Case study:Conservation of alluvial

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Location: 46° 1' 23", 18° 41' 22"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Habitat and biodiversity
Country Hungary
Main contact forename Viktoria
Main contact surname Siposs
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation WWF Hungary, Danube Drava National Park Directorate
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations Municipality of Mohacs Town, Transdanubian Regional Waterworks Corporation, Lower-Danube-valley Water Directorate, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary, Cargill
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
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Project summary

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30 years ago the side channel was divided by a rock embankment dam resulting in sediment build up and stopping the flow of water. As a result the unique habitats of the side channel and the island were being lost and the river was losing its healthy ecosystem. The project aimed to restore the island’s natural floodplain forest and protect drinking water supplies by dredging the side channel, removing the dam to allow the free flow of water and relocating a major water pipe from the dam under the riverbed. Other restoration works included clearing invasive plant species such as box elder and replanting native trees such as silver poplar. Once the restoration works are completed it is hoped that native fish and bird species will return. It is also hoped that the restoration of Liberty Island, a Natura 2000 site, will encourage other similar projects along the Danube. In order to promote the benefits of restoration a nature trail was created, and field trips and scientific demonstrations have been given about Liberty Island. The project has been carried out in collaboration with WWF Hungary, Municipality of Mohacs Town, Transdanubian Regional Waterworks Corporation, Lower-Danube-valley Water Directorate, Danube Drava National Park Directorate, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and Cargill. Supported by Life+ the project is the first step in protecting numerous islands and side-channels on the Danube and restoring original water habitats.

Works involved: Removal of alien and invasive tree species.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Image gallery

The Danube River
Szabadság-sziget (Liberty Island)
During works_1
During works_2

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Danube
River basin Danube


River name Danube
Area category more than 10000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category Less than 100 m
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Dominant land cover
Waterbody ID

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Hainburg River Restoration, INTERREG MED WETNET - Memoradum on Participation in Wetland Conservation in Ljubljansko Barje Nature Park, Marsh protection in Egyek–Pusztakócs, National Park Danube-Auen, Regelsbrunner Aue, The Bulgarian Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction Project, Witzelsdorf Pilot Project


Name Szabadság-sziget (Liberty Island)
WFD water body codes AEP445
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology Artifical oxbow completely cut-off from the main river; Silted up significantly
Reference morphology Sidearm
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation EU - Special Protected Area
Local/regional site designations Natura 2000; National Park
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology Permanent lentic
Dominant substrate Sand, Gravel
River corridor land use Intensive agriculture, Woodland, Urban
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category 5 - 10 m
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category more than 1000 m³/s
Mean annual discharge (m3/s) 2823
2,823 m³/s
2,823,000 l/s
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 3000
3,000 m
3 km
300,000 cm
Project started
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€) 1795
1,795 k€
1,795,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources LIFE+ (LIFE07 NAT/H/000320) (

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design WWF Hungary, Danube-Drava National Park Directorate, Municipality of Mohács town Viktoria Siposs
Stakeholder engagement and communication Lower-Danube-Valley Water Management Directorate, WWF Hungary
Works and works supervision 1000 - 5000 k€ 1075
1,075 k€
1,075,000 €
WWF Hungary, Cargill Hungary, Transdanubian Regional Waterworks Public Company (DRV Zrt.)
Post-project management and maintenance Danube Drava National Park Directorate Sandor Kövesi
Monitoring Danube Drava National Park Directorate

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology Quantity & dynamics of flow, Substrate conditions
Biology Fish: Species composition
Physico-chemical Nutrient concentrations
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Dredging, Removal of rock-fill weir, Relocation of the drinking water pipes
Floodplain / River corridor Control of invasive species
Planform / Channel pattern
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Protection of the island, Ensuring biodiversity
Social measures (incl. engagement) Recreation, Improvement of drinking water quality, Land purchase
Other Information provision, Consultation, Participation in works


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Quantity & dynamics of flow Yes Yes No Yes No Awaiting results

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Fish: Species composition No No Yes No No Awaiting results
Invertebrates: Taxonomic composition No No Yes No No Awaiting results

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Nutrient concentrations No No No Yes No Awaiting results

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description Centre for Ecological Research HAS - The institute network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is set to produce values for both national and international success in Hungarian and universal science. The Centre's primary aim is to play a fundamental role in promoting the common weal and in building the foundation for the future through valuable scientific achievements based on highly promising discovery research. The Centre consists of three institutes, the Balaton Limnological Institute, the Danube Research Institute and the Institute of Ecology and Botany. General Driectorate of Water Management - General Directorate of Water Management (OVF) is a background institution of the Ministry of Interior. It supports the work of the Minister regarding the flood management. Its main task is the coordination of flood hazard prevention, river control and flood protection activities, and the management of development projects concerning water bodies. OVF has 12 regional directorates which are coordinating the catchment management planning according to the requirements of the EU WFD. They take preventive and protective measures against floods, carry out status assessments and are the leading organizations in the management and implementation of river restoration projects. National Institute for Environment - The National Institute for Environment (NeKI) is a background institution of the Ministry of Rural Development, and assists the Minister in the various duties of water management, environmental protection and nature conservation. NeKI has 12 regional branch offices, and is in charge of the strategies, policies and regulations regarding the management and exploitation of water resources. It performs environmental monitoring, status and impact assessments, administrates the national network for hydrological, hydrographical, hydrogeological and quality measurements of public waters. NeKI also coordinates the planning and the implementation of national and EU projects. en.php National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water - The Inspectorate attends to administrational and water management matters, to analyses and consideration of law proposals in its field, and it supervises its 10 regional inspectorates as well. It coordinates international co-operations and takes part in the tasks connected to the EU integration. The regional inspectorates and two sub-offices are the 'green authorities' at first instance. The regional inspectorates are responsible for registration, monitoring, protection, conservation, reconstruction, rehabilitation, authorization and penalty processes regarding environment, nature and water in their assigned territory. WWF Hungary - WWF Hungary is the Hungarian arm of the WWF Network and was founded in 1991. It's main aims are protecting the biodiversity of Hungary by focusing on freshwaters, forests and priority species. They are also fighting against climate change and they support WWF's conservation work as well. They participated in the development of the Danube Strategy, as well as organized conservation projects on Hungary's two largest rivers, the Tisza and the Danube. International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) - The ICPDR is an International Organisation consisting of 14 cooperating states and the European Union. Since its establishment in 1998, the ICPDR has grown into one of the largest and most active international bodies of river basin management expertise in Europe. The ICPDR deals not only with the Danube itself, but also with the whole Danube River Basin, which includes its tributaries and the ground water resources.

Supplementary Information

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