River training plan seen as threat to Attica wetland

River training plan seen as threat to Attica wetland

An environmental protection group is seeking to prevent a 20-million-euro flood-prevention project in eastern Attica it says is a threat to the Natura 200-protected Vravrona wetland.

The plan, which has already cost 21 million euros in land appropriations, foresees a series of interventions to train the last 10 kilometers of the Erasinos River before it reaches the sea.

“Two dams will be built at 3 kilometers along this section, the rest of which, leading to the wetland, will be artificial, boxed in by gabions,” Stamatis Arnaoutis, a member of the Erisanos Protection Initiative, told Kathimerini.

“In other words, the natural riverbed will be completely lost and the Erasinos will become a channel.”

Critics of the plan – which also include the Hellenic Ornithological Society and other environmental protection groups – argue that the flood hazard in the area is not enough to risk upsetting the natural irrigation patterns of the surrounding wetland.