Rafina River: Environmental education hotspot in Athens

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Rafina River: Environmental education hotspot in Athens

A member of the environmental education team at Rafina Liceo, a local teacher and you sincerely (right)

27 October 2018. Rafina River 25 km east of Athens.

I spend a lot of time outside and sometimes it's fun to do it with friends, family and students. Rafina High School has an ambitious new project to study the flow and find ways for the community to take care of it. Today I worked with students: Themistoclius, Mariana, Lambrini, Georgia, Thasos and Filippa. I tried to make it a lesson with the help of local teachers and the guidance of local naturalist and river biologist Antonis Lazaris. You can learn a lot with Antonis! So the sun is shining, the water is fresh and clean, it's a little slice of heaven. No less.

I'll try to do it again soon.


Most of the time it's the teacher's fault! Mr. Antonis Lazaris, biology high school student GREAT TEACHER!
In the sand at the mouth of the river.
Antonis told me that children should "get into the water"... Here we see a group of fish, we meet algae (fibrous and enteromorphs), we see stork footprints, arrowheads and oysters ("livelloules") , plasticine , bushes. Salicornia, Little Egret ("Lefkotsikniades"). And we also talked about Zen Buddhism.


The group walked across the busy Rafina Bridge. yes ... it is a desert in the city!

A reed bank of Arundo donax (left) and... beautiful date palms remind us that we must be in the Mediterranean! What a fancy "arcontic" place in town. Shouldn't this stand out as a free time saver?

Antonis saw some ducks, then we identified wagtails and other birds, then someone saw a mouse. We talk about diversity of habitats, shelters and shelters. Soft tail (Psathia) and its dispersal by wind. We found the crickets! Wild things happen!

Most of it was "clear water" at least that day. However, some point sources of pollution pass through sewers... (thus polluted regularly).

Concrete dam next to the point source of the pollution flow. Very different from natural beaches and natural "buffer zones" of beaches. But soon the river healed itself downstream.

Inverted binoculars work like a microscope! Many plants in the rich coastal region: Castor oil, Solanum, Oxalis ("Xinithra"), Sinapis ("Vrouves") first flowers.

Frog! The little ones are hidden in the seaweed... There are 3-4 others. They already have enough cold water... (soon they will all get used to the short winter).

On the elevated pedestrian bridge. Arundo donax compact. Like a jungle... elephant food! ...Today the black night stork ("Nychtokorakas") lives here; we saw one

Find the great sacred tree bush (Ligaria): one of the rare native species by the river. Smells very special...

What?

A special kind of algae, charophyte! strange

walking backwards We looked around from 10:30 to 1:30... non-stop and were totally blown away.

Lost worlds, threatened landscapes... occupied bridges. Why aren't more people interested?
One last reminder. Lumi and Rafina in the 1950s (photo from the archives of doctor Stathis Dimitrakos).



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