Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2014-2015

Despite the Resurgence of the Pugs

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The Maison de la Rivière near Morges, Switzerland

A Ramsar study visit, and a nice dinner afterward

The staff of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, posing whilst shivering on the lakeshore

We've been here before, a few years ago, on another of Dr Salathé's Ramsar study tours -- a walk down the tiny river Boiron to the Lake Geneva shoreline, and a guided tour of the scientific and educational station called the Maison de la Rivière, or House of the River, at that time based upon a disused munitions factory and a dream.

We're been out of Ramsar harness for a few years now and many of the staff are new to us, but they've kindly invited us along to see the progress that's been made.

Our guide, Jean-François Rubin, founder of the Foundation, explains that the Maison, 'an exceptional synergy between universities, secondary schools, Swiss government, canton, municipality and private enterprise', will serve as a multidisciplinary base for education and research on sustainable development, 'renaturation', and the conservation methodologies of small rivers.

At this point it's still a construction site, but as I prepare this webpage on 15 May 2015, the Grand Opening for the public was held last weekend.

Amongst its educational workrooms and displays, we noted this fine little stuffed foine, or pine marten, whose preferred diet is the insulation on the wiring under the hoods of our cars, and would that all the foine in the world were similarly stuffed.

The Maison de la Rivière has, and our guide in his researches has frequently used, the F. A. Forel submersible of Jacques Piccard, the famous oceanographer, built in 1978.

The F. A. Forel, named after the 19th century Swiss pioneer of lake studies, was active between 1979 and 2005, during which time it came back successfully from nearly 4,000 research dives in Lake Geneva and other Swiss lakes. Visitors to the Maison de la Rivière have the opportunity to get into it and see what it's like.

With luck, they can be got out of it again.

In the evening, a convivial dinner in Morges as guests of the Ramsar Secretariat.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 15 May 2015.

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