Filed under: Animals & Nature, Issues & the Environment | Tags: england, environment, london, otter, restoration, river, thames, wetdoggle
The Thames River in London, England, was declared biologically dead in the 1950’s – which is basically just a nice way of saying “you’re gross and awful and nothing will ever live in you.” Good news on the horizon, though – the Thames, apparently are a-changin’.
“In the last 150 years the Thames has been to hell and back, and it has taken thousands of people many decades to restore it to this point,” said Alastair Driver, national conservation manager for the Environment Agency, and runner-up for the most British sounding name ever.
Wildlife has indeed begun to resurface in the battered river, filling it’s unpolluted waterways with salmon, trout, and even otters. (Yes, they apparently have otters in England. Though I’m sure with a much more hilarious and unconventional name. Like “wetdoggles”).
This resurgence of fish and wetdoggles can be attributed to years of effort by the UK’s Environment Agency as well as numerous other organizations, individuals, and general wetdoggle enthusiasts. 125 different species of fish have been reported in the Thames again, and since April 2005, 393 habitat enhancement projects have been completed, and nearly 70 kilometers of river have been restored or enhanced. Not too shabby, that. The work has also resulted in the world’s largest environmental award, the International Theiss River Prize, which was awarded to the Thames this year. (Just going out on a limb here, but I can’t imagine Alberta will be vying for this award anytime soon).
Okay, so they probably didn’t get a sweet ass trophy. What they did get was 350,000 Australian dollars, which the agency immediately pledged to the Thames River Restoration Trust – with part of that going to help restore a river in the developing world. These guys are serious about rivers. Just ask Alastair Driver (who’s name is still awesome), who adds “the recovery is fragile, and under increasing pressure from a growing population, aging infrastructure and climate change. Through innovative projects such as the Thames Tideway tunnels and the London Rivers Action Plan, we and all of the people and organizations we work with are proving that we are tackling these challenges head on to ensure that the Thames remains an iconic river for many centuries to come.”
And with continued efforts by their environmental agency, and people like Driver, I’ll just bet they will. Wetdoggles and all.
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