The WWF Ukraine supported by the WWF Netherlands is continuing a project to restore connectivity of the rivers and creeks in and around the Verkhovynskyi National Park located next to the Ukrainian-Romanian state border.
At the end of 19th century fierce Carpathian Rivers, home to Danube salmon and brown trout were turned into the cascades of the artificial water bodies to bring timber down to the valleys.
Local people constructed splash dams to collect water in the head of the rivers and then pour it down through the sluices to navigate rafts made of the felled tree trunks. The kermaniches - (the lumbermen involved in the log driving) drifted down those rafts “darabs” through the rivers.
The last raft went down the Carpathian Rivers in the 70th of the 20th century. Later on, timber truck started transporting the logs. There was nobody to remove the obsolete plash dams. Some of them got ruined over time. Others are still in place.
Even though, splash dams have historical and recreational value, they continue to block the migration routes of the Brown trout and Danube salmon, the fishes migrating upstream against the river flow. Obsolete splash dams become the insuperable obstacles on their way and thus impact significantly fish populations and species depending on them for food, like majestic Brown Bear.
As a start of restoring free flow of the Lostunets creek and thus improvement endangered fish population we are already fundraising for Lostunets Dam removal here https://crowdfunding.wnf.nl/project/lostunets-dam-in-ukraine
Goal of our campaign is to fundraise for a small expedition to examine and partially remove another three obsolete splash dams in the Cheremosh River basin, namely Dobryn’ (48°07'12.3"N 24°42'18.0"E), Hostovets (47°52'22.1"N 24°54'43.0"E) and Bayrivka (47°44'38.5"N 24°55'34.3"E).
Please contribute our crowdfunding campaign to collect the necessary 31,000.00 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
Oskar de Roos, Expert Fresh Water WWF The Netherlands
After studying Economics and International Relations, followed by a consultancy career, Oskar decided to pursue his passion and dream job: protecting and restoring natural wonders. His current focus is fresh water; an essential resource for people and nature. Pressures from agriculture, dam building and climate change, together with poor governance, result in water becoming scarce. In Europe rivers are obstructed by dams and freshwater systems are heavily polluted. As a consequence biodiversity is declining rapidly and local human populations are suffering more and more. At WWF we are committing to restore natural wonders by removing dams, in regions such as the Carpathian, the Danube Delta and the Balkan.