The event marked the launch of the new Greenpeace project “Chistaya Neva” (Clean Neva), aimed at improving the water quality in the Neva and preventing further pollution of the river. In spite of existing programs to decrease the amount of pollution in the Neva, levels of pollutants have continued to grow over the last years. In autumn 2006 and spring 2007 Greenpeace examined a few of the drains leading into the Neva and discovered more than 200 outlets of contaminated drainage water. A detailed analysis of one of the water samples, collected from a drain on Vyborgskaya Nabereshnaya, showed that the concentration of copper in the water was 73 times over the allowed limit, and the concentration of manganese was 26 times over.
The fish in the Neva, according to a Greenpeace survey, contain high levels of arsenic and polychlorbiphenyl – one of the 12 most dangerous persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In all samples of fish from the Neva, levels of polychlorbiphenyl exceeded the EU norms for food products. To address these problems, Greenpeace will do a study of the water quality in the river and in drains coming from different companies, and publish the results for the citizens of St. Petersburg. A specially equipped Greenpeace vessel will traffic on the Neva during the course of this project. It will also be used to track down hazardous waste, most of which still remains undocumented and unpunished.