Case study:Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse: the River Enns restoration

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Location: 47° 34' 21", 14° 20' 12"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life.php?navid=102
Themes Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - forestry, Monitoring
Country Austria
Main contact forename Daniel
Main contact surname Kreiner
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Gesäuse National Park
Contact organisation web site http://www.nationalpark.co.at
Partner organisations
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse: the Johnsbach Beck restoration
Project picture

Project summary

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The natural habitats in and beside the River Enns as well as the Johnsbach brook improved significantly with the implementation of this LIFE+ funded project, delivered by the National Park in the River Enns and its surrounding ecosystems. Restoration actions took place in multiple sites to re-establish an ecologically functioning wetland along the water courses and tributaries, with focus in connectivity (transversal and longitudinal) and landscape diversity.

Works in the rivers Enns and Palten included the creation of a new estuary in their confluence. Bank reinforcement structures along 500 m of the River Enns were replaced by typical riverine structures (i.e. gravel banks, bank erosion areas, piles of deadwood) which are developing. A new large pond for amphibians was completely cut-off from both rivers to prevent the immigration of fishes. Common frogs (“Rana temporaria”) and European toads (“Bufo bufo”) breed here.

Another target was the re-naturalisation of the floodplain forest for enhancing longitudinal connectivity of the river Enns. 306 ha of spruce dominated forests are now a natural mixed forest. Restoration of the River Enns and its surrounding ecosystems are also in line with a long-term strategy to protect special habitats and endangered species (i.e. Black woodpecker (“Dryocopus martius”), Eurasian pygmy owl (“Glaucidium passerinum) and the Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina).

With focus on mountain pastures and species (i.e. black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), yellow bellied toad (“Bombina variegate”), etc.), the regulation of grazing intensity and access to drinking water in within the project area were also a priority.

A monitoring programme was established for the assessment of restoration outcomes. Increasing public awareness and dissemination of results are supported by public activities. For instance, specially trained wardens are to guide visitors and provide information on restoration outcomes in terms of habitats and landscape diversity and services. In addition, a thematic trail with interactive information facilities is in place.

The River Restoration Centre would like to thank Daniel Kreiner from the Gesäuse National Park for providing the information and photographs for this case study.

Work included educating the community on environmental protection and promoting environmentally-friendly behaviour.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment

Catchment

River basin district Danube
River basin Enns

Subcatchment

River name
Area category
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Ecoregion
Dominant land cover
Waterbody ID



Other case studies in this subcatchment: Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse: the Johnsbach Beck restoration


Site

Name
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name River Enns
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations National Park, Natura 2000
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest Alcedo atthis, Bombina variegata, Bonasa bonasia, Cottus gobio, Cypripedium calceolus, Dendrocopos leucotos,  Eudontomyzon spp., Ficedula parva, Leuciscus souffia, Lutra lutra, Picoides tridactylus, Picus canus, Rosalia alpina, Tetrao tetrix tetrix, Tetrao urogallus
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s) 201
201 m³/s
201,000 l/s
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2005/08/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2011/02/01
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) 2,363.206 
2,363.206 k€
2,363,206 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources EU LIFE III

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance
Monitoring

Supplementary funding information

Total budget 2,363,206.00 € EU contribution 1,181,603.00 €



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Regulation of water courses,  intensive forestry practices,  tourism,  traffic
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Creation of gravel banks, Bank improvement, Creation of pools and riffles, Creation of pools and riffles, Bank stabilisation, Bank protection
Floodplain / River corridor Creation of pond, Develop riparian forest
Planform / Channel pattern
Other Creation of a new estuary
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Monitoring strategy
Social measures (incl. engagement) Community Education
Other Popularization of the project


Monitoring

Hydromorphological quality elements

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

Biological quality elements

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

Physico-chemical quality elements

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

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
http://www.life-enns.at/projekt en.php LIFE Enns Fluss Landschaft Enns
http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life.php Life-Project: Conservation strategies for forest and wild river in Gesaeuse
http://www.nationalpark.co.at/nationalpark/de/life-gewaesser-ennsleitlinie.php Gewässer-Auen-Leitlinie „Enns“ (Partnerprojekt)

Supplementary Information

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1. Nationalpark Gesäuse GmbH (2010) Laienbericht des Projektes

2. Nationalpark Gesäuse GmbH (2011) Project's Final Report