For many years the Swedish nature photographer Göran Ekström has witnessed the black-throated divers lose their eggs to the water, when water levels changed in the water reservoir upstream Vattenfall’s Midskog hydro power plant in Indalsälven. Ektröm and his wife Eva then decided to do something about it. They applied the Bra Miljöval (Good Environmental Choice) foundation for funds to build a floating nest for the divers and received 37.000 Swedish kronor.
"I discovered several years ago that many black-throated divers lost their eggs when they laid them at the edge of the waterfront at hydro power magazines. When the water level was raised, the eggs “drowned”. It was then that the idea to the floating island was born. In order to finance my idea, I contacted Vattenfall, which has several power stations in Indalsälven. They in turn linked me to the Nature Conservation Association and the Bra Miljöval Found” says Göran Ekström.
The floating nest is anchored at the bottom in two places and follows the high and low water levels. And the birds seem to appreciate the new, safe hatching place for their eggs.
Erik Sparrevik, Ph.D in Animal Ecology, from Vattenfall hydro power says: “This is an exciting and unconventional Bra Miljöval project. Nothing big in terms of the money, we have contributed, but I have had quite some contact with Ekström on this project, and it therefore feels great to see that it has been successful. I hope this can be an inspiration other places also”.
Vattenfall contributes one per cent of its profits from those of the company’s customers who by hydro power to the Bra Miljöval foundation. The money is given to environmental projects related to regulated waters selected by the Swedish nature conservation association and Vattenfall.