​Environmental impact assessment for the rowing center at Schinias, Municipality of Marathonas​

Environmental impact assessment for the rowing center at Schinias, Municipality of Marathonas

Country: Greece

Region: Shinias, Municipality of Marathonas, Attica
Duration: January 1997 – December 1999
Client: Olympic Games Committee ATHENS 2004

Main characteristics:

  • The restoration of Schinias habitat (Natura 2000 area) through the development of the Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Center was a pioneer project for Greece regarding its planning and implementation.
  • A degraded wetland was restored in its initial condition through the creation of the new lake of the Olympic center and additional specially designed hydraulic interventions.
  • The habitat and the project were treated as a single system which was studied from an environmental-ecological, area planning and social-financial point of view aiming at, one the one hand, the optimization of the design and operation of the project in relation to the habitat and, on the other, the determination of measures and interventions for the upgrading of ecological functions and the habitat’s protection. 
  • The final layout took into account all these parameters in combination with the satisfaction of athletic requirements, as determined by the international specifications
  • The impact assessment of the project, especially during the construction phase, on the sensitive balance of ground waters (sweet and salty) regarding the integrity and maintenance of the famous sand dune pine tree forest
  • Provision of continuous monitoring of the movement and quality of ground waters around the project through an extended network of piezometers.

Important environmental issues:

  • Layout of the Olympic Center in an area that was previously occupied by an airport, spoil throwing etc and removal of uses incompatible with the landscape and the natural operation of the habitat
  • Adoption of design principles favouring the development of a lake system and the spreading of fauna and flora species
  • Restoration of the habitat’s hydrology
  • Abolition and removal of an extended road network which interrupts and disturbs the habitat and costal pine forest
  • The use of mass media of transportation as the only access to the Olympic Center
  • Forbiddance of vehicles entering the coastal pine forest
  • Design and installation of an automatic fire fighting system in the coastal pine forest
  • Design of infrastructure for environmental education, information and awareness
  • Establishment of high protection status for the habitat through its declaration as a National Park
  • Drawing-up and institutionalization of a Management Plan and Operation Regulation of the National Park of Schinias – Marathonas
  • Establishment of a Management Authority of the National Park
  • Inclusion of the National Park of Schinias – Marathonas to the National Catalogue of Natura 2000 (Directive 92/43/EEC)
  • Systematic monitoring of the quality and level of the ground and surface waters during the construction phase
  • Systematic monitoring of the condition and progress of the biotic parameters of the area with emphasis on avifauna