All on board for Healthy Waters : take part in the conference for healthy waters en Europe

31/05/21

While only 38% of European surface water is classified as having good chemical status, 95% of bathing sites are qualified as being of excellent quality within the European Union - a surprising difference which raises questions as to the health risks incurred while practicing nautical activities or simply bathing! In order to clarify matters, Surfrider Europe is publishing its #HealthyWaters Manifesto, a means of informing the public about these issues, but also of voicing the demands submitted to the European institutions in order to guarantee healthier water for users. The “All on board for Healthy Waters” conference, which will take place on June 3, will be an opportunity to announce the official release of this manifesto, by presenting it in particular to European decision-makers.


Manifesto #HealthyWaters : a plea to guarantee healthier water for users

As an expert on the subject, Surfrider Europe has, for several years, been carrying out in-depth work on the quality of European bathing water and its impact on users' health. In work recently unveiled in the #HealthyWaters Manifesto, the NGO warns the public and European politicians of the need for quick action in order to enjoy healthier recreational waters. By bringing together all of its claims and recommendations in this text, it is calling for the adoption of effective measures to improve monitoring of these areas.


After recalling that water sports are not only practiced during the summer period alone and in bathing areas classified as such, Surfrider Europe demands that control be extended to leisure and water sports areas throughout the year. Control must also be improved through the integration of new parameters in site classification criteria and in water quality monitoring. It is essential, for example, to take into account the presence of marine litter as well as the proliferation of harmful algae and chemical pollutants in these areas - whether they be oceans, lakes or rivers.



Finally, the association wants all the Member States' responsibility in terms of identifying, evaluating and preventing aquatic pollution to be increased -  notably via European-level harmonization of public policies relating to water and the marine environment. This is what the revision of the European Directive on the monitoring of bathing water quality, scheduled for 2023 and currently under study, is all about.

2021: a decisive year for monitoring the quality of European bathing water

If Surfrider Europe is asking for a thorough revision of this European text, the publication of its Manifesto for Healthy Waters will allow it to enrich its arguments with public decision makers. The manifesto, which has been signed by 57 personalities and organizations including Mountain Riders, the International Sport Organization or Zero Waste France, may be likened to an effective tool for putting pressure on community members, in order to improve evaluation measures relating to recreational water quality and users' health.


Petitioning is already well under way and is likely to be intensified this summer.  The Association is encouraging its ocean community to participate in the public consultation organized by the European Commission as a means of preparing the revision of the Directive, and in this way hopes to reinforce its voice.

Take part in the “All on board for Healthy Waters” conference on June 3rd! 

   

For this to happen, the public has to be informed on the subject. Surfrider Europe is therefore organizing the "All on board for Healthy Waters" conference in order to contextualize the problem and explain the issues. Scheduled for June 3, the conference will take place during European Green Week and will be an opportunity to clarify the demands formulated in the #HealthyWaters Manifesto and discuss them with representatives of the European Commission. Paula Kellett, scientific director at the European Marine Board, as well as professionals from marine social sciences and researchers from the French Institute for Marine Research (IFREMER), will be present to discuss the importance of healthy waters in Europe and the solutions currently in place for users to make the most of them. The conference will take place online from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m and is open to everyone: if you are interested in the topic and want to take action, register now!

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