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NEWS, PUBLICATIONS & EVENTS                                                      ECRR eNews  #26 | 24 August, 2022


Dear ,

On 22 June 2022, the EU launched a proposal for a regulation for nature restoration, including a binding target of the restoration of 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers. This last point in particular is generating a lot of energy around the topic of river habitat connectivity restoration. Scientific articles are being written on the related issues, the newly established European Open Rivers Programme granted their first dam removals, the ECRR's River Restoration Community of Practitioners are starting a series of webinars on hydromorphological restoration, ECRR member Wetlands International is organising a European Rivers Summit in September in Brussels to influence the Members of the European Parliament to approve the regulation, the INBO is organising the 20th Europe-INBO, including a workshop on integrated river restoration, and the World Fish Migration Foundation is organising a 'Connected Rivers' workshop at the International River Symposium in November in Vienna.
The content of this newsletter is just a small reflection of all of this dynamic activity. At the same time, being aware of all that is happening makes it even more interesting to have look at all of the different activities and to realise how broad the topic of free-flowing rivers is in practice. And not only that, but what it takes to support the achievement of 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers by 2030 as well as many other targets directly or indirectly related to freshwater ecosystems restoration.  
We wish you a good read and we welcome your feedback and questions at

25th International RiverSymposium

IRF invites you to join them this November at the 25th International Riversymposium. 
They are incredibly excited to bring the International RiverSymposium to Europe for the first time. The International RiverFoundation (IRF) is proud to be partnering with International Association for Water Service Companies in the Danube River Catchment (IAWD) to host this anniversary event in the beautiful City of Vienna – recent winner of the Lee Kwan Yew World City prize.

A call to River Restoration Organisations to showcase your experience and network. The International RiverFoundation is planning a special session during this year's RiverSymposium - River Restoration Networks: Championing our rivers and basins on the road to resilience. By registering, your organisation will have the opportunity to present your work to an audience of global river leaders in this special session.

For 25 years, RiverSymposium has been providing a unique global forum for river managers, policy developers, scientists, consultants, students, NGOs, indigenous and community organisations as well as water user sectors and business and industry representatives to collaborate to improve the sustainable management and resilience of rivers all over the world.

Join world leaders in river management, conservation, and resilience for a program of interactive and engaging content at the 25th International RiverSymposium! In the beautiful river city of Vienna or online.

Register Here

The theme for the 25th International RiverSymposium is:
"Journey to Resilience: Communities, Climate & Biodiversity"
Our theme this year could not be more fitting for a 25th anniversary and our current times. Journey to Resilience: Communities, Climate and Biodiversity recognises the deep connections between rivers, their associated communities, governments and businesses and the twin crises of our time. Resilience means that we work together at all levels to recover, adapt, and transform.
This year's theme will be explored through four sub-themes:
  • Basin Cities Dialogue
  • Water Security and Equity
  • Healthy Rivers, Healthy Lives
  • Connectedness and Partnerships
Learn More About Our Themes
Program Highlights
This year's program is set to feature an array of renowned speakers and organisations who will be sharing their expert knowledge with RiverSymposium audiences. Please view this document for program highlights, and a snapshot of what is to come in this year's unmissable RiverSymposium. Please view our high-level draft program here
Follow our socials and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming announcements!
Register here for the International Riversymposium 2022

International River Foundation
European Riverprize 2022


Learn About The Six Innovative Projects That Made This Year's Shortlist

We were overwhelmed with the number of incredible applications we received to contend for the 2022 European Riverprize! All of the work submitted was significantly valuable, and we are excited to share with you the outstanding work of our six shortlisted applicants.

Tisza River Basin

Prut River

Cumbrian Rivers

Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers

Vjosa River

Guadalquivir River

Explore these exciting projects

Stay tuned, finalists will be announced mid-October! Purchase your Riversymposium ticket today to attend the presentation of the 2022 European Riverprize winner during the IRS 2022 Gala Dinner on November 29!

ECRR feedback on the European Commission's proposal for a 'Regulation on nature restoration', concerning river ecosystem restoration

The ECRR, as Europe's network to promote and build capacity for ecological river restoration across Europe, is excited to see freshwater ecosystems highlighted in the European Commission’s draft ‘Regulation on nature restoration’ proposal that was published on 22 June 2022 as a key element of the ‘EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030’. The ECRR is prepared to contribute with the accumulated expertise of our Europe-wide network of experts and practitioners, as well as the knowledgebase contained in the results of our River Continuity Survey and our RiverWiki project database.
The ECRR’s opinion is that, to be able to achieve the target defined in the proposal, dam and barrier removal should, as a restoration measure, be integrated into the (inter)national River Basin Management Plans and (inter)national strategies, policies and planning. 
The ECRR therefore believes that the ‘Regulation on nature restoration’ should include:
• Development of practical metrics for free-flowing rivers, prioritisation tools and guidance for barrier removal;
• Development of an action plan to prioritise removal of dams that are obsolete or have insignificant benefits to society;
• Redirection of finances to make funds available for barrier removal as part of the third River Basin Management Plans of the EU Water Framework Directive;
• Status reports delivery on the progress of dam and barrier removal, including presenting the positive benefits of removals.

