Polona Pengal

What is your motivation for doing research related to free-flowing rivers?

I’ve been interested in everything related to water all my life. I guess it’s because we spent a month at the seaside every summer and so my first passion is actually the sea. However, working at the Fisheries Research Institute I realized rivers were not only suffering the same amount of pressure from humans, but that by saving the rivers, I’m also saving the oceans.

Why should we defend these wild rivers?

Where do I start? Because I care for people? Because I like to swim in the rivers? Because there’s nothing more relaxing then a walk along the river, in the cool shade of the trees with a breeze around my ears? Because… We cannot drink electricity, can we? Currently, there’s just too much pressure on our rivers, freshwater species numbers have declined by 83{9732530ecde0c3ed17d6f811556787aa809502cede5318f0b96ca6f643c491f0} since 1970 – the rivers are dying and we are dying with them, although most people are not aware yet.