Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said, "On Tuesday, June 8, we will carry out the biggest sea cleaning in Turkey with all our institutions, municipalities, nature lovers, athletes, artists and all our citizens, with an understanding of mobilization." said.
Examining the “fight against mucilage” studies on the METU research ship Bilim-2, the Minister Kurum later attended the Marmara Sea Action Plan Coordination Meeting held in Kocaeli by the Union of Marmara Municipalities.
The metropolitan and mayor mayors, governors, deputy governors and some deputies of the provinces that have a coast on the Marmara Sea, who participated in the meeting, shared their ideas and suggestions.
After the meeting, which was closed to the press, the Minister Institution shared the “Action Plan for the Sea of Marmara” with the public as part of the fight against mucilage.
The Minister Institution thanked the teachers, mayors, ministry and NGO representatives who contributed to the solution of the mucilage problem threatening the Marmara Sea for their high efforts.
Wishing that the action plan will contribute to the protection of the Marmara Sea, to get rid of all kinds of pollution and especially the sea saliva problem, and to the future of all the cities that have a coast on the Marmara Sea, the Institution has prepared the Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan, which they have prepared with a common mind, sincerity, effort, unity and solidarity. He stated that they consulted and gave the final form.
Expressing that they will not leave the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara to pollution and their fate with a common will, the Institution said, “We said that we will save our apple of the eye, Marmara, with cooperation. Today, we have three important issues that affect our cities and our people. These; epidemic, earthquake and climate change. The year 2020 was spent struggling with the consequences of these three issues. The way and solution to combat climate change, which is the main cause of the mucilage problem we are talking about today; environmental investments, green investments. As the Ministry today; We carry out thousands of environmental projects together with our local governments.” he said.
“IT IS OUR DUTY TO MAKE THE MARMARA SEA CLEAN”
Minister Kurum stated that there is an extremely widespread pollution in Kocaeli, one of the locomotive cities of industry and economy, and in all coastal cities, and that they are faced with mucilage that occurs from time to time for various reasons in different parts of the world.
“Our solution point is very clear; Our goal is to destroy those images that really hurt all of us, 84 million and 25 million citizens living in the Marmara Region. It is a duty and a debt on all of us to make our Sea of Marmara clean with a sense of mobilization and to pass it on to future generations. In this sense; We have to cooperate, join forces, and to eliminate as soon as possible all kinds of different types of pollution from terrestrial, agricultural and ship-based sources, whatever the cause. As the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, we have been following the mucilage problem meticulously from the very first moment. With our team of 300 people, we conducted inspections at 91 points in the Sea of Marmara, and at all wastewater treatment and solid waste facilities and pollution sources on land.”
Minister Kurum stated that they examined the samples they took in the Environmental Laboratory, they took samples from 100 different points above and below the water with the METU Bilim ship, and they held the largest workshop in recent years with the participation of more than 700 scientists, institution representatives, NGOs and municipal officials.
Stating that they carried out this process in consultation with all parties to the issue with a transparent and participatory approach, the Institution said:
“At this meeting, we discussed the results of the workshop. Again, we listened to the new solutions and suggestions offered by our participants within the scope of the mucilage problem. At the end of these consultations and meetings, we prepared our Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan. Our Action Plan, which we have finalized with the instructions and experiences of our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; It includes these decisive steps and all our short, medium and long-term plans.”
MARMARA SEA PROTECTION ACTION PLAN
After its speech, the institution shared the 22-item Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan with the public.
“We will establish a Coordination Board, including the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, relevant institutions and organizations, universities, chambers of industry and NGOs, in order to reduce pollution and carry out monitoring activities in the Marmara Region. A Scientific and Technical Board will be formed within the body of Marmara Municipalities Union. We are forming our Coordination Board as of next week.” The Institution noted that the Board will deal with all the works with a common mind through weekly and monthly meetings and that they will coordinate a participatory process thanks to this board.
