19.09.2023 - Slovakian-Austrian cooperation is an essential part of Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube. On 19 September 2023, a large delegation of Slovakian Danube experts visited the reconnected Spittelauer arm in Austria. Once again, many different Danube organisations from Slovakia were brought together for a joint exchange.
07.09.2023 - As part of the HORIZON 2020 research project MERLIN, viadonau will extend the Spittelauer Arm with a bank restoration downstream of the estuary. This will create even more high-quality floodplain habitat. More than 40 partners from all over Europe are involved in this project, including many research institutions. The findings from the Austrian Danube floodplains will help to better realise future renaturation projects in Europe. There is particularly close co-operation with our Hungarian Danube colleagues, who were able to visit the side arm and the future bank restoration today.
25.06.2023 - As announced, viadonau once again presented the Haslau-Regelsbrunn water network project to local residents at an information stand during the Haslau-Maria Ellend fishing club's youth fishing event. A special highlight was certainly the focus on "Hydraulic engineering by humans and animals" with interesting beaver presentations for children.
02.06.2023 – On the occasion of the working visit of EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius in Vienna, viadonau presented current LIFE renaturation- and species protection projects to the Commissioner and the Austrian Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler. By means of the reconnection of the Spittelau Arm, the functioning and effects of renaturation projects on the Austrian Danube were presented. The guests were particularly impressed by the speed at which high-quality habitats develop after the construction work.
21.05.2022 - On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the EU's LIFE funding programme, an information day took place on 21 May 2022 at the Haslau-Regelsbrunn side-arm reconnection site. The reconnection of the branched tributary to the Danube is part of the LIFE project "Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube". Experts from the Danube Floodplain National Park, WWF Austria and viadonau informed the visitors about the LIFE programme and the planned renaturation measures for the conservation of the Danube floodplain during guided tours and at two information stands. An event organised by our Slovakian project partners ran in parallel.
20.12.2021 - At the end of December 2021 the first part of an expert study for restoration of the side arms of the Danube in Slovakia was completed. It is a basis for the first negotiations with the river basin administration as well as other stakeholders and at the same time the study represents an expert base for elaboration of detailed technical documentation. The study evaluates options of water regime restoration in the area of the Sihoť island with regard to its use and strict protection as a water source area. The next part of the study is focused on the area of the lower part of Istragov Island – specifically on the Foki branch. In both cases the experts completely evaluated the river morphology of the area – its historical development, current state and possibilities of restoration. In both cases, several alternative solutions are proposed, which will be consulted with the stakeholders involved and evaluated in relation to the project possibilities.
20.12.2021 - During the last two months of 2021, areas with a total surface of 7 hectares were prepared for the planting of young trees. All are located in close proximity to the Danube river branches and the old Danube riverbed in the cadastral area of Gabčíkovo. The original domestic tree species typical for these habitats will be planted on selected areas: white willow (Salix alba), white poplar (Populus alba), black poplar (Populus nigra) and common oak (Quercus robur).
01.11.2021 - Based on data from the mapping of healthy adult trees of domestic species of ash and elm, the most suitable ones were selected for seed collection and subsequent cultivation of seedlings. After the ripening, seeds from the designated trees were collected, harvested and sown during the autumn period. A process of their certification has also been launched so that the declared plantations can be officially planted in suitable locations within the Slovak part of the Danube floodplains project area.
30.09.2021 - Our Spittelauer Arm delivered a special prime-time television moment on Tuesday. In part 1 of the Universum documentary "Natural Heritage Austria - The National Parks", the newly connected branch was presented. Shortly after the connection, the newly created habitat can already compete with Austria's most beautiful landscapes. Our picture shows four screenshots from the broadcast (Interspot/ORF).
17.09.2021 - In 2021, the summer months were again used for excursions to our Slovakian project areas. The perfect opportunity to get an impression of the goals and measures of Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube. Without renaturation measures such as those planned here, the impressive landscapes of the Danube floodplains in Austria and Slovakia could soon be a thing of the past. The needs of typical floodplain plants and animals were explained to families and there was a fruitful expert exchange with colleagues from SOS/BirdLife Slovakia.
09.07.2021 - Today, a large Slovak delegation, consisting of employees of the Ministry of Environment and other organizations related to the Danube, visited the Austrian riverengineering measures of Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube.The expert excursion was organized by ŠOP SR - Dunajské luhy Protected Landscape Area Administration, Water Section of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic, City of Bratislava and project-partner BROZ. In the background of the group picture you can see the huge new outflow opening of the Spittelau arm.
28.06.2021 - On June 18 and 25, 2021, the project team organized excursions in small groups for the communities Haslau-Maria Ellend and Scharndorf. The experts explained the participants the siltation of the tributary system Haslau-Regelsbrunn and the drastically decreasing fish stocks. The sidearm reconnection will counteract these developments. The project also makes an important contribution to stabilizing the riverbed and the water levels in the Danube section. The participants were able to address questions and suggestions directly to the project team. Before the excursions, comprehensive project information was sent to all households.
03.05.2021 - Today, our Spittelauer side arm was ceremoniously opened in the form of a boat tour! State Secretary Magnus Brunner, Lower Austria's Deputy Governor Stephan Pernkopf, Vienna's Climate Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky, National Park Director Edith Klauser and WWF Austria Managing Director Andrea Johanides together with viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler were convinced of the impressive result of the renaturation measures. Thus, the first construction measure of Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube is completed! Read more here.
03.05.2021 - The recently deceased Prince Philip was not only husband of the English Queen Elizabeth II, but also President of WWF International. In this function he visited the Spittelauer side arm by boat on 03.05.1984, in order to campaign against the planned hydropower plant Hainburg. Exactly 37 years later, the revitalized Spittelauer side arm was inaugurated with another boat trip. He probably would have liked it. Report on derstandard.at.
