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Improvements in the water quality of urban rivers and lakes due to reduced emissions and wastewater improvement have brought about benefits to river and lake ecology. In many European capitals, the flagship species salmon has returned to their rivers. In Paris, the wild salmon returned to the Seine after an absence of nearly a century. Salmon is not the only fish in the Seine making a comeback. The number of fish species in the Seine has increased significantly since 1995 due to the improvement of water quality made possible by a new water purification plant (The Telegraph, 2009). In London, there has been significant improvement in water quality in the last 40 years and more than 100 species of fish have been found in the Thames Estuary in recent years, many of them within the city of London (McCarthy, 2010). Other examples include the return of the salmon to the once heavily polluted River Tolka in Dublin after an absence of 100 years as well as to the rivers of Oslo (see box below). In Sweden, it has been made possible to resume the recreational salmon fishery in downtown Stockholm, where salmon fishing had to be stopped in the 1960s as fish had become inedible due to heavy pollution.

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