Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Global Impact: Danube River Carries An Average of 4.2 Tons of Trash into the Black Sea Daily

According to EFE, The river that inspired Johann Strauss to write the “Blue Danube,” Vienna’s most famous waltz, in 1867, is now plagued by record levels of plastic waste, trash and industrial residues, a new study said.

The Danube carries an average of 4.2 tons of trash into the Black Sea each day, the University of Vienna’s Department of Limnology and Oceanography said in a report.

Austrian scientists said they were “surprised” at the level of pollution in the river after taking nearly 1,000 water samples in 2010 and 2012 on the 80-kilometer (49-mile) stretch of the waterway between Vienna and Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

Europe’s second-longest river has a higher concentration of man-made residues than of fish, scientists said in an article published in Environmental Pollution magazine.

COMMENT: Water samples from the stretch of the Danube River between Vienna and Bratislava contained 317 plastic particulates and 275 fish larvae per 1,000 cubic meters of water.

Animals that ingest plastic waste can die, researchers said.

The Danube River flows through ten countries on its 2,800-kilometer (1,739-mile) journey to the Black Sea, but its waters are affected by the actions of some 80 million people living in 19 countries.