The spotlight on the beautiful Sarantaporos River, a major tributary of the Aoos/Vjosa River in the Greek territory!
Sarantaporos is not just another river but is unique in the whole of Europe. It meets the Aoos at the Greek-Albanian border, and they travel together towards the Adriatic Sea.
Its streams are unfortunately threatened by the construction of numerous small hydroelectric projects. Dozens of applications have been submitted and are now at different stages of licensing. If these projects materialize, they will destroy this remarkable river, thereby significantly degrading the ecosystems of the area, which are home to numerous species of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered and protected by national and European legislation. A typical example is the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), a symbol species of European river ecosystems and an indicator of good water quality, which is included in the Red Book of Threatened Animals of Greece (Legakis & Marangou, 2009) and the Pindovinos (Oxynoemacheilus pindus), a small inland fish that is recorded in Greece only in Sarantaporos and Aoos! The implementation of these plans would also undermine the plan to expand the Vjosa National Park into an Aoos/Vjosa Transboundary National Park.
Many environmental organisations and local groups are fighting for the protection of the river, actively participating and supporting the campaign to protect the Aoos River and its tributaries, Save the Blue Heart of Europe.
The Aoos and its tributaries is the only river in Europe that has been flowing for so many consecutive kilometres without large-scale artificial barriers in its course. Let’s do our best to keep it free, wild and flowing!