Koumoundourou: How polluted is it?

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Koumoundourou: How polluted is it?


December 2016
Lake Komondoro, Attica - near Athens

A particularly challenging area for conservation and restoration is the small, spring-fed lake of Lake Komondoro, located about 10 kilometers west of Athens. Some bodies of water known for their polluted waters are contaminated by underground basins, oil refineries, large landfills, and other nearby pollutants.

Hydrocarbons from the oil industry are a big problem, and refineries are nearby. When I was a child, my father often told me about the fish in the lake because we had a second home near Eleusis. Yes, wetlands are associated with the mystery of Eleusis... This sacred wetland has been a famous fishing lake since ancient times. Now, since the mid-1990s, to contain the polluted groundwater, the lake's water level has been raised, creating a barrier to the sea. Rising water levels appear to have altered hydrology, oil spills, and groundwater contamination. But the movement of migratory fish is almost completely hidden. According to local fishermen, various species of gray drum (Mugilida), blenny ( Blennidae ), sandbar ( Dicentrarchus sp.), sand smelt ( Atherina sp.) Komunduru Lake. Now there are only three species left, mostly dominated by the exotic mosquitofish ( Gambusia holbrooki ).

Our HCMR research team has been working in this field for many years and has been following it closely. Local residents and environmental scientists are campaigning to protect and prevent pollution. But it's not just about pollution. The entire ecosystem needs careful planning and adaptive management to recover. We recently published diagnostic and concrete recommendations for step-by-step recovery steps.

Please see the document.

Planning for the discovery of improved Mediterranean culture in coastal areas, total environmental assessment



Wetlands in the industrial center. Is it possible to restore it? But how.

The small lake has been monitored, everything from chemistry, ichthyology, ornithology...

Variation in nutrient (A) and heavy metal concentrations near the dam in Lake Komondoro (annual average 1984–2012). Pollution seems to be decreasing. We believe this is due to the high water level created by the man-made dam in the mid-1990s.
Snakes still enter the pond, but their movement is limited c. The height of the dam is 2 meters, so their number is small. This is an eel I caught in a nearby marsh and kept in the water for a while feeding on the Gambusia holbroki (mosquito fish) we caught at Kumundura.
Mediterranean killifish (also known as Mediterranean carp) - Aphanius facias - These males are from the Voorkari wetlands west of Lake Komunduru. Lake Komunduru has a small archaeological settlement. In fact, there are only three places on the Attica peninsula where these endangered fish live.



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