Although it wasn't intended, our motto continued to fit the situation, and our partners throughout the Danube River could still educate and inform about the Danube River on and around 29th June 2021.
The Danube Day poster design for 2021 featured our motto "Discover Danube", this time against an ochre background. Those on the lookout for our signature Danube Day branded bags could spot them throughout the DRB, as they are sent out to our partners throughout the Danube River Basin as every year.
What Happened in 2021 (despite the crisis)?
While almost all of our activities had to be different last year in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, our member countries rose to the challenge to keep the Danube Day spirit alive throughout this global crisis. – and continued on in that same spirit here in 2021! Here's a small summary of what happened for this year's Danube Day throughout the Danube River Basin, on and around 29th June:
- From 25th – 30th June 2021, a Danube Day Festival took place around the scenic town of Nikopol on the banks of the Danube in Northern Bulgaria. The festival included interactive educational models, concerts, competitions, exhibitions (held in accordance with pandemic safety regulations).
- Also held from 25th – 30th June, another Danube Day festival was held in the village of Baykal, also on the banks of the Danube in Northern Bulgaria. Baykal’s festival also included interactive educational models, along with representation of the Danube countries and traditional Bulgarian customs.
- Several cleanup events also took place on the banks of the Danube to coincide with Danube Day. These happened up and down the Danube and its tributaries throughout Bulgaria.
Joint Sava Day Celebration
On 1st June 2021 a joint celebration of Danube Day and Sava Day took place in 4 countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) on the same day. The main purpose was to mark the high water levels of the Sava River with uniform signage, and to encourage both critical judgment and a sense of responsibility with regards to flooding. Besides the official institutions, local stakeholders are crucial to this effort, including the local population, schools, local government, and the owners of buildings with the installed high water marks. All were included and welcome at the event.
Find out more on the event here via the Slovene government website.
One Danube Day 2021 action took place in Slovenia around the Kola River, titled: "When water from Kolpa will reach the Danube: Continuing with action Marking of high water level". The main purpose of this action was to encourage critical judgment of one's own and others' actions while raising the individual's sense of responsibility in case of floods.
- Austria created their own dedicated Danube Day website, including an online game app for kids (about 8-12), offering a chance to learn about the Danube, and become a “Danube detective”.
- A new special exhibition was on display in Vienna throughout Summer 2021 on the Danube Island ('DonauInsel') in the city. Visitors could go to the Donauinsel U1 U-bahn station on Fridays and Saturdays all summer long to #DiscoverDanube! Find out more on www.danubeday.at/danube-day-ausstellung
- This exhibition received over 300 visitors, and featured 12 display boards with interesting hard facts about the Danube, a kids' dice-game, a “hot wire” skill game, and a fishing game!
- The Serbian Danube Day team created a platform on their website: (srbijavode.rs), which included educational short films about the sights of the Danube River, and a quiz for participants to take to test their Danube knowledge.
- As with every year, the Vode Vojvodine Regatta was scheduled to take place in honour of Danube Day, promoting the Danube-based navigable potential of the Vojvodina province in Serbia. Potential sailors were able to gain experience in sailing while towns and villages near rivers and canals, and receive incentives for tourism development in the region. Unfortunately, this year’s regatta was once again postponed due to coronavirus pandemic – visit www.vodevojvodine.com to find out more.
PWMC “Srbijavode” created a video about "Roman heritage on the banks of the Danube", aiming to mark the event of Danube Day by celebrating Roman Heritage in the region. The remains and heritage of Ancient Rome to be found along the banks of the Danube form an important layer of the Serbian Danubia culture. This video shows off the most important regional seats of the Roman legions, such as Viminacium, Tabula Traiana, Trajan's bridge etc. Visit www.srbijavode.rs, or follow them on YouTube and Instagram to find out more.
In Serbia, several Danube municipalities organized their local events. Information about these events was published in the local media and on the organizers' social network platforms:
- The municipality of Apatin and Tourist Organization of Apatin organized a local event including: free boat rides, free promotional kayak and canoe training for children, garbage removal from the peninsula near Apatin, ship model exhibition, biological and art workshop for children, cultural program. More info and photos here and here (Serbian only).
- In Bački Monoštor an ecological music festival was held within the support of the City of Sombor and the local community. With the support of WWF in Serbia they organized lectures with the aim to raise awareness of visitors and the public about the importance of protection of natural resources, as well as the Danube River. More info on rtv.rs (Serbian only)
- In Banoštor, an event was organized by the local community. The program was intended primarily for children, and included lectures on the importance of the Danube for biodiversity and nature, with over 300 young participants in attendance. A coking competition focusing on fish soup and a music program were also held. More info on here and here (Serbian only).
