Dam Removal in Europe

Our goal is to open up as many rivers in Europe as we can! Thousands of old dams are blocking European rivers and damaging the homes of important animals like sturgeon, salmon, trout, otter, and stork. These dams are out of use but still prevent rivers from flowing. With your help, we can make a difference by removing old and obsolete dams. 

We are looking for river enthusiasts who want to donate for this cause and also people that would like start their own campaign. We crowdfunded 1 dam in the UK and 10 dams in the Oekraine. Currently, we are targeting a dam in Lithuania which will be removed as soon as we raise sufficient funding. 

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Help us with the first dam removal in Lithuania ever! The dam is named after the Brazuole river, which belongs to a Natura2000 area for its unique habitat. The Brazuole river is a tributary of the river of Neris, and is located in Neris regional park. Both rivers are famous for two iconic migratory species, the Baltic salmon (Salmo salar) and the Sea trout (Salmo trutta). The dam is obsolete and has been abandoned for decades. The removal would significantly improve upstream water quality and open up nearly 25 km of spawning grounds for these iconic fish species, making it more attractive for fly fishing enthusiasts.  Dam Removal EuropeDam Removal Europe movement is working to restore our European rivers by removing dams and hence make important steps towards ecologically healthy, economically profitable and socially valuable rivers. Natural rivers provide better opportunities for fisheries, flood protection, drinking water, recreation and nature. The main focus is on the removal of old, obsolete dams to ‘free’ our European rivers again. Dam Removal movement was started by WWF Netherlands together with the World Fish Migration Foundation, Rewilding Europe, the European Rivers Network and the Rivers Trust. In cooperation with Lithuanian Fund for Nature, we are going to work on a dam in Lithuania.The project is fully funded by WWF crowfunding campaign. Help us turn the tide! It would allow European rivers to flow freely again and all that beautiful nature will get the space she needs. With only 20 euros you can help us!
Brazuole-dam in Lithuania

Rewilding progress as multiple dams removed in Ukrainian Danube Delta

27-11-2019 | 14:46 Financed by crowdfunding, the removal of 10 obsolete dams on the Kogilnik and Sarata Rivers will help to restore wild nature and should provide economic benefit to local communities. Removal role mode The Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta rewilding area has just become a little wilder, with 10 dams removed on the Kogilnik and Sarata Rivers. The dams were all located within the territory of the Danube Biosphere Reserve (DBR). Removing the dams should rapidly revitalise the rivers, restoring natural processes, supporting the comeback of wild nature, and underpinning the development of local nature-based economies. “It’s great to see these rivers flowing freely once again,” says Rewilding Ukraine Executive Director Mykhailo Nesterenko. “For many years these obsolete dams had a detrimental impact on fish populations, other wildlife and people. This removal project, which will aid our rewilding efforts in the delta significantly, serves as a role model for other outdated dams across the delta and Ukraine.”                                                               The removal process, which was carried out by a local contractor, was financed by the Endangered Landscapes Programme and a crowdfunding campaign. The campaign was coordinated by WWF in the Netherlands and was part of the Dam Removal Europe (DRE) initiative, of which Rewilding Europe is a partner. Prior to the removal the Danube Biosphere Reserve carried out an investigation which established the feasibility and desirability of the  dam deconstruction.   Wild nature restored The picturesque Kogilnik and Sarata Rivers rise in Moldova before entering the Sasyk Lagoon in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. A series of 10 small, Soviet-era dams long restricted flow close to the mouths of both rivers, negatively impacting river beds and local biodiversity. Dams in general have a damaging environmental effect by disrupting the migratory pathways of fish, blocking sediment transport and fragmenting habitat. The removal of these barriers will create around 20 kilometres of new habitat along the Kogilnik and Sarata, including flooded meadows. This will benefit a host of wildlife species, including wild carp, frogs, otters and a wide range of breeding and migratory birds. In 2020 the project will enter its second phase, when feasibility studies for upriver channel clearance and restoration will be conducted. Community support Local delta communities, who were consulted on the dam removal, will also benefit from the deconstruction, with the town council of Tatarbunary approving the project. Fishermen will profit from healthier fish populations, while the comeback of wild nature should also support new opportunities for nature-based tourism. “This project will benefit a wide range of wildlife, but especially fish,” says Alexander Voloshkevich, Director of the Danube Biosphere Reserve. “Removing the dams will improve river flow, revitalising local vegetation which serves as a spawning ground. More fish is obviously good news for fishermen. “Enhanced river flow will also increase riverside meadow areas, which should boost local grazing,” he continues. “Last but not least, better natural channelisation will reduce the flooding of agricultural land and a local highway.” A community event linked to the dam removal will be held next year to inform local people about the benefits of nature-based solutions and opportunities they provide. Rewilding Europe, Rewilding Ukraine and local partners are currently scaling up rewilding efforts in the Danube Delta, thanks to a grant from the Endangered Landscapes Programme.   Published on: Rewildingeurope.com Posted on: Removal Danube Delta Dams, Ukraine
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