Lostunets-dam in Ukraine
The WWF Ukraine supported by the WWF Netherlands is currently launching the Splash Dam Removal Project at the streams and rivers in the Verkhovynskyi National Park located nearby Kryvorivnia Village in the Ivano-Frankivsk Region, next to the Ukrainian-Romanian state border.
The industrial-scale forest harvesting started in the Ukrainian Carpathians Region at the end of the 19th century, under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The kermaniches (the lumbermen involved in the log driving) drifted down the Carpathian spruces bundled in rafts. Deep in the mountains, the rivers are shallow, so logged splash dams were constructed across them to control water flow to float the timber rafts downstream.
Back then, a dam upstream trapped water in its reservoir so the kermaniches could open the gates and let violent torrents of high waters rush down and carry timber rafts from high mountains to valleys. The last spruce logs raft was floated down the Carpathians rivers in August 1979. No splash dam has been exploited ever since. They have gradually decayed over time, though they still serve as artificial obstacles for migratory fish.
At this moment, there are still five splash dams within the territory of the National Park that we need to remove. We are starting this long term project with the removal of the Lostunets Dam that was constructed across the Lostun Stream during 1880-1890. The stream is one of the Chornyi Cheremosh River's feeders.
On the google map this splash dam can be found by these coordinates: 47° 51'07.1"N 24° 49'25.5"E
We want to demolish the barrier to allow the brook trout, endangered Danube salmon to migrate upstream to their spawning areas. Please contribute our crowdfunding campaign to collect the necessary 16,000.00 EURO for our project to come true, and the Carpathian rivers may flow freely again! Even 20 EURO is a tangible contribution!
Olga Denyshchyk, Freshwater manager WWF Ukraine
After graduation from the Duquesne University, first Olga worked in environmental organizations in Ukraine, then joined UNDP Coastal and Wetlands Biodiversity Project in Bangladesh. Since 2016, Olga coordinates workon wetlands restoration and protection in WWF Ukraine. Vast majority of the Ukrainian rivers were channelized and fragmented. Removal of the obsolete dams will return life to the water arteries of the country and will push restoration of fish, waterfowl and other freshwater species populations
Bart Geenen, freshwater expert at WNF
Since Bart graduated in Wageningen in the field of water management, he has been committed to improving river management. In 1998, Bart went to Vietnam to research the Mekong River. For the last 10 years, Bart has worked for the WWF, mainly in Africa and Latin-America, to protect the beautiful natural rivers, like the Zambezi and the Amazon. In those countries rivers are the lifeblood for both animals and humans. In Europe we have forgotten this a little, but we can restore rivers here and give nature space again. That is why Bart, together with other river experts in Europe, has been trying to put the removal of dams in Europe on the map since 2015.