Europe last remaining wild rivers run through the Balkan. Local governments are looking to place hydro dams and divert rivers in order to provide a green source of energy. There are currently 3.000 proposed plans for the placement of dams in the region. Completely ignoring the fact that the placement of dams and the creation of diversions have devastating effect to ecosystems and the local population. Blue Heart is the name of the documentary which Patagonia has decided to fund in order to raise awareness for the issue.
Local governments are looking to place these hydro dams as they will live up to the EU standards for using renewable sources of energy. A standard local governments want to live up to in preparation of one day becoming a member of the European Union besides the fact that several of these efforts will eventually be subsidized in the process. The documentary sheds light on how these local governments are eager to reap the benefits of the placement of hydro dams, while ignoring the negative effects it will have on the land and the people and animals living on that land/(water). Studies have shown that if the benefits and negatives of these plans are weighed off against one another, the negative results will outweigh the potential positive outcomes.
The placement of these hydro dams will kill fish and wildlife which have made their home in the established habitat. Local communities which have established alongside the rivers and have become reliant of these rivers will need to relocate. Fresh and drinkable water itself will become more scarce. Water will be held in reservoirs where it is more prone toxic algae to bloom, and water in reservoirs evaporates in a higher rate than it is consumed/used by humans. Dams also refrain the natural flow of sediment to occur. Meaning that deltas and riverbanks which need fresh sediment to be fertile to be cut off from their source of fertile soil in the long run, this will lead to barren areas of land.
These effects and many more are explained throughout the documentary. Patagonia is known for donating 1% of their profits to environmental charities, but have decided to fund this endeavor completely outside of that fund. Through the documentary the company is hoping to - as mentioned earlier, raise awareness and start a petition against the proposed plans in order to save Europe's Blue Heart.
Checkout the documentary now in the section below!