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Restoration Planning starts at Upper Danube research site at Paradeis Island

Progress is continuining at great pace on the project's first Demonstration Site at Paradeis Island in the Donau-Auen National Park, Austria.

On July 7th, experts from viadonau, DANUBEPARKS, National Park Donau-Auen, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) and the engineering company RIOCOM came together to discuss requirements and expectations for the planning of the restoration actions at the Paradeisinsel island complex in Austria.

Image courtesy of DANUBEPARKS Network of Protected Areas

After the meeting in Schloss Orth, the experts visited the project site in order to discuss the revitalization aims, current settings and practical technical possibilities in the field.

The DANUBE4all project includes the restoration of one of the most spectacular island complexes in the Donau-Auen National Park as one of its pilot measures in the Upper Danube. The intention is to remove about 2 km of embankment and adapt the groynes and navigation infrastructure upstream of the island. The restoration measures are inspired by, and in full synergy with, the WILDisland concept and aim to re-dynamize this riparian section and free the river flow. The experts discussed expected outcomes and ways to optimize the anticipated conservation impact, as well as the timeline of the planning process and other aspects which need to be taken into consideration such as synergies, similar projects, and co-creation measures.

Once the planning stage is completed, construction will be undertaken by viadonau, the Austrian waterway operator. RIOCOM won the tendering process and are preparing the technical plans for the up-coming construction works. The company, together with river authorities and riparian communities, works to develop ideas on measures to give space back to rivers and floodplains. RIOCOM are highly experienced in river revitalization, risk management, high-water protection, and modelling. Their engineers understand the language of ecologists and conservationists and the project is counting on them to assist in bringing all the interests of the site and project aims in this section into harmony. The company is also working on the nearby Schwalbeninsel complex within the WILDisland project, which guarantees they will use their experience to develop the two project sites in full synergy and in line with the conservation expectations.

Once the planning is complete at the end of the year, the documents will be submitted to the relevant authorities for approval, with construction works on site anticipated to commence by the end of 2024.

Images courtesy of DANUBEPARKS Network of Protected Areas

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