Orvis will once again help to fund S&TC UK’s Chalkstream work during 2016 and after securing new phosphate discharge limits this past year on the Itchen watercress farmers, S&TC UK with Orvis’s help, has turned their attention to tackling the other problems besetting the river: fish farming, septic tanks, diffuse agricultural pollution and abstraction. As well as phosphates, S&TC UK suspects they are also adding other insidious factors including pesticides, other agrochemicals and sediment.
They have been carrying out both chemical sampling and biological invertebrate monitoring to gather the evidence
to encourage the Environment Agency to act on the threats posed by these multiple sources of habitat destruction. Their biological sampling is giving them a good picture of the impact of organic pollution, sedimentation and flow (abstraction) as well as phosphate.
With the continued support of Orvis Inc., S&TC UK will use the data to challenge policy makers, fishery owners and others to improve the aquatic environment; second, they will continue to carry out phosphate and riverfly monitoring in 2016 and 2017to build on their case, and are prepared to take legal action if required.
It is imperative S&TC UK carry out this work, particularly at a time when EA monitoring budgets are being slashed, a point confirmed by the recent announcement of 30%+ cuts to Defra’s funding. Their extended invertebrate and chemical analysis this year has highlighted that these chalkstreams have become alarming ecologically degraded over the past 20 years. The challenge is to use their independently analysed data to force the Government and its agencies to reverse these years of ecological decline.
With sound scientific evidence of these impacts and their sources, S&TC UK can build upon their success with phosphates and influence a wide-ranging clean-up operation on the Itchen. These efforts can then be replicated across all other chalkstreams so that they are properly protected, as they deserve, for future generations.
How you can help. You can help by donating today. Send your cheque payable to Salmon & Trout Conservation UK, Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge, London EC4R 9EL or donate online at salmon-trout.org
Protecting the natural world and a love of the outdoors is not just a corporate commitment, but a way of life that resonates with all of us here at The Orvis Company. That’s why we give 5% of pre-tax profits to protect nature, and this year we are supporting Salmon Trout Association’s Chalkstream Initiative to help restore the water quality of the Itchen and ultimately all of England’s fabled chalkstreams.
– Perk Perkins, Chief Executive Officer, The Orvis Company
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