Stating that the Marmara Sea Integrated Strategic Plan will be prepared within 3 months and the studies will be carried out within the framework of this plan, Kurum said, “We will start the studies to determine the entire Marmara Sea as a protection area, we will submit this study to the approval of our President, and with his approval and approval, I hope 2021 at the end of 11. We will have protected the Sea of Marmara, which has a surface area of 350 square kilometers. With these works, we will also protect the biological diversity of the Marmara Sea. As part of the emergency response, as of June 8, 2021, studies will be initiated to completely clean the mucilage in the Marmara Sea with scientific-based methods on a 7/24 basis. Currently; We started the cleaning works with our sea surface cleaning vehicles and boats in almost every point of the Marmara Sea with a sense of mobilization. On Tuesday, June 8, all our institutions, municipalities, nature lovers, athletes, artists and all our citizens will carry out the biggest sea cleaning in Turkey with an understanding of mobilization.”
Minister Kurum stated that all of the existing wastewater treatment plants in the region will be converted into advanced biological treatment plants and noted that studies will be carried out in line with the objectives of preventing the discharge of wastewater into the Marmara Sea without advanced biological treatment.
Pointing out that 53 percent of the wastewater in the Marmara Region is pre-treated, 42 percent is advanced biological treatment and 5 percent is biologically treated, Kurum said, “We will transform all these treatment plants into advanced biological treatment and membrane treatment systems with the technological transformation we will make. According to our scientists, if we reduce the amount of nitrogen by 40 percent, we will solve this problem radically. In the next 3 years, all of our provinces in the Marmara Region will complete their efforts to transform their wastewater treatment plants. We, as the Ministry, will support our local governments in every aspect, be it technical or financial. In this way, we will minimize and control the nitrogen and phosphorus inputs that cause mucilage and other types of pollution in the Sea of Marmara. Thus, we will accelerate the improvement in the water quality of the Marmara Sea.” used the phrases.
Noting that the discharge standards of wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the Marmara Sea will be updated within 3 months, the Authority said, “We will bring new regulations to the relevant legislation. We will implement this regulation, which we will make taking into account the discharge standards and the sensitive nature of the Marmara Sea.” said.
The institution stated that the reuse of treated wastewater will be increased and supported wherever possible, and clean production techniques will be applied.
Noting that not only in the country, but also all over the world, water resources are significantly affected by climate change, the Institution emphasized that the recovery of treated water is therefore of great importance.
In this context, Minister Kurum said that they aim to increase the rate of treated and reused wastewater, which is currently 3,2 percent in the country, to 2023 percent in 5 and to 2030 percent in 15.
“THE DISCHARGE OF WASTE WATER OF SHIPS TO THE SEA OF MARMARA WILL BE PREVENTED”
Stating that the circular economy principles will be followed and the reuse of water will be supported in the treatment plants that discharge to Marmara, the Institution said, “The more we recover our water, the less water we discharge into the Marmara. In this sense, all our facilities will install the necessary systems. We will accelerate facility transformation with financial support. We will quickly implement all the necessary clean production techniques and technologies to reduce waste water generation.” used the phrase.
“The transition to advanced treatment technologies will be accelerated by rehabilitation and improvement works of OIZs that do not operate their waste water treatment facilities properly.” The Institution said that they will give the standards on how to build the treatment plants to all OIZs together with the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
Stating that if they do not realize their establishment within the date given to the OIZs, they will implement all kinds of penal actions and even the closure penalty without compromise, Minister Kurum said:
“To make the construction and operation of wastewater treatment plants much easier, we will implement public-private partnership models in the Turkish Grand National Assembly together with our deputies. We will take steps to increase the support we give as the Ministry to the construction and operation of wastewater treatment plants by making legal arrangements in this regard. Arrangements will be made within three months to prevent the discharge of waste water from ships into the Sea of Marmara. Currently, they cannot leave it to the sea without treatment, but in a process where the quality and type of treatment plants are also examined, with this arrangement, we will ensure that the wastes of the ships entering the Marmara Sea are given to the waste receiving ships or waste reception facilities at the Bosphorus entrances. In this context, we will closely monitor the ships together with our local administrations. We will increase our controls.”
“WE WILL CREATE THE DIGITAL TWIN OF THE SEA OF MARMARA”
Emphasizing that they will expand clean production techniques in the shipyards, the Minister Institution stated that the shipyards are shipbuilding and maintenance centers that are in direct contact with the sea, and that they will prevent possible marine pollution by using more environmentally friendly techniques at these points.
