Dutch divers and anglers against steel slag

24th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

About 100 divers and anglers protest against the use of steel slag to reinforce dykes along the banks of Oosterschelde waterway in Zeeland.

Zeeland – About 100 divers and anglers gather Sunday in Zeeland to protest against the government’s plan to use steel slag to reinforce the underwater dykes along the banks of the Oosterschelde waterway.

The protesters who hung banners from the Zeeland Bridge and chanted slogans said they were against using steel slag to reinforce the underwater dykes as they cause enormous environmental damage and drastically reduce biodiversity.

The Oosterschelde was made a national marine park in 2002 because of its rich and varied underwater flora and fauna. It is also one of the most popular areas in the Netherlands for recreational diving and fishing.

The protestors cited cases to support their cause. In 2001, steel slag used in Haarlemmer Lake resulted in massive fish deaths, and in 2005 the ecology in waterways in Hoogezand-Sappemeer, Hoorn and Akkrum was seriously disturbed.

However, the ministry of transport and water management points out these were all fresh water locations and little is known about the effect of steel slag in salt water.

In response, protesters said that was why they have written to the provincial authorities demanding an environmental impact report.

Steel slag is a by-product of steel making and is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnaces.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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