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Joint Danube Survey 3: International research expedition on the Danube launched

Two ships will carry an international team of scientists on a research expedition over 2,375 kilometres to survey Europe’s second-biggest river. The “Joint Danube Survey 3” links groundbreaking science with environmental policy on an international scale.

REGENSBURG/VIENNA, 13 August 2013 (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) -  The Joint Danube Survey 3 (JDS3) was launched today in Regensburg, Germany. For the next six weeks scientists will test the water quality of the river and look at animals and plants; from chemical substances to sediment, from larger fish to microscopic bacteria. The research will be conducted by an international team of 20 scientists, travelling 2,376 kilometres through 10 countries. The JDS is carried out every six years – JDS1 was in 2001 and JDS2 in 2007. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) coordinates the project.

“A river basin as diverse as that of the Danube is a complex and dynamic system and understanding the ecology of such a system is difficult”, says ICPDR President Ermina Salkičević-Dizdarević. “The Joint Danube Survey will help us to improve our understanding of the Danube and its needs. The findings of this survey will feed directly into scientific papers and management plans - and they will help to raise public awareness.”

The team of scientists will collect information on parameters not covered by the ongoing monitoring, such as pollutants from pharmaceuticals or radioactive isotopes. As the ships will travel along the course of the river, all collected data will come from the same source and is readily comparable. This is important because often data from different sampling locations needs to be harmonized before it can be compared.

“I am happy that we managed to secure the support from some of the leading laboratories across Europe”, says ICPDR Executive Secretary Ivan Zavadsky. “The Joint Danube Survey will refine our picture of the Danube and the measures it will take to protect and sustain this beautiful river in both environmental and economic dimensions.”

Laboratories across Europe will carry out chemical analyses. Corporate partners, such as Coca-Cola and Donauchemie, support the JDS3. Public events in all riparian Danube countries will ensure that everybody can get involved with JDS3. All public events are announced on the official JDS3 website, where you can also find a blog with updates from the ships.

Note: Background information on the JDS3 scientific objectives, the ICPDR and the Danube River Basin is contained on page 2 in the PDF version of this release, which you can download below.