Diary entryDiary entry
Argus passing the Iron Gate.jpg
Argus passes through the Iron Gate
Iron Gate dam.jpg
Waiting to pass through the Iron Gate lock
JDS 2 first press conference in Romania 2.jpg
Press conference in Turnu Severin
Officials and the press visiting the vessel laboratories 2.jpg
ICPDR President 2007 Lucia Ana Varga and other officials on the ship tour with Team Leader Bela Csanyi
Needle fish found nearby Tekija.jpg
Needlefish found for the first time this far upstream
Fortress in Turnu Severin.jpg
The old and the new in Turnu Severin
Traditional welcome of the expedition members.jpg
A warm welcome of traditional bread and salt
visit research vessel.jpg
Journalists tour the boat after the press conference
Location map

Relaxing after the Iron GatesRelaxing after the Iron Gates

Location: Vrbica/Simijan, Romania
After waking up in Orsova, Romania this morning (Sept.11), the JDS2 team went on to sample Station 62, another site in the Iron Gate reservoir. Here on the Danube's right bank, two needlefish were found hidden among the water plants. Known to exist sparsely in the Danube Delta, they had never been observed this far upstream before. A 70 cm core sediment sample was taken from a 33 m river depth - the deepest sample ever in this part of the Danube. And dragonfly larvae were found deep in the middle of the Danube, peaking the speculation of the JDS2 biologists as to how the larvae could survive such depths.

On the way to the Station 63 at Vrbica/Simjan, the JDS2 ships passed through Iron Gate I - the biggest dam and hydropower plant on the Danube. "It was spectacular for the whole crew, passing the 38 meter high water level difference, in front and after the dam, in two steps," said University of Vienna-based chemistry expert Vesna Micic. The ships then rested at Turnu Severin for the evening.

The next morning at 08:15, the team headed to shore where they were greeted by a large Romanian welcoming committee headed by Lucia Ana Varga, ICPDR President for 2007 and State Secretary in the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Water Management. The group also included: ICPDR Executive Secretary Philip Weller; Marius Postelnicescu, General Director of the National Administration ‘Apele Romane'; and a folk band and young ladies in traditional dress offering bread and salt.

After brief speeches and a tour of the boat, the group participated in the well-attended 10:00 press conference at the Hotel Continental.

Press conference with the ICPDR President 

"It is obvious for all of us that our efforts for implementing the Water Framework Directive, under ICPDR co-ordination, will not be successful without the participation and involvement of the public," said Varga. "The team participating in this expedition includes the best experts in the field. The survey wouldn't have had this amplitude and objectives without the dedicated and professional work of the ICPDR Secretariat."

"The objective of the survey is to identify and eliminate the sources of pollution from the Danube and its tributaries," said Postelnicescu. "Also, the results of this expedition must be presented to the public and be seen as a base for the improvement of Danube water quality."

The journalists were particularly interested in the interaction between increasing temperatures due to climate change and water quality, how human interventions to the river contribute to growing invasive species numbers, the impacts of mining brown coal near the Romanian town of Moldova Nuova and recent JDS2 discoveries and surprises.

After a tour of the boat and Iron Gate Museum, about 100 people including the 30 members of the Romanian National Team were invited to a hardy lunch accompanied with live folk music. The party lasted until evening, making it the most relaxing day yet for many JDS2 team members since the survey began... almost a month before.

Soon after midnight, the JDS2 driver again appeared with empty bottles. At 5:00 the next morning, the team started packing the car with fresh samples. By 7:00, the driver was off again to the labs.

Visit the Romanian Administration 'Apele Romane' website regarding the JDS2 events in Turnu Severin.

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