The Thessaloniki Prefecture is proposing an ecological and agricultural program that could cost more than 150 million euros but might prevent the Lake Koroneia disaster, which killed up to 28,000 birds and hundreds of fish, from recurring. «The latest phenomenon would have been avoided if the situation in Koroneia had been different and some measures were in place,» said Giorgos Zalidis, a professor of agricultural science at Thessaloniki University who helped draft the plan. The proposed program will cost 71 million euros over the next three years and, if approved, the second phase of works will be completed by 2008 at a cost of 88 million euros. The project will include sewage and pollution treatment plants and improvements to the wetlands’ drainage system, including the channeling of water from Koroneia to the sea via nearby Lake Volvi. Experts believe pollution from nearby factories and the town of Lagada are at the root of the current crisis. Koroneia’s recent history has been one of misuse and neglect, with reports yesterday claiming the first official warnings came in 1986.