The sport for purpose championship makes its second appearance in the UK following its Season 1 finale, the Jurassic X Prix, in Dorset in December 2021. This time, its legacy initiative will focus on the environmental work which tackles issues facing Atlantic salmon, and the wider ecosystem, due to rising water temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.
The all-electric off-road racing series has embarked on a multi-stage project to mitigate the effects of climate change on local salmon stocks. Partnering with the Nith District Salmon Fishery Board, the aim is to reverse the impact of climate change through community engagement, education, and the application of science.
Extreme E are also collaborating with Official Technology Partner Vodafone Business, who are using the pioneering championship as a testbed for innovation. The sensors put in place on the River Nith, which will monitor temperatures, acidity levels and pollution levels in the water, will play a crucial role in the wider Legacy Programme.
Professor Lucy Woodall, Marine Conservation Ecologist and Extreme E’s Ocean Expert, said: “We were at the legacy site today understanding how we can improve rivers in Scotland. There has been degradation in the banks because of the removal of trees over time and changing parts of the river.
“Planting more trees will cool the water, provide new habitat, and stop the sediment from polluting the water. The fencing that we are putting up will also keep the livestock away to protect the trees as well as the river.
“Monitoring the area with these sensors from Vodafone Business will be important for the team on the ground as they will be able to associate the environmental conditions with the fish populations and see how these interventions are making a difference over time.”
Just ahead of Extreme E’s second double-header of the season, Extreme E drivers and personnel lent a hand to protect the banks of the river and preserve the salmon that play a crucial role in Scotland’s biodiversity and heritage.
Tanner Foust, NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team, said: “I love doing the legacy projects. It means we’re able to futureproof motorsport and show that it can be done in a responsible way.
“As a biology major in college, I find it particularly fascinating to learn about each individual region. I went to elementary school not far from here, about three hours further north, and I never would have known that there was an issue with salmon and with the warming of the rivers in Scotland. That goes to show how important the work we’re doing to highlight these problems is.”
Molly Taylor, Veloce Racing, said: “We’ve been measuring the size and quality of the young fish born here alongside doing some work to protect the river. We planted trees to help reinforce the riverbanks and fend off erosion, and also installed some air and water temperature sensors to monitor the conditions and help the fish thrive here.”
From the impactful planting of over a thousand native trees, to using innovative technologies implemented by Vodafone Business, Extreme E will focus on a long-term transformation of the River Nith area that will protect the Atlantic salmon stocks and biodiversity in the region.
The racing action, and further details about the Legacy Programme in Scotland, will be best viewed live on STV and ITV, in the UK from 1300-1500 BST, over both Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May. Outside of the UK, please visit here for broadcaster details.