DanubeDay 2023 in Austria


The WILDisland project took an active part in the celebration of the Danube Day 2023 in Austria.

On June 19th we organized a boat trip with a trash collection action for a class of students from the Vienna Business School. Kids embarked on one of the amazing islands of the Donau-Auen National Park in order to remove the plastic trash, collected following the last few events of high water. The children learnt more about the Danube, its wetlands, islands and the amazing variety of birds and plants they host, paying careful attention to the Little Ringed Plovers and Common Sandpipers, which are preparing to replace the clutches they lost due to the higher water.

The next day, June 20th, the LIFE WILDisland project and the Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management (Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Regionen und Wasserwirtschaf) shared an information stand to celebrate 40 years since the Convention on Wetlands was ratified in Austria to explain the importance of wetlands, their conservation, biodiversity and uniqueness.

The absolute favorite was Gari the Beaver, who wanted to tell everyone which habitats he likes the most, as well as our Little Ringed-Plover and her eggs the kids had to find hidden in the nearby gravel bank in Schlossinsel.

The stand was one among a colorful set of stations, visited by about 320 students from Vienna and Lower Austria. Together with the National Park Ranger Team, the kids were able to get closer to the fascination of animals of the Danube such as mussels, crayfish or gnats. They also learned about the high ecological value of wetlands such as rivers, floodplains, ponds and moors.
Further stations were designed by Generation Blue, viadonau, Wiener Gewässer with the project LIFE - Boat 4 Sturgeon and the youth platform JUMP. Responsible use of drinking water as a resource, working with a measuring boat drone, plastic waste as a threat to nature, protection of the endangered Danube sturgeon and the creative project Danube Art Master were among the other topics.

The campaign was attended by the National Park Director Edith Klauser, viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler, Susanne Brandstetter and Konrad Stania from the Ministry of Water, Thomas Kozuh-Schneeberger, City of Vienna - Viennese Waters, and Birgit Vogel, ICPDR.

Danube Day 2023 will mark the 20th annual Danube Day celebration, bringing together citizens from more than a dozen countries to celebrate their shared river waters. This year’s theme is “Keep the Danube Blue", inspired by the 4th Joint Danube Survey (JDS4), one of the world’s most comprehensive surface water monitoring efforts.

Check out what our colleagues from Kopacki rit Nature Park in Croatia have in store - a photo competition!

Join us and take part and action in your country, see details here: