All across Europe, tens of thousands of people jumped into rivers and lakes at the same time at 3 pm this Sunday 8 July to show their love for the continent’s waterways and desire to protect them.
A few hundred Croatians also supported this great event and jumped into the river Drava in Varaždin, Sveta Marija and Križnica demonstrating their commitment to bringing life back to Europe’s rivers. The event was organized by World Wildlife Fund Adria, Rafting Club Matis and Varaždin Tourist Board and united two campaigns of WWF Adria – “Our Rivers, Our Treasure” and “It’s enough!” whose goal is to stop the construction of two hydro power plants at Drava river.
European Rivers Network founded Big Jump in 2002 in order to remind people of how powerful are the ties that bind them to freshwater ecosystems. Since 2002, around 200,000 people have taken part in over 2000 events in 34 countries. This year there were 150 Big Jumps organized in 15 countries which holds a record so far.
The 20th century forgot its rivers: they served as rubbish dumps, were polluted and dangerous and access was often forbidden. They were used only for navigation and for the production of power. Fortunately, the progress has been made thanks to events such as this one and people are finally realizing how important it is to speed up rivers restoration.