Providing detailed information about the items in the action plan, the Minister Kurum continued as follows:
“Within the framework of the studies carried out by our Ministry, all wastewater treatment plants that discharge to the receiving environment will be monitored online 7/24. 91 monitoring points in the Sea of Marmara will be increased to 150. Inspections in all basins associated with the Marmara Sea, by the Turkish Environment Agency, will be increased by using remote sensing, satellite and early warning systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and radar systems. Just like we did in our Urban Transformation projects, we will create a digital twin of the Marmara Sea, which includes a large number of data from meteorology to pollution loads, with 3D modeling. We will see the details of all pollution sources and intensities of Marmara. We will follow the changes in these regions instantly. Wherever there is pollution, we will intervene instantly. Not only today, but in the future in case of possible negative scenarios in the Sea of Marmara, we will have the opportunity to intervene early."
“IN A YEAR, WE WILL GO TO ZERO WASTE APPLICATION IN ALL PROVINCES AND DISTRICTS OF MARMARA REGION”
The Minister Institution stated that the Regional Waste Management Action Plan and Marine Litter Action Plan, covering the coasts of the Marmara Sea, will be prepared and put into practice within three months.
Pointing out that 90 percent of solid wastes such as plastic and marine litter generated in the seas are of terrestrial origin, the Institution said, “It is produced in our homes and in our industry. When we collect wastes effectively on land, they will already be prevented from entering the sea. In this sense, we will switch to Zero Waste Implementation in all provinces and districts of the Marmara Region within 1 year, and we will collect and separate our wastes on land in this sense, and we will also contribute to our economy and employment. We will expand the pressure and drip irrigation systems with good agricultural and organic farming practices. In this way, we will reduce the amount of water used in irrigation, and we will prevent pollution from reaching the Sea of Marmara through streams.” made its assessment.
“WE WILL DETERMINATE AND START USING ORGANIC CLEANING PRODUCTS”
Stating that the pollution from reaching the sea will be prevented by creating artificial wetlands and buffer zones in the basins and stream beds associated with the Marmara Sea, Minister Kurum said, “It is also important to prevent pollution originating from olive black water and whey. For this, we will make it necessary to make technological transformations that will reduce waste water.” Said.
Minister Institution stated that the use of cleaning materials containing phosphorus and surfactant will be gradually reduced and organic cleaning products will be encouraged, and said, “Just like in the Zero Waste Project, starting from our municipalities and institutions; We are gradually reducing the use of all harmful substances that both harm the health of our people and flow into the Marmara Sea in urban cleaning and similar processes. First, we will identify and start using organic cleaning products in our institutions. As the Ministry, we will provide the necessary financial support.” used the phrase.
“ALL GHOST NETS IN THE SEA OF MARMARA WILL BE CLEARED”
“All ghost nets in our Marmara Sea will be cleaned within 1 year by our Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.” The Institution noted that ecosystem-based fishing activities will be ensured, protected areas will be developed, and that they will determine the calendar and penal practices in a short time with the decisions to be taken by the scientists and the coordination board.
Minister Kurum said, "Our Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will provide the necessary economic support to our fishermen who are harmed due to mucilage, with the instructions of our President." said.
Emphasizing that they will initiate a process in which scientists will inform and guide the citizens as a result of experiments and determinations, not based on false and false information, for the purpose of preventing marine pollution and raising awareness of citizens, and that they will establish a platform by informing the public within the framework of the studies carried out in this regard, the Institution said, “We will ensure that our citizens hear about the measures we will take. We will protect our Marmara Sea together with our nation. The studies we have done and planned for the protection of the Marmara Sea, our scientific research results, http://www.marmarahepimizin.com We will share it with the public through our page.” used the phrases.
Stating that the temperature of Marmara Sea water is 1 degree warmer than other seas, Kurum concluded his words as follows:
“We will take measures to reduce the effects of hot water, consisting of cooling waters and thermal facilities, on the Marmara Sea. By Allah's leave, we will complete our investments within the scope of these action plans within 3 years, together with our local governments. We will carry our Sea of Marmara to the future in its purest and clearest form, by protecting our thousands of fish and creatures. At this point, Mr. President personally shared his suggestions for all action plans, and I hope we will implement this plan quickly with their instructions and approval. I wish our action plan good luck for our nation and Marmara.”
Later, the Minister Institution, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Environment Committee Muhammet Balta, the deputies of the region, the deputy ministers, the governors and mayors of the provinces on the coast of the Marmara Sea signed the Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan.