Nature Conservation and Water Sports work together to clean German Waters
During the 4th Interregional Learning Event in December 2020, David Pfender, expert for Oceans without plastics at the Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany (NABU), was invited by the German Environment Agencyy (UBA) presented the platform „Gewässerretter“ to the CAPonLITTER project partners and international stakeholders. Up to now, almost 82.000 kilograms of garbage have been collected by the members of the platform.
The online portal „Gewässerretter“, which can be translated to „water saviouer“, was launched in 2017 by the the four partner associations NABU, the German Canoe Association (DKV), the Association of German Sport Divers (VdST) and the German Sailing Association (DSV). Later, the German Rowing Association (DRV) also joint the partnership. The platform includes a log book, where people can document and report garbage around seas, rivers and lakes. They can then state whether they collected the items or whether they were too big / too many to be cleaned up immediately. Moreover, cleaning actions can be planned and documented via the portal and it includes information and practical tipps on garbage avoidance and preservation of resources.
With „Gewässerretter“, the partner associations contribute a lot to achieve a clean environment in Germany. However, David Pfender stresses that they „are doing a job, which public sector should actually take care of.“ Therefore, NABU uses the results of the cleaning actions to enhance public action and awareness on the issue of littering.