What is a Big Jump?

Big Jump aims at reconciliating people with their rivers. This project will induce the citizens to reconquer their rivers and lakes and will revive the powerful links that used to bind people to these spaces. Reconciliation is an essential element to gain people’s support to the big European restoration effort for rivers and wetlands, this huge project being expressed in the Water Framework Directive of the European Community.

The “Big Jump” project includes numerous actions on the main European water basins, like the organisation of a serie of transboundary swimming days on different European water basins. Educational events on the theme of water quality or river restoration are always held during these actions.

The project will culminate in 2005 , 2010 and 2015 with the “European River Swimming Day” on all the big European river basins or stretchs where the quality standard has been reached. This will be the celebration of the living rivers. Everybody will swim in the rivers on the same day, at the same hour, in all the European rivers, from the sources and the glaciers to the oceans.

Big Jump is a campaign by European Rivers Network (ERN) and many partners and has been initiated by its Founder President Roberto Epple.

European Water Management News, June 22nd 2005

The Big Jump is :

“…an inspiring project that captures the essence of current EU water protection legislation into one single public act: at one date, at one time, people will jump into rivers all over Europe. In a nutshell, BIG JUMP is a European river swimming day, where people reclaim their environment and demonstrate their wish to have clean and living rivers again. The Water Framework Directive (WFD; EU’s main law for water protection) is the EU’s legislative tool to achieve good status for all rivers and lakes in Europe. But a legislative tool alone is not enough to reach this goal. It is essential to gain people’s support for it. Without a broad public support all over Europe, the WFD might never work.”