For many years it has been the secret knowledge of “insiders” – riverine communities, a few NGO representatives, fly fishers, kayakists: the Blue Heart of Europe beats on the Balkan Peninsula. Nowhere else on the continent can one find such a tremendous number and variety of pristine, wild rivers, crystal clear streams, extensive gravel banks, untouched alluvial forests, deep gorges, spectacular waterfalls, and even karstic underground rivers which mysteriously flood the surface during extreme rain fall and snow melt in autumn and spring. What’s more, these rivers are one of the most important hotspots for European biodiversity, especially fish and molluscs, hosting many threatened as well as endemic species. Rare vegetation communities and water depended fauna can be found not only in these very rivers, but also in adjacent alluvial habitats. However, this unique European treasure is threatened. The rivers of the Balkans are to be dammed on a large scale. 2,796 hydropower plants (including small plants with a capacity of 0-1 MW) are projected to be built in the next few years – commonly with support of businesses and loans from inside the European Union and beyond. Not even the most striking and valuable river stretches – even if located inside a national park – are to be spared. The Blue Heart of Europe is at risk of a heart attack. This whole story is relatively unknown to the public and even to many experts in the fields of ecology and nature conservation.
This is a campaign by ONGs EuroNatur and RiverWatch. Fly dreamers supports its Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign and all of its initiatives, collaborating with spreading the word throughout our fly fishing community (online and offline).