Fins and Finns: Rewilding Oulujoki and other Nordic rivers

One of the wider Urbantrout team has recently been spending time in the Finnish city of Oulu, and simultaneously we’ve noticed a certain uptick in news from Finland’s urban and otherwise post-industrial rivers (of course, correlation still doesn’t amount to causation, no matter how influential we like to think our various team members really are…)

First came the short video above, showing how fish passage and translocation projects in the Hupisaaret Islands City Park have helped to restore native wild brown trout to the Oulujoki, where dams had previously extirpated them for 80 years.

Second, there’s this highly interesting paper on the values of recreational ecosystem services related to urban river restoration in the same Hupisaaret Park. Many aspects of ecosystem services have proved frustratingly difficult to pin down to real financial values, so it’s fascinating to see more detail of the restoration measures (dam reduction, year-round compensation flows, and gravel and habitat augmentation, some of this delivered by local volunteers) and how together they’ve been assessed at €55,246,721 annual aggregate recreational value (and even more when delivered as part of a wider suite of cultural and recreational improvements).

And thirdly, here’s an inspiring article on even wider-ranging initiatives to restore ecological functions in Finland’s rivers, which in common with other Nordic countries were historically destroyed highly modified for the forest industry as well as hydropower.

As our Finnish friends say: Pidä hauskaa!

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