Scientists Excited at Keri
Exciting things don’t usually seem to happen in the small mountain town of Keri on Zante. Tourism has hardly touched this place and even during the earthquake that shook the island in 1953, Keri was just about the only place where no damage was caused. Quaint old houses remain as does a bold yellow chapel and bell tower. Things are still fairly quiet down on Lake Keri or Limni Keri, the small gulf on the coast down from the village. Here a small harbour is home to mainly fishing boats and the small shingle beach is a relaxing place for tourists who venture to this part of Zante. There is a little more in the way of tourist accommodation and a smart new hotel has recently been built to the north of the beach providing spectacular views across the waters to the island of Marathonisi and beyond to the Vasilikos Peninsula but things are still quiet and peaceful here.
However, things may be about to change for Keri at long last. Scientists from the University of Patras on the Greek mainland have been investigating the underwater rock formations in the sea around Keri and have been getting quite excited. Developments are still at an early stage but there are indications that there may be hydrocarbon layers within the geology here. In layman’s terms, that means they may have struck oil in Keri.
Scientists and businessmen are finding the discoveries very exciting, while conservationists in the area will be concerned about the impact an underwater oil field may mean for the island. Zante has already suffered at the hands of rapid development schemes which some say has been to the detriment of parts of the island, but things are very different on the island now and the authorities are very eco-aware and supportive of conservation schemes like the one at Gerakas Beach across the bay from Lake Keri where the nesting grounds of turtles are carefully protected.