Ina Cleanup 2024 – a step towards a cleaner river

April 25, 2024

The start of spring is a good opportunity for deep cleaning. As the first warm days encourage people to experience the returning greenery outdoors, the Rewilding Oder Delta team organized a collective cleanup along the Ina, to make sure that some of the most inviting places by the river in Goleniów are free of litter. Last Saturday, 20 April 2024, dozens of garbage bags were collected during this “spring cleaning”. The event highlights the power of collective actions and shows that there are many committed people who want to help keeping their environment clean.

The participants of the Ina River Cleanup 2024 collected dozens of garbage bags
Rewilding Oder Delta

This group undoubtedly includes activists from Goleniów and the surrounding area, many of whom participated in this year’s Ina clean-up. The action, initiated many years ago by members of the Friends of the Ina and Gowienica Rivers Society (TPRIiG), is being coordinated and supported by Rewilding Oder Delta for the third time. With the help of the local community, organizations, and institutions in Goleniów, an event was organized on April 20 this year, during which dozens of garbage bags were collected. On the banks of the river, the participants discovered real “treasures” – clothes, shoes, glasses, electronic devices, a tent and a whole lot of “classic” waste such as packaging, glass and plastic bottles, cans and personal hygiene products.

Photo: Maciej Sobieraj / Foundation for Climate and Biodiversity, Rewilding Oder Delta

Young scouts from Goleniów take care of the Ina

Like in the previous years, many scouts from Goleniów ZHP participated in the clean-up.

We wanted to convey the attitude of caring for nature to young people and show that you can have fun in a group and achieve more than on your own,” said Maciej Sobieraj from the Foundation for Climate and Biodiversity, partner of this year’s event.

“Without Goleniów ZHP, this campaign would not have been possible,” – emphasizes Magdalena Urlich, coordinator of the event on behalf of Rewilding Oder Delta. “We are delighted that children and young people are actively involved in the clean-up campaign. However, we would also like to point out that these are the adults who usually leave the garbage behind, and the youngsters are the ones who have to clean it up. We are therefore grateful when adults also take part in the campaign. This year, their support was excellent – among other things, they ensured the younger participants didn’t have to carry heavy bags.”

Photo: Anastasia Parkhomenko, Rewilding Oder Delta, Maciej Sobieraj / Foundation for Climate and Biodiversity

Cooperation with local authorities

This year’s campaign was also supported by the newly elected mayor of Goleniów, Mr Krzysztof Sypień, who not only ensured the smooth cooperation with the city administration and the PGK, but also joined the river cleanup during the event.

The ZHP, the Goleniów Municipality, the PGK and the Goleniów Cultural Center are regular partners in the clean-up of the Ina. This year, they were joined by representatives of the Foundation for Climate and Biodiversity and the social initiative Save the Ina.

After the hard work, the participants warmed up around the campfire and enjoyed grilled sausages. Here, they also had the opportunity to exchange views and plan further activities

Ina River Cleanup 2024
Rewilding Oder Delta

Cleaning up the Ina – a contribution to a wilder river

The annual cleanup promotes public participation in protecting the river ecosystem and is one of many rewilding activities to improve the state of the Ina catchment area. In 2023, the Rewilding Oder Delta team managed the construction of raised stone and gravel features in the riverbed called “prisms”. These underwater structures recreate the diverse mosaic of microhabitats, provide new spawning grounds for salmonids, improve water parameters, and reduce the risk of droughts and floods. The restoration efforts also include educational activities and the exchange of ecosystem restoration experiences with government representatives, both at local and European levels.

Photo: Neil Aldrige / Rewilding Europe, Florian Möllers / Rewilding Oder Delta, Magdalena Urlich / Rewilding Oder Delta

In 2023, the Rewilding Oder Delta team planted young, fast-rooting willow saplings with regional partners. The groups of trees on the shoreline stabilize water temperature and riverbanks, improve the river’s self-cleaning capacity and increase insect and bird populations. These measures were implemented as part of the EOCA-funded projects “Wildlife Comeback to the Ina River” and “Rewilding the Ina River for a Cleaner Baltic Sea” from the BALTCF fund.

Text: Magdalena Urlich
Edited by: Agnieszka Soboń

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