Scientists: Flood-protection Work in High Tatras Threatening River Ecosystems

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(stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 6 (TASR) – Negative interventions to river ecosystems are being carried out in the course of flood-protection work in the High Tatras, scientists dealing with water and fish research pointed out on Thursday, calling on the Environment Ministry to halt the ongoing stabilisation work.

Due to the still present flood alert in the area of the High Tatra mountain range, the stabilisation work can be carried out instantly and without any public procurement procedure. The area was hit by flooding in mid-July.

“The scope of work is inappropriate, especially the massive shifting of gravel material and the changes in the watercourses are carried out at the places where it isn’t needed. These modifications are made hastily, thoughtlessly and regardless of the need to protect the nature environment,” reads a joint statement by Slovak research institutions.

The scientists propose to have the most urgent flood protection measures in the immediate vicinity of villages and infrastructure carried out. The rest of the work should be evaluated and planned within a comprehensive project with environmental impacts included. The research institutions also pointed out that Slovakia has committed itself to maintaining a good state of rivers within its obligations vis-a-vis the European Commission.