Rights for La Bievre River in Paris


| 9/24/2018 10:39:00 AM


Bievre by Hubert Robert

La Bievre in 1768 Source: Hubert Robert [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Centuries of overuse and abuse from the businesses that depended on the Bièvre polluted it so badly that it became a health hazard for Parisians. By 1912, the Parisian half of the river was completely concealed. Today it is a sad part of Parisian sewage systems.

"Earth Law Center is proud to work with Valerie Cabanes, Notre Affaire à Tous (NAAT), and others leaders in France to daylight the Bievre River in the enforcement of its right to be free" said Grant Wilson, Directing Attorney of Earth Law Center. "We also hope that daylighting the Bievre will inspire other communities to restore their entombed rivers," notes Wilson.

River restoration – the restoration of water flows and aquatic life to a largely ‘natural’ state – has been a topic of increasing interest over recent years, and organizations like the River Restoration Centre and the European Centre for River Restoration have formed to promote restoration work.

According to Adam Broadhead, who has created a daylighting website to map deculverting projects around the world,“Buried watercourses receive no sunlight, and so can be ecological deserts to life in the water and around the river banks (fish, birds, insects, plants, mammals). The darkness and other modifications to the channel often prevent passage of fish just like weirs do. Opening them back up can bring back all of this ecology when done properly.



More recently in the US, $19m was invested to daylight the Saw Mill river in downtown Yonkers, New York. The aim was to regenerate the area and bring back habitat for a range of species including muskrats and snapping turtles.



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