The project follows two former LIFE projects in the Wachau Region and builds on their findings. The revitalisation of exiting backwaters and the creation of a new side arm is planned, as are species conservation measures (amphibians, black poplar and sea eagle) and the generation of approximately 50 ha of nature conservation area with new and improved floodplain forests.
A 1.4 km long side arm with year-round water flow will be created in the area of the silted-up remains of old tributaries (ponds) “Anzuglacke”, “Sportplatzlacke” und “Schopperstattlacke”. In the process, standing water bodies, bays and small-scale riverbank structures shall be preserved or created. By transforming orchards, circa 2 ha of new floodplain forest will be created, looking towards the Danube. Along the side arm circa 3 ha adjoining area will be established. For the maintenance of the driveway to the drinking fountain a bridge is necessary which can be used by trucks (clear span of 20 to 25 m). Furthermore, the maintenance of the pedestrian connection (footbridge) is planned.
Orchards (public water resources) in the extend of circa 10 ha will be retransformed into floodplain forest. Areas with box elder (circa 2 ha) will be transformed into site-specific forest. A breaktrough to the Danube allows for additional guaranteed flow in the side arms Pritzenau and Schopperstatt. In the Pritzenau a circa 36 ha wide nature conservation area is being prepared.
Flattening of the Danube riverbanks in the existing side arm at Rührsdorf; removal of the narrow passage in the Venediger side arm by widening the water body at Rührsdorf (establishment of a new bridge element with a total clear span of 24 m); improvement of the floodplain forest on a community area of circa 3 ha: removal of neophytes, reforestation with indigenous trees.
Neophytes like box elder and robinia shall be removed from circa 6 ha on the Schönbühler island to be replaced by site-specific trees. The Schönbühler island is being prepared as a circa 14 ha wide nature conservation area.
Amphibians protection concept and establishment of 10 large spawning waters and 10 temporary ponds (inter alia for crested newt, yellow-bellied toad).
Cataloguing of the autochthonous black poplars in the Wachau, protection of old trees, planting of seedlings.
Definition and establishment of eyrie protection zones; hanging of artificial eyries in the forest Donauleithen on the Schönbühler and the Grimsinger island.
After the official project start in January 2015 the project organisation was established and all partner and co-financing agreements were signed. The approval planning and the coordination with the responsible authorities will soon be concluded. All nesting aids for sea eagles are installed and the foundations for the nature reserve proceedings Schönbühel exist in a draft version.
The project will be completed by the end of 2020.