Environmental landing force returns from Vilkitsky Island
© Georgy Andreev

Environmental landing force returns from Vilkitsky Island

The Green Arctic, an inter-regional public environmental and sociological organization, has completed its expedition to Vilkitsky Island.

It took a team of 18 volunteers 20 days (from July 13 to August 3) to clear the island of garbage dumps, rusty fuel drums and scrap metal. Specifically, they dismantled a 1.5-kilometer water pipeline (200 pipes), a 1.5-kilometer heating pipeline and some old structures. In all, 130 tons of scrap metal and 800 200-liter fuel drums have been prepared for removal.

They have also conducted a bit of research, taking soil, water and sediment samples to monitor how the island's ecosystems are being regenerated.

In 2019, 30 volunteers from different regions of Russia and other countries took part in an expedition to Vilkitsky Island, managing to clear 60 hectares within 30 days, collecting 200 tons of garbage and dismantling 20 dilapidated houses.

According to specialists from the Russian Arctic Development Center, one more expedition will be needed to complete the cleaning, whereupon Vilkitsky Island can be included in a neighboring specially protected natural area and, like Bely Island, be open to research.