Today is International Danube Day – a day to celebrate this great trans-European river and the achievements of 18 years of international collaboration that has lead to a cleaner and safer river.
If you live within reach of the Danube or one of its tributaries there is really only one thing to do – turn off your PC or put away your mobile device and head out to spend the afternoon with the flow of the Danube. Once there you’ll easily find five things to do. Before you do log-off you may want to check out if there is a celebration happening near you.
The Schloegen double bend of the Danube river in Upper Austria. Source Wikimedia Commons: Author Techcollector
If, like me, the Danube is out of reach physically why not spend of few minutes engaging with the river though the wonderful networks of cyberspace. You might like to:
- Fire up Google Earth and follow the Danube along its 2,872 km journey from Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea where it’s delta forms the boundary between Romania and Ukraine.
- Open up Flickr, type ‘River Danube’ into the search box and browse through the myriad photos of the river uploaded by the community.
- Google ‘Sturgeon’ and brief yourself on the ecology, plight and cultural history of these fantastic but endangered life forms. “Get active for the sturgeons” is the slogan of today’s Danube Day.
- Explore the web-site of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. Brief yourself on what’s going on and what needs to be done to better conserve the biodiversity, traditions and economies that the river supports. Watch the video message from EU Commissioner for Regional Development Johannes Hahn.
- Lastly, and perhaps mostly importantly, do something however small to contribute to efforts to conserve and restore this special river. This might be as simple as tweeting a reflection (don’t forget to #Danube) or posting a comment on this or another blog or something, or something a little more substantive such as emailing your MEP expressing your support for activities to protect the Danube. Nowadays, most countries have web-portals that make it easy to write to MEPs such as this one for the UK.
Today, find some time to be with the Danube where-ever you are!
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