Thursday, November 14, 2013

Saving Loutsa...the Artemis Wetland (clean-up call to everyone!)

Artemis Lagoon on a rainy day this October. My colleague Ioannis Karaouzas collecting a water sample during just before it started raining cats & dogs.

End of November 2013

We are organizing a clean-up at one of Athens's best small wetlands, the Artemis Lagoon. 

It's located behind Loutsa Beach on the East Coast of Attika. This is just 25 kilometers east of downtown Athens Center - but is virtually unknown to anyone except to few birders. Yet again,  the BEACH is known, in fact one of the most popular spots for a quicky get-away for summering Athenians. But no-one ever looks behind the beach....swampland, dirty, smelly...a wetland!

We birders actually discovered the site nearly too late - must have been 1995. It had already been largely in-filled. However, the locals do want to "protect" it they say. So we may have a chance. Steps have already been taken by do-gooders like the Ornithological Society (HOS), other NGOs, and locals. The area is fenced and it is legally "protected" as an...archaeological site.

On Sunday the 24th of November we are meeting for a CLEAN-UP (10:00 and 13:00). The location of the meeting is at the little beach-side church of Agios Spyridon, near the bus-stop at the end of the road to Agios Nikolaos (Loutsa Beach). Very easy to reach by city bus from Athens. We will pick-up garbage in the wetland and its fringe. Bring waterproof boots or really old shoes or prepare to get rather muddy. If you don't care for mud the beach is full of garbage too.

What we are doing is meant to be symbolic. How many people...including scientists really care? 
This clean-up is a cooperation among a scientific facility (HCMR), the local and regional government and a really important NGO (HOS). 

We have the support of the local Municipality of Spata-Artemida and the Regional Government (see their poster below).

 ALL are invited! 

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