The Oder and the Szczecin Lagoon (Haff) have fascinated me for a long time: they are the lifeline of an entire region. Many branches of industry have settled there. And people come from everywhere to experience a wide variety of animals and plants and an almost untouched nature. Moreover, it is a European border region: the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany are riparian parties.
The mass fish die-off in 2022 showed that we must protect this habitat and work together across borders to do so. We cannot interfere with nature with mega-projects – be it with barrages or harbour constructions – and we cannot simply discharge more and more chemicals and pollutants into the river.
Fortunately, there are many initiatives along the Oder, the Haff and also the mouth of the Swine river that are working to ensure that Germany and Poland cooperate in the interest of the river and the entire region. I have been supporting them for several years and I am pushing for the right course to be set at the European level for a careful and sustainable development of the border region.