5 July 2021 – The 2021 edition of the Big Jump at 15:00 on July 11 will feature the first-ever joint action to be carried out simultaneously in multiple European countries, bringing citizens together to raise funds and remove dams on a variety of rivers across the continent. The simultaneous dam removal crowdfunding action, led by WWF and shared by more than 300 nature conservation groups, follows the crowdfunded removal last week of an obsolete barrier on the Hucava River in Slovakia – proving that people power can help bring life back to Europe’s dying rivers.
Last year, WWF-Ukraine removed 3 splash dams - Lostunets, Hostovets, Dobryn - within the territory of Verkhovynskyi National Park. We need to crowdfund now to have the Bayurivka splash dam removed, too. You can help remove the obsolete and environmentally destructive Bayurivka splash dam in Ukraine’s Verkhovynskyi National Park! The Bayurivka splash dam was constructed across the Perkalaba River in the 19th century and was used up to the mid-20th century. The removal will support a free flow of aquatic organisms and sediments, directly increasing the natural riverine processes, river biodiversity and creates favourable conditions especially for the natural fish population. Removal of the barrier will allow the brook trout and endangered Danube salmon to migrate upstream to their spawning areas. Please contribute to the crowdfunding campaign to collect the necessary 20,000 EURO for WWF-Ukraine’s project to come true. With your help, the Carpathian rivers will flow freely again! Any amount that you wish to donate is a tangible contribution, but here are some suggestions!
The Big Jump 2021
Led by WWF in coordination with Dam Removal Europe and the European Rivers Network, more than 300 organisations will support the Big Jump, mobilising people across the continent to jump and crowdfund for rivers. Founded in 2002 by the European Rivers Network (ERN) the Big Jump has seen more than 300,000 people take part in previous editions, in over 2,100 events in 36 countries. The Big Jump 2021 will also witness thousands jumping into rivers across the continent to focus attention on the poor state of most of them – and how removing old and useless barriers can swiftly benefit people and nature.
Why dam removals
Estimates point to at least 1 million barriers in 36 European countries – over 150,000 of which are obsolete and currently serve no purpose, except to undermine the health of rivers and contribute to the nature crisis (especially the 93% decline in migratory fish in Europe). 600,000 dams in Europe are small obstacles under 2m height, which might appear less harmful than mega-dams but a series of small barriers along the same stream have a huge cumulative impact on the health of rivers, wrecking the benefits that they provide to people and nature.
‘Rivers have an extraordinary capacity to recover once we let them run free again. Nothing can restore rivers as fast and effectively as dam removals. It is a quick action with swift results. A one-time investment followed by a lifetime of benefits, including return of migratory fish and other wildlife and plants, better water quality, natural capacity to reduce impact of extreme floods, greater resilience to climate change etc.’ - Irene Lucius, Regional Conservation Director, WWF Central and Eastern Europe
We are now at a crossroads. Europe can choose to speed up restoration. Or reverse it. Only people power can ensure our politicians choose the right path. Together Possible!
For more information:
Regional Conservation Director
WWF Central and Eastern Europe
firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +43 1 52 45 470 70
Note to editors
Resources for media
About the Big Jump
Founded by the European Rivers Network in 2002, the Big Jump is an open source event that aims to remind people of why – and how much – they love Europe’s rivers. And its wealth of lakes and wetlands. Many rivers, lakes, wetlands are in a good state but they still need protection, as some are threatened by planned dams and other infrastructure. Other waterways are in urgent need of restoration. The Big Jump seeks to inspire people to remember the powerful ties that bind them to freshwater ecosystems. And encourage them to join the fight to save them. By restoring people’s connection to rivers and lakes, the Big Jump seeks to build support for efforts to protect and restore Europe’s freshwater systems.
A splash dam was a temporary wooden dam used to raise the water level in streams to float logs downstream to sawmills. Deep in the mountains, the rivers are shallow, so logged splash dams were constructed across them to control water flow and increase water level to float the timber rafts downstream. The last spruce logs raft was floated down the Carpathians rivers in August 1979. No splash dam has been exploited ever since. They have gradually decayed over time, though they still serve as artificial obstacles for migratory fish.