- In Bačka Palanka, the local Tourist organization and Association of Artists "Petar Tomić" organized creative and art workshops with children's poetry about the Danube, faces painting, releasing paper boats into the Danube. More info on toobap.rs (Serbian only)
- In Smederevo, on the occasion of Danube Day, local artist Suzana Gigić presented her pictures inspired by the Danube. The name of the exhibition was: "Danube in the colors of the infinite". More info on podunavlje.info (Serbian only).
- The Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, National Administration “Romanian Waters” and all 11 Water Basin Administration published press releases in the local and national media to promote the importance of the Danube River in our lives, for us and the aquatic ecosystem.
- The Banat Water Basin Administration participated in a large cleaning water action. On 29th June, Ebisu – the first waste collection boat in Europe, run 100% by electricity – arrived in Orșova, in the Gulf of Cerna. In total, over 110 bags representing 900kg of waste were collected in 5 hours from the water in a greening event held within the program. "We act for Water!" was initiated by Act for Tomorrow in partnership with Kaufland Romania, and the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests and the National Administration ”Romanian Waters”. Read more here (Romanian Language Only.
The Crisuri Water Basin Administration organized several different activities dedicated to Danube Day 2021: in Beius County the children from Aquarium Club participated in an ecological workshop dedicated to the little ecologists and a painting exhibition; it was organized for all children a visit to Surplacu de Barcau reservoir for an open lesson related to the quality water importance. The event was attended by 75 children.
On 28th June, the Arges Vedea Water Basin Administration and Teleorman Water Management System organized an open lesson dedicated to the Danube Day, with children at the Primary School “Stefan cel Mare” in the city of Alexandria. They attended a demonstration exercise of water quality testing in the Water Quality Laboratory and a competition was organized around the subject of water protection.
Danube Day 2021 was celebrated in the city of Galati at the Natural Science Museum, “Rasvan Angheluta”. Events took place under a special program titled ‘Rediscover the Danube’, including photography and dance.
The Dobrogea Litoral Water Basin Administration through the Tulcea Water Management System organized a large trash/waste collections action on the seashore sectors of the Black Sea, in the Gura Portitei area (ca. 5km²). Events were also organized with the support of local authorities in Dunavatu de Jos.
The County Council of Braila, Braila City Hall, Let’s Do it Romania Association, Braila Mall, Popular School “Vespasian Lungu”, and Alexandri School from Braila got together to organise a variety of activities including painting, exhibitions, dancing contests, and more.
Calarasi City Hall, in collaboration with the Ivan Patzaichin-Milla 23 Association, organized their 8th edition of Danube Day celebrations. Many activities took place with the involvement of Children’s Palace Calarasi, County Center Calarasi, AJVPS Calarasi, such as a canoe competition, sport-fishing competitions, thematic workshops for the children and a culinary festival. More than 40 children participated in these events.
An online event organized via www.dunanap.hu reached over 12,000 people (boosted via Facebook & radio), and included an online contest wherein partners prepared short presentations on their activities and quizzes with 5 questions each. Interested people could register via the homepage and complete the quizzes – the more quizzes completed, the bigger their chance was to win a prize.
An award ceremony also took place for those who won a prize during the online contest. Some 80 - 90 participants were invited to Esztergom for the award ceremony at the Duna Múzeum, including some pre-prepared games for children. The event closed with a water and environment related puppet-show presented by “Délibáb Társulat.
Additionally, a special Danube Day poem by Sándor Erd őss was published on the Duna Nap Facebook page (link)
“Young and old, all lovers of the Danube, enthusiastically and with great interest took part in this year's unconventional celebrations” – Belügyminisztérium
On 9th July, an excursion in Donau Auen was an opportunity to learn more about the revitalisation of watercourses in the context of WFD implementation in Austria. Participants came from different Slovak institutions such as the State Nature Conservation, the Ministry of Environment, the Water Research Institute, the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate, the Slovak Water Management Enterprise, and the Water Management Construction, as well as non-governmental organizations, rational water utilization experts and media representatives – plus journalists.
Held on 28th June 2021, a webinar event titled "Danube – our and European River" took place online. At the beginning, the participants were welcomed by representatives of the Ministry of Environment. Presentations dealt with the following topics: water bodies of the Danube River and JDS 4; examples of restoration measures on the Danube River and in its flood plain area; examples of WWF restoration projects and programmes on the Lower and Middle Danube and preparation of the Concept of Water Policy SR for the years 2021 – 2030.
Additionally, a Photo Competition was held by the Slovak University of Technology (STU) - the happy winners were awarded those coveted ICPDR bags! Details via Facebook here.
