A new edition of the I.S.Rivers international conference will be held in Lyons in June 2021, to allow scientists, operators and users of rivers to come together, share their experiences and engage in dialogue to promote sustainable management of their waterways. AIVP is one of the event’s partners.
The Port of Montreal, in Canada, is committing to preserve biodiversity and the quality of water, air and the environment in several farms in the region by supporting the ALUS Montérégie environmental program. This initiative is connected to the expansion of the Contrecoeur terminal and will help to preserve ecosystems and support farmers in their efforts to protect the environment.
There are many possible actions to help preserve the local biodiversity. In the case of Ceuta (Spain), the port authority has launched a falconry service to ensure the safety of the air operations in the heliport and in the dock España, in an environmentally friendly way. A different approach is the ECHO program from the Port of Vancouver (Canada), to reduce the underwater noise affecting killer whales. The 6th edition of the program started on July and will continue until October. Equally important is to disclose the port city biodiversity. For that purpose, the port authority of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris (HAROPA) has supported the publication of “Biodiversité en Seine”, an illustrate notebook containing drawings from Claire Motz of the flora and fauna in this French river. Biodiversity is also a major concern in large infrastructural constructions as it is visible in San Antonio, Chile. There, the port authority will transport rocks to the breakwater of the dock Policarpo Toro with special environmental measures to diminish the potential impact of the operation.
Port cities host a rich biodiversity. Protecting it can bring associated positive effects, besides the obvious ones. In Tarragona (Spain), the green areas policy of the port authority is showing excellent results. These areas must reduce the water footprint, promote the biodiversity and mitigate the CO2 emissions. The port has focused on the reforestation of degraded spaces and replacing water intensive plants for others more adapted to the Mediterranean climate. Every year, these areas neutralize 1500 tons of CO2 and provide shelter for endangered species such as bees. In Ceuta (Spain), the Port Authority supports the local Sea Museum (Museo del Mar), that is responsible for studying, protecting and disclosing the local biodiversity. This institution publishes several books and magazines promoting the results of their research, for example on the impact of ships on whales and dolphins. The museum also organizes educational activities and leads projects to include coastal areas in the European networks of protected natural reserves. Additionally, it is responsible for a unique facility, the “pudridero” a facility to preserve the carcasses and collect the bones to study and learn about marine animals.
Two excellent projects focused on preserving or restoring the natural biodiversity: In Rouen (France), the Port Authority HAROPA, has developed between 2017 and 2019 a project to restore the wetlands connected to the Seine river in Sahurs. The new structure and water canal allow the tide to reenter the area and recover the natural environment of the estuary. In 2020 the port authority planted flora improving the integration of the site in the landscape and installed educational panels. In Bahía Blanca (Argentina), the Marine Wildlife Rescue Station has helped more 115 animals from 15 different species, over the past two years, since it was created. This facility is the result of the cooperation of the port authority of Bahía Blanca with several environmental organizations.
There is an increasing attention to protect the local biodiversity of port cities. In previous weeks we have seen the examples Trieste, Seville, Montreal and Quebec. A new project this week comes from France. The Port Authority of Le Havre, HAROPA in cooperation with the Seine-Normandy Water Agency has installed a floating pontoon and artificial marine habitats to recover the local flora and fauna. The new installation will also work as nurseries for fish and support wildlife. The project also includes the ecological monitoring for the next two years.
The port of Sevilla (Spain) presents an innovative project combining the management of dredging sediments and the creation of new habitats for threatened aquatic birds. This project follows the new work philosophy of “working with nature” and is a collaboration with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). More ports around world are making new efforts for biodiversity. The port of Singapore has commissioned a coral relocation and conservation program, and in Imbituba (Brazil), the port launched the 12º edition of the whale monitoring program as part of their environmental plan.