Field Excursions

Against extra costs per excursion four optional field excursions are offered, being full day excursions with enough time in the field and with technical presentations by local experts and background documentation provided. The destinations are the famous Wachau (World Heritage Site) and the nearby Danube tributaries and to the Lower Thaya/Dyje meanders (Czech border). All excursions demonstrate good practices in modern river restoration of various types.

The field excursions are organised with the support of WWF and Zinke Environment Consulting. In May a special newsletter issue will be devoted to the field excursions to help to make an appropriate choice.

Drava SLO

Thematic excursions

1. Lower Thaya river - Integrative river restoration and flood protection
Formerly meandering lowland river with high ecological value at terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Major regulation works in the 1970s-80s and the fall of the “Iron Curtain” led to first restorations since the 1990s with various effects in the riparian border zone. Lessons learned from a failed one-sided meander re-connection were used for a modern, bilateral river restoration concept (full meander integration).

2. Restoration of Danube side-arms at Wachau
Reconnection of large Danube side-arms in the area of the scenic Danube gorge Wachau to restore river ecology, and improve hydro-morphology, fish migration and flood retention (sequence of LIFE projects). Integration with recreation and other land uses.

3. Flood protection system along the Danube
Presentation of modern flood protection systems (fixed and mobile), successfully working at the major flood event in June 2013, developed in combination with urban river restoration, tourism and river city development, with hydro-morphological and fish migration aspects.

4. Fish migration and river restoration at Danube tributaries
Various restoration aspects gained over the last 20 years concerning river ecology, hydro-morphology and fish migration are demonstrated at three mid-sized Danube tributaries, the pre-Alpine rivers Pielach, Melk and Traisen. The trip serves to discuss several fish bypasses and different restored morphological structures as well as the current rebuilding of the Traisen river (at more than 9 km). A common topic will be the situation after the flood event in mid May 2014.

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