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Interreg - Sullied Sediments

People Involved

Dr Kevin Welham

Professor Mark Lorch
Professor of Public Engagement and Science Communication. Interim Head of Department for Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering

Dr Will Mayes

Dr Will Mayes
Reader in Environmental Science

Project Description

Our inland waterway ecosystems provide a circulatory system for both our urban and rural communities: a transport system bringing goods and removing waste; while in parallel also providing ‘oxygen’ promoting health of the wildlife and humans, whether through maintenance of the good ecological and chemical status for Water Framework Directive (WFD) (WFD, 2000/60/EC) obligations or as a place to enjoy sports and hobbies. This may become blocked, or flood, and also requires regular health checks. Such checks are carried out by the Regulatory Authorities and ensure that the waterways remain an important resource used by all. Many chemicals enter our waterways that are harmful to health and comprise the EU list of Priority Substances. It is likely that there will also be new legislation requiring a halt to their discharge and, where possible, attempts be made to remove them from polluted environments. There are other chemicals, not toxic, yet still causing problems due to nutrient overload and subsequent negative impacts. Ideally, we would be able to remove all types of problem chemicals in a cost effective way and, if useful to do so, recycle them in a commercially viable manner. This project brings together partners, representing different stakeholders, to address a number of WFD-related issues applied to the North Sea Region (NSR) inland waterways. Specifically, we will develop tools to characterise key chemicals, provide maps of their levels, and ways to examine biological impacts. Such tools are currently lacking or ad hoc in differing NSR areas and this project will trial tools in a coordinated sampling regime of three catchments, the best will be adopted by the Regulatory Authorities concerned. To establish a circular European economy, promoting sustainable management of these inland waterways ecosystems, we will also pilot novel techniques for chemical clean up with Water Industry partners and commercial re-release for agriculture partners. The final aim of the project is to engage and communicate WFD issues to the public, by developing a volunteer–based qualification, with a parallel citizen science element.

Type of Project Project
Status Project Live
Funder(s) European Commission
Value £279,657.00
Project Dates Jan 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2020

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