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SER-Europe Signs Letter to European Commissioner

Friday, March 1, 2019  
Posted by: Rebecca Shoer
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SER-Europe, a member of the European Habitats Forum, has co-signed an urgent letter by Friends of the Earth Europe to European Commissioner Vella, regarding the construction of a Polish navigable channel. The channel, approved by the Pomeranian Voivodeship regional government, will cross three Natura 2000 sites in the Vistula Spit and Vistula Lagoon in northern Poland.

Natura 2000 is a European network of protected sites, created to protect rare habitats and species. Although the sites are not nature preserves, Member States must ensure that the sites are appropriately managed. Despite protest from local communities and NGOs, construction has commenced on the channel, beginning with the removal of 25 hectares of forest last week.

The impact of this channel is likely to be immense, as the Vistula Lagoon is a freshwater ecosystem, and construction will expose it to saltwater of the Baltic Sea. In addition, planned dredging and the construction of the harbor will also have a major impact on the ecology of the entire area. SER-Europe and the seven additional signatories of this letter believe that the regional government has not carried out proper environmental assessments for this construction, and are therefore acting outside of EU law.

Read the letter here, and find out more about the proposed channel.