NEWS

Lake Volvi faces pollution risk

The heavily polluted Lake Koroneia, east of Thessaloniki, will end up infecting nearby Lake Volvi unless ongoing restoration efforts start treating all lakes and wetlands in the area as one broad ecosystem, environmental experts warned in a report made public yesterday. «The continual degeneration of (Lake) Koroneia will inevitably lead to the gradual degeneration of Lake Volvi,» according to the report, which was issued by a body of experts entrusted with assessing the needs of the National Wetland Park which embraces Lakes Koroneia and Volvi and an area known as Macedonian Tempe within the Migdonia basin. The only hope is for a new approach tackling both rivers and the surrounding wetlands all together, the report concluded following a study which began in September 2003 and finished in February this year. A European Union-funded restoration program for Lake Koroneia, currently being implemented, foresees a series of projects including the development of a drainage system, the processing of urban and industrial waste, the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and the management of local streams. «The measures being proposed aim to offset the pressures being exercised upon the (Migdonia) basin to maintain and improve the quality of the waters as well as create the appropriate conditions to allow the rivers and wetlands to function self-sufficiently. This is the only way to protect Lake Volvi in the long term,» the study said. Lakes Koroneia and Volvi, and the wetlands that border them, are a sanctuary for the country’s flora and fauna. Koroneia and its banks accommodate 336 types of plants, 19 different species of amphibians, 24 different fish, 34 mammals and 200 bird species, while Volvi is home to 24 different kinds of fish.