HCMR Inland Waters Meeting in Athens

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HCMR Inland Waters Meeting in Athens

March 16, 2015
Water and Inland Water Framework Directive: Research and Perspectives

IMBRIW (Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters) Information meeting for the public organized by our Inland Waters Department of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR).

Spectacular day. We tried to follow the approach we took last October (the Fish meeting) where many of the keynote speakers only had ten minutes to summarize their story in an all-day event open to the public. We focused on the EU Water Directive, mainly on our research findings, challenges, needs and future perspectives. We had over 25 speakers; 8 came from our gymnasium. A good combination.

The amphitheater hall of the Greek "Ministry of Environment" on Messageion Street in Athens was almost full. The meeting started around 9:00 am and ended almost on time, around 6:00 pm. Opening remarks were made by the Minister of Environmental Protection and the Special Secretary of the Special Secretariat for Water Affairs. So many people were very interested in what these amazing scientists and environmentalists had to say... And we heard from NGOs and even a hobby fisherman. All in one long day.

After the event, some key points come to mind:
  • A truly remarkable overview of the long and exhausting work of monitoring rivers, lakes and waters in transition: the first coordinated efforts of a national bioassessment and monitoring network in full swing.
  • Criticism of the progress of the Water Framework Directive and the main problem of insufficient hydrological collection and poor management of reference data. Basic hydrological data is very lacking.
  • A good review of the applications, work, and prospects of environmental flow modeling.
  • Nice discussion about hydroelectric development and the great Acheloos water transfer project. The Ahelaos River drainage issue is one of the most controversial mega projects in this country and needs to be resolved.
  • A mature discussion of ecological restoration. Interesting talks about recovery prospects and the sad and sorry state of Lake Karla's recovery.
  • Focus on social contribution and the need for informed citizen participation.


Here are some screenshots - sorry I missed a lot of speakers and some of the photos are very low quality - too; I apologize for any attempts at humor in the comments.

Professor Kostas Stergiou (Director of IMBRIW, HCMR) and Vassilis Likoousis (President of HCMR) - Introducing our passion for inland waters!

Ioannis Tsironis, Deputy Minister of Industrial Reconstruction, Environment and Energy, fully supports our initiative and HCMR.
Vassilis Likusis (HCMR), Kostas Triantis (Special Secretariat for Water Affairs), Ioannis Tsironis (Minister)

Professor Kostas Triantis (Special Secretariat for Water Affairs) is helping to maintain a well stock register to monitor water extraction pressure.
Nikos Skoulikidis (IMBRIW, HCMR) leads the WFD river monitoring project in HCMR – the first and largest monitoring project in the history of our institute.

Yorgos Khatsinikalaou (HCMR), the best pathologist I know; give results
Vassilis Tachos (IMBRIW-HCMR) with a map FULL of monster fish points!

New and old audiences; there are many people who love inland waters.
Ms Maria Guiney (Special Secretary for Water Resources) is one of the chief architects of water management in this country.

You (IMBRIW-HCMR) show pictures of the birds (and I like the Greek flag in the back...).
Go out and smoke…
Kostas Papaconstantinou "former ornithologist", now Green Party activist and long-time environmental educator with Thanos Athanasopoulos, ichthyologist and close friend of Greek ecology and lake management
We sincerely congratulate Todaros Naziridis, head of the Kerkini National Park Administration - a fighter for the preservation of this important protected area.
Vasiliki Tyausi (EKBY), a tireless environmental scientist, Dr. Maria Stamboudi (IMBRIW-HCMR)
Professor Kimon Hatsibiros (NTUA), a legendary environmentalist and thinker of the 1980s…
NTUA researcher Andreas Efstratiadis analyzes the numerical aspects of Greece's Water Framework Directive.
Professor Derkas of the Agricultural University of Athens expresses his opinion against the water transmission of Achelous.
See Olga Petryki (AUT), PhD, researching fish indices in Greek lakes: excellent work.

Panayiotis Sabatakis (National Institute of Geological and Mineral Research) in excellent rhetoric!
Dr. Dimitra Daniil from the National Chemical Laboratory.

Ioannis Kouvapoulos of the Public Energy Corporation (DEH).
Professor Michalis Skourtas (Athens Agricultural University) analyzes the economic aspects of the Water Framework Directive.

Dr. Emmanuel Koutrakis of the National Fisheries Institute (Kavala), who studies lake fish performance.
Thanks to the excellent intervention of Dr. Emmanuel Koutrakis on Lake Fish Indexes.

Angeliki Mentsouf (IMBRIW-HCMR) gave very interesting presentations on the application of simulation models in Greek river basins.
Christos Theodoropoulos (IMBRIW-HCMR), a PhD student, presented us with environmental flows policy priorities.

 Christina Papadakis (IMBRIW-HCMR), Ph.D., eloquently praised the work of the Hellenic Institute of Environmental Currents.
Kalus Paragamian (WWF) flew in from Crete to help us understand the need for small wetlands!
Professor Ifigenia Kangalou (University of Thessaly) explained the status of the Lake Karlo restoration project.
Associate Professor of the University Maria Hrysakhova. Connecticut and NTUA discussed environmental methods to determine pollution in the Assapas River.
Beloved angler Stavros Bletsas, along with other fly fishermen, revealed the science with some reports on real river problems.
Anastasios Papadopoulos (IMBRIW-HCMR), meteorologist, closed the day with Kostas Stergiou.
Nikos Skoulikidis and Professor Maria Lazaridou (AUT) smile. Optimistic!

This information meeting would not have been possible without the help of the organizational unit created to work on this meeting: many people from HCMR helped. Thanks to Christos Theodoropoulos for the real weight. Thank you all for your participation and support.

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