Download the ECRR feedback document
Download the EC Proposal Regulation for nature restoration

Operational methods for prioritizing the removal of barriers: Synthesis and guidance

Barrier removal can be an efficient method to restore river continuity but resources available for defragmenting rivers are limited and a prioritization strategy is needed. We review methods for prioritizing barriers for removal and report on a survey asking practitioners which barrier prioritization methods they use. Opportunities for barrier removal depend to a large extent on barrier typology, as this dictates where barriers are normally located, their size, age, condition, and likely impacts. Crucially, river fragmentation depends chiefly on the number and location of barriers, not on barrier size, while the costs of barrier removal typically increase with barrier height.

Read more.....

Performance of constructed fish spawning and rearing channels - development of the Imatra City Brook in Finland

Freshwater habitats and species have been lost because of river constructions, particularly regarding hydropower plants. Such losses may be mitigated, for example, by providing compensatory habitats. We present a case which had the objective to promote reproduction of a key species. Imatra City Brook in Finland was constructed in 2014 at a hydropower dam as a new reproduction area for brown trout (Salmo trutta L.). In the planning phase, the objective was to maximize suitable habitat types and areas with limited discharge.

Modelling restoration of natural flow regimes in dam impaired systems: Biomorphodynamic effects and recovery times

Dams affect the natural flow regime by altering the magnitude, timing and frequency of high and low flows. Many river ecosystems impaired by dams are currently being restored. Restoration success is difficult to quantify and is often assessed by comparing the restored system to an unimpaired static ‘reference’ system. However, restoring a river to past environmental conditions and assessing restoration success by comparing it to a static situation neglects natural system dynamics and non-linear, adaptive system responses.
Read more.....

Riverwoods for Scotland - Report on Scientific Evidence

River woods are essential for healthy rivers and provide multiple benefits which help tackle the twin biodiversity and climate crisis. A SEPA project, including field surveys from 2015-16 found that over 50% of riparian vegetation on Scotland’s baseline river network is in poor condition without any trees or shrubs. Restoring Scotland’s river woods is a priority and a key candidate for funding under conservation finance initiatives as a nature based solution. Collating the available scientific evidence on the benefits of river woodlands provides an evidence base to justify financial investment in river woodlands for society, the economy, and nature itself.
Read more.....

Offsetting connectivity loss in rivers: Towards a no-net-loss approach for barrier planning

River Biodiversity offsetting is a popular conservation tool to reduce the impact of human activities. This is especially relevant in freshwater ecosystems, under the increasing threat posed by the development of infrastructure to store freshwater or produce energy that break longitudinal connectivity and modify the structure and functioning of these systems. We demonstrate how to plan offset of connectivity loss in rivers derived from the construction of new barriers, by using the Tagus River (Iberian Peninsula) as a model. We simulate the construction of new barriers, measure the impact they would have on connectivity for each species individually, and identify an optimal set of existing barriers that should be removed to counterbalance the loss of connectivity caused for all species collectively. We found that loss in connectivity could be offset for most of species when a single new barrier was simulated.
Read more.....

Large Wood for Living Rivers

Technics and results

TH2O Lyon, the US Forest Service, Rijkswaterstaat from Netherlands, European Centre for River Restoration and The World Fish Migration Foundation invite you to save the date and register for an exciting upcoming webinar taking place on 20th September, 2022 from 17:00-19:00 (French time).

The webinar is entitled: LARGE WOOD FOR LIVING RIVERS! 
Technics for renaturing rivers with large wood: feedback from abroad on the effects measured and the methods of implementation. 
We invite all river and restoration practitioners, policy makers, researchers, and students to join! 

This is a free, international webinar which will highlight the need and opportunities to improve habitat in rivers and channels to enhance the aquatic biodiversity across Europe! It would be in english with French translation😃
 Confirmed speakers include:
  • Robert Gubernick from USDA forest would begin by a summary of scientific interest of the technics and presents application of the different technics by USDA forest (in reference to the manual made by USDA on large wood river restoration) max 40 minutes + 20 min questions
  • Margriet Schoor from Rijkswaterstaat, state navigation services in Holland, will complete with technics used in navigated channels and scientific measured effect – 20 minutes + 10 min questions
  • Mickael Moore who worked with the company Biohabitats  and which is now in France will make a testimony as project manager of realisations managed by biohabitat – 20 minutes + 10 min questions
Make sure to register so you don’t miss any important updates! We hope to see you there. 
On behalf of the organization team,
H2O Lyon, Réseaux rivières TV, ECRR and World Fish Migration Foundation


European Rivers Summit 2022


ERS aims to inspire a movement of connected citizens in Europe to protect and restore European rivers, fight new dams and remove obsolete barriers. Healthy rivers are essential to delivering the European Green Deal and we aim to connect river champions around Europe to policy-makers in Brussels, with a two-day conference plus a third day to visit a river restoration site.

The event will inform attendees on the most important policy issues, big ideas and latest science around healthy rivers, and engage directly with Brussels as the home of the European Commission and Parliament in defending healthy rivers for people across Europe. We will also explore the power of communicating about rivers in film and art and see the transformative power of restoring urban rivers.

Read more....

Learn more about ECRR
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