A team of Donau-Auen National Park visited the Abwinden-Langau area (2118,6 – 2116,8 km), Austria on January 13th 2022.
The aim of the visit was to inspect the right bank downstream of the Abwinden Hydro Power Plant in order to better plan and outline the future protection of the LIFE WILDisland project area.
This is one of the most ambitious and expensive actions, provided in the LIFE WILDisland project and will be carried out by VHP VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH.
In the XIXth century, this riparian section was very dynamic and diverse. After river regulation, islands with optimal conditions for softwood forests still dominated the landscape, but after additional hydro-morphological alterations and the erection of the hydro-power plant, these natural values got extinct.
This is why the LIFE WILDisland project provides for the restoration of a side branch and the initiation of a new Danube island, sized 6 ha. The main objective is to dynamize the landscape, initiate river dynamic processes and create a dynamic riverine landscape (see here).
The new island will be designated as a public water body “Öffentliches Wassergut” with the objective to serve public interests like flood protection and nature conservation. It will also be designated as Natura 2000 site to ensure the long-term conservation of the restored area and the responsible authority (OÖ Landesregierung) has already proven its commitment.