And finally, a Summer Solstice on the Danube – in SEV Dropie, Zemianska Olča took place throughout the entirety of June, in the form of excursions for students. The activity also happened during Opened Parks and Gardens Weekend as well as on World Environmental Day. Similarly, Opened Door Day (5th June 2021) offered the possibility for participants to join the “Golden Garden” quest, which was focused on natural-historical features of Lower Žitný Ostrov that was formed by the Danube River in the past. Happy winners were awarded ICPRD bags.
- Czech activities for Danube Day 2021 remained online this year, coinciding with their launch of communications regarding the Fourth Joint Danube Survey (JDS4).
- Additionally, the Czech Ministry of Environment published a (Czech language) article about both JDS4 and Danube Day 2021. Read the article online here.
Danube Day 2021 conference in Lower Prut, Moldova [Photo credit: Dumitru Drumea]
- On the event of Danube Day 2021, a public conference on Danube activities was held in Moldova, taking place in the Lower Prut region with remote hybrid connections in Chisinau and elsewhere. Some 200 people were in attendance to discuss various aspects of Danube water conservation in Moldova.
- During the event, potential activities aimed at pollution reduction in Moldova were discussed among the participants. In this context, a project supported by the National Commission of the Republic of Moldova for UNESCO was also presented, and during the event, the expectations of local communities on the functioning of the biosphere reserve were discussed. A number of actions on protection of the Beleu lake were also agreed upon.
- On 26th June, in Kvasovo village, Zakarpattya Oblast, at the Borzhava River (a tributary of the Tisza River), specialists of Tisza Basin authority and Oblast department of the emergencies in Zakarpattya Oblast held an event where they removed litter from a river net, specially-designed to catch floating litter in the water. The action included a joint cleanup of the Borzhava floodplain, along with parallel cleanups in the Prut and Siret basins and at the Danube Delta, plus a some online video reports.
Litter at Borzhava River, Zakarpattya Oblast, Ukraine
"Having finished all preparatory works, and waiting till the end of the spring silence season, on [the] occastion of the Danube Day we have removed 9 out of 10 garbage jams in Borzhava riverbed”, said the First Deputy Head of Zakarpattya Oblast State Administration Myroslav Biletsky. Around 80 people took part in the clean up including representatives of the EUWI+, SAWR, local authorities, State Emergency services, State forest agency, Tisza basin authority. The collected waste was sorted into plastic and glass and sent away to a recycling facility.
Sorting out the removed waste.
Quiz for kids «Story of your river»: A large banner (5m length and 1m width) was printed and put in place on the school wall in Kvasovo. On this banner, the kids were able to draw their answers to questions such as, “For which groups of animals the river is important?”. At the end, the banner was presented at the school. The quiz was targeted at kids of Kvasovo village as well as Korolevo orphan houses. In total around 30 children took part in the action (following all necessary COVID-19 safety guidelines). As a result, the kids draw a large poster with the river of their dream: clean, with a diversity of flora and fauna, rainbows and rain. Also the participants of the quiz shared their proposals, about what each of us can do for the protection of the river.
Painting answers about the future of the river
- A stakeholder and river expert meeting at the German-Austrian border was organized by Gerhard Nagl (Danube Environmental Forum) and Ralf Braun (“Haus am Strom” ecological education centre) in Jochenstein. Participants from both countries active in water administration, nature conservation, hydropower and experts for biodiversity and river restoration, expressed their commitment to improving nature in the Danube ecological corridor. The blue ribbon of the Danube symbolizes the connection along the river across the borders.
A joint activity by Germany and Austria on the Danube at Jochenstein.
- A few days before, on Sunday 27th June, the ecumenical action circle of Catholics and Protestants for ‘A Flowing Danube’ met at the Danube River crossing in Niederalteich, near to Deggendorf (a town noted for its old monastery). The participants celebrated 25 years of commitment for the Danube with music, singing and praying for the river and for a sustainable use of nature.
- Yes... Albania! It's a little-known fact that Albania is in fact home to a (relatively small) section of the Danube River Basin. The Vermosh river is the only river in Albania that does not flow into the Adriatic Sea and, unlike other rivers, it flows from West to East. Along with its 2 tributaries – the Lëpushë and the Greben – it is also part of the Danube basin!
- Albania joined the celebrations for Danube Day 2021 with an activity themed appropriately: Dialogue on trans-boundary rivers – a case study on Danube and Drin / Vermoshi Rivers – part of the large Danube River basin.
- See a short clip (in Albanian language) about this event and the Albanian section of the Danube River Basin online here.