Photographer's Note

River nieuwe Maas, almost brown when photographed in the late afternoon, is an essential nerve for the city Rotterdam. Here captured with the Erasmus Bridge and with a passing river boat - one of very many within a day.

Here some additional info of this great river:

With a total length of 925 km, the River Maas is one of Europe's most important rivers. Its course between Pouilly-en-Bassigny (F) and the river mouth near Rotterdam is the chain that links about 5 million people who speak different languages and belong to different cultural areas.

As the River Maas is nearing the Netherlands its dams become higher to protect the low-lying land from floods. Eventually, the waters of the Rivers Maas, Rhine and Waal combine on the way to Rotterdam, where the River Maas flows into the North Sea next to the biggest European port.

The River Maas has for centuries been the life artery of the region. Industrial development was mainly driven by the use of the river as a transport route. Especially in the past one hundred years, the face of and life in the region have been shaped by iron and steel industries as well as coal mines which, for a long time, contributed to the region's wealth and progress.
In recent decades, however, the region has had to cope with many problems and set-backs.

The River Maas is the source of drinking water for 6 million people living, inter alia, in the conurbations of Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and The Hague, cities which are not situated on the river.

High pesticide and fertilizer inputs in France and the Netherlands and industrial waste-water discharged into the river in Wallonia and the Netherlands have, in recent decades, caused a marked deterioration of the water quality.

For years, serious efforts have been made in the individual countries and at the intergovernmental level to come to grips with the ecological problems in the River Maas region. Apart from international programmes and treaties (e.g. International Agreement on the Protection of the River Maas of 1994, International River Maas Commission or the "Meuse internationale" programme of the WWF), a number of projects have been drafted for the reorientation of the River Maas region towards sustainable development.

Ref: ldj/documents/doc3-en.htm

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Additional Photos by Jack R Johanson (jrj) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4529 W: 494 N: 7430] (34843)
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