Another cleanup of Vilkitsky Island completed

Another cleanup of Vilkitsky Island completed

14 August 2019

Volunteers of the third environmental expedition have cleared waste from almost 60 ha of Vilkitsky Island in the Arctic, Andrei Umnikov, director of the Russian Arctic Exploration Centre, told the Future of Russia: National Projects website.


Scientific research is carried out on the island, in particular, research on polar bears and surveys of the area.


“According to preliminary estimates, during the environmental expedition volunteers have collected over five hundred 200-litre drums and over 200 tonnes of metal waste, as well as dismantled 20 structures. The cleanup covered 60 ha,” said Andrei Umnikov.


According to him, the plan is to finish the cleanup in the next two years and to remove all the waste during the 2021 summer navigation season.


“The fact that endangered animals, including polar bears, live on the island gives us grounds to assign the island the status of a protected area, which we plan to do,” Umnikov said.


The environmental expedition took place from 11 July to 10 August, with participation of 21 volunteers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Transnistria and Israel, as well as scientists, rescue workers and journalists.