13.03.2021 - Together with volunteers we planted the first stand of domestic tree species in the Slovak part of the project area. A total of 400 willow seedlings will help with the gradual restoration of the species composition of the original floodplain forests around the Danube. For all participants who helped with the planting of the first project riparian forest, the event was associated with the presentation of the LIFE project, Natura 2000 network and planned project activities. At the end there was also a short excursion in a beautiful part of the project area.
01.02.2021 - Turned the page yet? The month February in the official LIFE Calendar 2021 is dedicated to our renaturation project "Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube"! What an honor, because only 12 projects of many implemented in the last years from all over Europe could be selected. So, we don't mind that it became the shortest possible month. We wish you a happy and healthy February!
22.10.2020 - Excursions to the Slovakian project areas of Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube are important for the preparation of the planned renaturations. The Danube floodplains offer a lot of space for information and discussion. Despite the pandemic, the warm season could be used to bring families and stakeholders closer to our projects and the Natura 2000 network. We were able to guide experts from many fields and also representatives of the European Parliament through the floodplain landscape. In the kayak, the impairments of the water regime by the Gabčíkovo power plants are particularly impressive to observe. Here are a few impressions of our communication measures.
10.09.2020 - The highlight of every side arm connection is the beginning of the opening of the inlet area. From now on, the Spittelauer Arm has Danube water flowing through it almost all year round. The still small opening will be expanded into a larger inlet area over the next few weeks.
Photos: © viadonau/Zinner
August 19, 2020 – The reconnection of the Spittelauer Arm vis-a-vis Hainburg is in full swing. In the immediate vicinity of Sea Eagle's nests, a 4 km long side-arm is being created. The construction concept pays special attention to the needs of the majestic birds of prey and the work is monitored by the National Park Donau-Auen as a project partner.
Get exciting insights into the construction work at Spittelauer side-arm in our short film from the perspective of a sea eagle.
19.06.2020 - June 19, 2020 - Once water can flow again trough the Spittelau side arm, it will shape its surroundings through erosion and sedimentation. That is exactly the dynamic that shall be achieve within the Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube project. National park colleague Karoline Zsak documents the existing bank structures so that the development can be evaluated later in detail. This can be done particularly good from a kayak - even if there is still a lack of water in the side arm.
Find out more on the National Park Blog: https://blog.donauauen.at/erhebung-von-uferstrukturen/
20.05.2020 - Due to the renaturation of the Danube and its floodplains, road connections are constantly changing. A particular work package from the project "Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube" is dedicated to the network of paths and possible uses by humans. In this course the 'Krickeldamm' traverse has just been renovated. This inflow of the Fischa into the Haslau-Regelsbrunn side-arm-system became impassable due to a flood. Claws and unwanted sediment deposits have now been removed.
15.04.2020 - State Secretary Magnus Brunner, Deputy Governor of Lower Austria Stefan Pernkopf, National Park Director Edith Klauser and viadonau Managing Director Hans-Peter Hasenbichler present the "Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube" project in a joint press release. They underline the importance of extensive restoration measures for the Danube floodplain habitat.
13.03.2020 - At the beginning of March, the next transverse structure was tackled to ensure that water flows through the Spittelau side arm system. Our local inspection of the construction site shows the rapid progress in the dismantling and removal of the northern part of the Spittelauer traverse.
24.02.2020 – Despite a short break due to incoming floods, the construction works concerning the reconnection of the Spittelauer Arm opposite of Hainburg are going well. With the removal of the so called “sloppy traverse” (orig.: “Schlamperte Traverse”) or “rough toss” (orig.: Rauer Wurf), the first, out of four transversal structures, has been fully removed. Next on the list is the Spittelauer Traverse. Two transshipment points have been created along the Danube bank, where the armoring stones will be taken away from via ship. These will be fully removed at the end of the project.
20.02.2020 - On the 18th and 19th of February 2020, the project advisor of NEEMO visited us for the first time. This consortium is responsible for the constant monitoring and the supervision of all LIFE Projects. After introducing the Project team and our responsibilities, we had enough time to visit the Austrian measures of the LIFE project at Spittelauer Arm and Haslau-Regelsbrunn.
15.01.2020 - Within the project the revitalization of two large side-arm systems is planned along the Austrian Danube. For this purpose, the hydraulic engineering work for the re-connection of the socalled "Spittelauer Side-Arm" has started and is currently in full swing. In December 2019, the necessary forest clearing was already carried out, as essential preparatory measures. Afterwards the removal of the first transverse structure - the "Rauer Wurf" traverse - began in January. The next step is to completely remove the next traverse, the "Spittelauer Traverse".
The aim is to completely remove all riverbank reinforcements in order to enable an unimpeded and natural development of the side-arm in the future. Also old, buried rip-rap structures discovered in the course of the work are removed. The stones are collected on the banks of the Danube and later picked up by ship.
15.11.2019 - After the successful application for the LIFE project, on November 15, 2019, the first joint steering meeting of the Austrian and Slovak project partners took place. The team has a high level of expertise in renaturation projects and plenty of LIFE project experience. Find out more about the consortium on the sub-site "Partners & Financing". Furthermore the team was able to gather new information from the previous kick-off of all new LIFE projects on November 5th and 6th organised in Brussels.
16.09.2019 - We are very pleased that our project to improve the habitats in the Danube floodplains has been included in the LIFE program for the promotion of nature and biodiversity. With this project, the EU supports improvements in Natura 2000 protected areas, such as the Austrian and Slovakian wetlands, alluvial forest and aquatic habitats. We thank the many supporters for their trust to implement this ambitious project!