornati National Park, a total of 40 environmentally friendly anchorages were set up in the bays: Kravljačica, Strižnja, Šipnate, and Tomasovac, reports In each of these bays, 10 anchorages have been set up for vessels up to 16 meters long, according to the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce.

According to the Association, there is a buoy at each anchor point, and all buoys were set up using the "Earth Anchor" system - methods of drilling through sand and sea sediment into the rock surface where the anchors were shot directly into the seabed. Given the nature of the setup, the impact on marine sediment is short-lived and negligible.

“During the installation, and later the exploitation of the anchorage, there is no contact with the vegetation cover, which is extremely important for the preservation of sea flowers and why this anchor system is more environmentally friendly compared to the installation of concrete blocks. Each anchorage consists of a circular sea area with an anchor bolt in the center, as well as an anchor buoy with a final mooring loop of anchor rope next to it. It is important to emphasize that this solution was chosen to ensure that the anchor chain does not touch the seabed even during the lowest water level. The anchor mooring works in such a way that the vessel is moored to the anchor rope and depending on the influence of the wind on the vessel, it rotates around the anchor buoy.'', states the Sunce Association.

The installation of 40 environmentally friendly anchorages is one of the goals of the SASPAS project, which included a campaign aimed at raising public awareness, especially boaters, about the importance of protection and preservation of sea flowers, with special emphasis on Posidonia.


Photo: Sunce Association

A special focus was on the preservation of Posidonia (Posidonia oceanica), a strictly protected species. Posedonia is a sea flower and endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, and it is the Posidonia meadows that are considered to be the most important ecosystem in the Mediterranean because they are oxygen factories and carbon dioxide stores. Marine organisms, primarily fish, seek shelter among their leaves, spawn and reproduce. Despite their prevalence, they are endangered by numerous human actions, and the biggest threat is precisely free anchoring.

With the successful installation of such an anchor system, as part of the SASPAS project, the long-term goal of the Kornati National Park is to establish anchorages in all 19 bays, as well as to completely ban free anchoring in the national park, has begun.

The Sunce Association was founded in 1998 by a group of Split intellectuals to respond to society's growing need for an independent and professional body to offer solutions to environmental and nature protection issues. Today, the Association is present at the national and international level as one of the leading organizations for nature and environmental protection in Croatia.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Croatian Divers Cleaned the Seabed of Plastic, Rubber and Glass in Bakar

November 2, 2021 - As part of the Eco Patrol 2021 - Kvarner, an ecological action of cleaning the seabed in Bakar was held yesterday. This action is of great importance for the town because Croatian divers from different parts of the country took part in the action, and they cleaned the area from Nova Riva to Luka.

As reported by the Bakar Tourist Board, the ecological underwater cleaning campaign was organized by the Diving Promotion Agency in cooperation with the Luben Bakar Maritime Sports Association, the HRVI Nemo-Adriatic Diving Club, and the Marco Polo Diving Center under the auspices of the City of Bakar, the Bakar Tourist Board and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund. support and support of INA dd in order to preserve the beauty and purity of the Adriatic Sea.

"The city of Bakar is very pleased to support various eco-actions and provides support to numerous associations in our city that are very active in cleaning actions, both promenades and underwater, and we regularly participate in the Green Cleaning campaign. Following this, the City of Bakar is investing significant funds in the preparation of various projects, including the long-awaited project of sewerage and collectors, which will soon be implemented and will certainly contribute to improving the quality of the sea in Bakar's bay. It should be emphasized that with the new sea promenade, newly renovated Banj Park, historical tuner, future beach, museum, and numerous projects underway, Bakar is slowly but surely turning its page into an ecologically aware city with facilities that will attract many visitors (...) That is why today's action has a special significance for our city,'' said Tomislav Klarić, Mayor of the City of Bakar.


Photo: Bakar Tourist Board

The action was carried out by Croatian divers from different parts of the country in order to remove waste from the sea and reduce the negative impact of waste on marine habitats and raise awareness of the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of the sea and submarine, as well as point the global problem of submarine pollution.

"The Tourist Board of the City of Bakar is making great efforts to valorize the rich cultural, historical and natural heritage of the City of Bakar, so we are always happy to support all types of environmental actions. SPD Luben continuously carries out actions of cleaning the seabed, which is visible in the reduction of waste that is extracted from the sea every year. Unfortunately, many individuals still recklessly throw waste into the sea, without thinking about ecology and what they leave as a legacy for generations to come. I would like to thank all the Croatian divers who participated in today's ecological underwater cleaning campaign and we hope for future successful cooperation with the Diving Promotion in order to contribute to the preservation of our beautiful Bakar Bay. We are glad that many sponsors recognized the value of this initiative and supported the holding of this action, including INA d.d. with whom we have many years of successful cooperation on numerous projects,'' said Sonja Jelušić Marić, director of the Tourist Board of the City of Bakar.

Croatian divers from SPD Luben Bakar, RK HRVI Nemo-Adriatic, DVD Trnje, DC Marco Polo, RK AdriatiCro Jastrebarsko, and DVD Bakar joined the action of cleaning the seabed in Bakar, extracting various waste from the sea, mostly plastic, then tires and glass.

"This is a commendable action of cleaning the seabed, in which we have pulled out from the sea all those things and objects that do not belong there; rubber, glass, plastic. After gathering in front of the SPD Luben, Bakar, we headed to a selected location on the stretch between the new Riva and Luka, where divers in a two-hour action pulled out various waste. We are very happy to participate in all underwater cleaning actions in order to preserve the beauties of our underwater world," said Franjo Vicić, head of the diving section of SPD Luben.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.