He founded and expanded the Marine Station of the University of Gdańsk in Hel and cared for endangered species of the Baltic Sea, including fish, seals and porpoises. Prof. Krzysztof Skóra passed away six years ago, but his achievements continue to change our environment for the better. This year, the Professor was awarded the 'Green Eagle' im memoriam for his commitment to environmental issues. The competition was organised by the editors of the Rzeczpospolita newspaper.
- 'Dad is no longer with us for several years, but it is nice and touching that his work is still being recognised with awards. I have no doubt, however, that a much greater reward for him is that thanks to his work the public's knowledge and awareness of the sea have increased,' - said Jagna Skóra, Professor's daughter when receiving the award. - 'These successes are also the result of the incessant work of Dad's co-workers, above all the staff of the Professor Krzysztof Skóra Marine Station of the IO UG.'
Let us recall that prof. Krzysztof Skóra spent almost his entire professional life expanding and developing the research work of the UG Marine Station in Hel. From 1977 he had transformed the ruined building of the former fishing company's smokehouse into a modern and thriving institution, now enriched with a seal sanctuary, social facilities, a Porpoise House and a seminar and conference hall. The professor had further plans for the development of the Hel University facility, but unfortunately, he did not manage to realise them. At present, the seal centre itself is visited by around 0.5 million people a year; when it was founded, only ⅕ of this interest was expected.
The 'Green Eagle' was received by Ewa and Jagna Skóra on behalf of the late professor. photo: Jacek Kamiński
The seal centre, a venture of prof. Krzysztof Skóra has been written about in the Financial Times, among others. - 'The Financial Times journalist described it as a self-financing project of this kind. We wouldn't have found out about the article if it hadn't been for our colleague, who, on his way back from New York, saw his colleague Krzysztof with a seal on the cover of the magazine and Bill Clinton next to him,' - recalls Ewa Skóra, prof. Krzysztof Skóra's wife.
Currently, Professor Krzysztof Skóra Marine Station conducts research on species and habitats of Baltic organisms, as well as on the mitigation of human threats. In addition to its scientific activities, the Station is also involved in educating young people and protecting the marine environment, organising classes for schools and actively engaging in activities to protect the Baltic Sea, making it one of Hel's most famous attractions. After the Professor's death, the Station is managed by his long-time collaborator dr Iwona Pawliczka.
Prof. Krzysztof Skóra was awarded the third edition of the 'Green Eagles' of the Rzeczpospolita newspaper. The winners are selected by a chapter composed of environmentalists, business representatives and members of the magazine's editorial board. In the case of the UG scientist, the award was given for 'protection of seals and porpoises and the establishment of a seal sanctuary in Hel'.
- 'People still remember years later. We were very touched by this,' - said Ewa Skóra.