Vistula has become better!

Autor: Wojciech Giełżyński    

As a spritely fifty-year-old, for the first time 28 years ago I rowed across the Vistula from the very bottom of Silesia right up to Gdańsk. I wrote a book about this trip, called “My private Vistuliada”. In 2008 I again went in a similar semi-racing boat along the Vistula in order to write a book “My second Vistuliada”.

Has the Vistula changed after all these years?

Yes, and how! It has changed a lot – for the better. Today, its waters are much cleaner. The white tip of the oar submerged several centimetres used to become greyish brown. Now it remains white. And one can swim virtually everywhere in the Vistula. This was made possible due to the building of many water waste treatment plants with European Union funds, and also by getting rid of industrial works, especially ironworks and mines, which were poisoning the river. Unfortunately, the Vistula’s water below Warsaw and in other huge cities continues to be classified as a NON category, i.e. outside graded classification. Unsuitable for swimming.
And there is another change. As in the past, today there are countless fishermen by the Vistula. Except that years ago, behind every fisherman stood a bicycle. Today, behind each one there stands a car.

The project ‘Protecting the habitats of priority bird species of the Vistula Valley under conditions of intensive pressure of the Warsaw agglomeration’ ( has received a grant from the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.