Friday, 8 August 2014

Thames Water Newsletter

Subject: Welcome to the Thames21 newsletter

Killer bags still threaten the environment

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Dear readers,

Welcome to the Thames21 newsletter!

What an incredible summer it has been so far, not just in terms of the weather but also when it comes to all the exciting stuff we have been doing since we last paid a visit to your e-mail inbox.

Our 10th Anniversary celebration events in May went very well (thanks to all who joined us) and the culminating event on the Tower of London foreshore was a fitting end to what was a fantastic month of celebrations.

In other news, we have been out and about doing our annual 3 Rivers Clean Up events in South East London and have been working with Museum of London Docklands on the This Is Your River week at Canary Wharf. A couple of weeks ago we teamed up with Indian charity Ganges Action Parivar and did a joint clean-up event at Isle of Dogs in the presence of His Holiness Swami Ji and once again we were part of the amazing Tower Archaeology Weekend. Also we were present at the superb Lovebox and Wireless Festivals.

These are just a few examples of the many activities we have been involved with lately and there are more to come, such as the Love the Lea Festival in August and Totally Thames and TideFest in September. See you there?

Thank you as always for your unwavering support and welcome to this edition!

Best wishes

Martin Holm
Marketing and Communications Officer

‘This Is Your River’ at the Museum of London Docklands
Over 500 pupils from schools across London joined Thames21 at the Museum of London Docklands to learn about the ways in which we pollute our rivers and the harm it causes. As part of our Fixing Broken Rivers Project funded by the HSBC Water Programme, pupils undertook water quality tests to discover what ‘invisible’ pollution lurks in our rivers, and investigated the impacts caused by microplastics from disintegrating litter.
Thames River Watch evening event
Thames River Watch volunteers gathered at an evening event in July to review their contribution to the project so far, and suggest ideas for the future. Project volunteers Maaike and Dan presented their work on water quality and litter monitoring, and guest speakers Neil Dunlop (Environment Agency) and Scott Young (Thames Tideway Tunnel) opened discussions about the health of the river, pollution, ecology and developments along the Thames. We received excellent feedback from participants before and after the event, citing how ‘proud’ they felt to be involved, and how the event had enabled them to understand the context of their volunteering. This event was a precursor to the Thames River Watch Big Count which will take place one year from the project launch in February 2015, and will take a good look at all of the data so far and what it means.

Thames21 / Ganges Action Parivar joint clean up event at Isle of Dogs
On July 18th we teamed up with Indian waterways charity Ganges Action Parivar at the Isle of Dogs for a foreshore clean-up in the boiling heat. Around 40 people turned up including His Holiness Swami Ji who was visiting from India. During the event, the two charities signed a Memorandum of Understanding and promised to carry out more events together in the future. You can check out a few pictures from the day on our Flickr account:

Piecing our rivers together
It’s ridiculous that we allow the toxic accumulations from our roads into some of the rivers which we draw our drinking water from. Theo Thomas calls for Local Authorities to use new and cost effective approaches that deliver SuDS:

The Love the Lea Festival on 17th August 
We’re excited to announce our Love the Lea festival on Walthamstow Marshes Sunday 17th August from 11am – 5pm. Join us in the beautiful Marshes for an array of river themed activities including boat trips, sound recording walks, pond dipping, and live music. Bring your picnic! More info here:

Love the Lea on the festival circuit! The Love the Lea stall has been popping up at festivals across London this summer. The team have been chatting to festival goers about water pollution and how they can make changes to help reduce this. The young people we met shared their concerns for our rivers health and pledged to action to do their bit to help improve it! Keep up to date with river news and actions people are taking by following the Fixing Broken Rivers Project on Twitter: @thisisyourriverTotally Thames (formerly Thames Festival)
We are super excited to be taking part in Totally Thames this September.
The full programme of 100+ river-related events has been announced, head over to for full details
Tidefest - a date for your diary
TideFest is a new river Thames event taking place this year on World Rivers Day on September 28th (exact location tbc) to highlight and celebrate the recreational importance of the Thames Tideway to Londoners. TideFest is proud to be a partner of Totally Thames and to be supported by the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition and the Thames Tideway Tunnel. More info in due course but for now please save the date in your diary.

Break The Bag Habit
If you haven't done so already, you can still support the Break The Bag Habit campaign by visiting the website and pledge to stop using single-use

Ben Fenton, the Fixing Broken Rivers Project Manager at Thames21 - has been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship to visit North West America to research ‘Sustainable Drainage Solutions for London’.  London is fairly new to sustainable drainage, while this area of the USA has been using SuDS to reduce water pollution for 20 years. Ben will undertake a research project with the aim of informing the Fixing Broken Rivers Project back in London. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust funds individuals to travel with the aim of enhancing the life of the community upon their return. The applications for 2015 are now open.

You Poo Too
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a major new sewer, urgently needed to protect the tidal River Thames from increasing pollution. Thames21 supports this super sewer and is part of the Thames Tunnel Now coalition. Check this cool video for more

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Thames21, Walbrook Wharf, 78-83 Upper Thames Street, London EC4R 3TD.

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