Welcome to the website of the European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR)

The ECRR is a European network consisting of national centres, organisations, institutions and individual subscribents bound by their mission to encourage and support ecological river restoration throughout greater Europe.

The ECRR connects people and organizations working on river restoration. The network consists of almost 1000 contacts (organisations and individuals), is represented in 12 European countries by a national centre, and works together closely with a number of key partners.

The ECRR supports development of best practices of river restoration and disseminates information on ecological river restoration: for instance via the RiverWike Platform for case studies from all over Europe.

What is river restoration?

River restoration is action that restores the natural state and functioning of a river system in support of biodiversity, recreation, flood safety and landscape development. Read more...

Step-by-step guidance on how to develop and implement a successful river restoration project in Europe.

River restoration can generate economic benefits from tourism, recreation, flood control and many other services provided by healthy river ecosystems.

Restoration can make significant contributions to flood risk reduction by increasing the natural retention capacity of rivers. Excess water can be absorbed by restoring wetlands and floodplains, former meanders and other natural storage areas.

River restoration contributes to biodiversity by restoring natural habitats that support aquatic animals and plants.

Hydropower production may harm rivers by affecting changes such as natural water flows and disconnecting upstream and downstream areas. Restoration offers opportunities to mitigate these impacts.



The RESTORE project

The ECRR worked together in close collaboration with the RESTORE project, which ran between 2010 and 2013. It launched with six European partners and the objective of making connections between river restoration professionals in Europe and joining existing national efforts on river restoration.

The RESTORE partnership created this website to share knowledge and promoting best practice on river restoration in Europe. The partnership encourage the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state for increased ecological quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits. As the project has ended, the ECRR will carry this forward.

Some of the other key outputs of the RESTORE project are the RiverWiki, the Layman's report (that sets a direction for future activities) and the river restoration guide for planners: Rivers by Design.

Publications-Latest uploads

ECRR Response to the Public Consultation to inform the Fitness Check of the EU Water Framework Directives and related Directives.

The ECRR is an independent Association, free to voice opinions, irrespective of the interest of partners and supporters. ECRR's main review conclusions are:

  • It is generally not the WFD and RBMP instrument causing problems in achieving results.
  • The aspect that fails is the implementation at the local, regional and national levels.
  • Failing is often based on conflicting objectives, lack of policy coherence or lack of political willingness and understanding.
  • ECRR remains very supportive of the WFD and does not want to see it or its ambitions weakened.
  • The WFD fits very well with the concept and vision of river restoration promoted by the ECRR.
  • This concept and vision fits very well with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aim to restore degraded and destroyed ecosystems.
  • It is likely if the requirements for the WFD are lowered, then the status of rivers will not be subject to as many restoration actions at either a national or EU scale.

Download the full report: ECRR Submission to WFD Review 2010.3.19.pdf


ECRR Newsletter 3-2018 December

This newsletter testifies how a part of ECRR's mission 'Connecting people and organisations working on river restoration and management' is brought in practice in different manners, like by the questionnaire about ECRR communications, the ECRR general members meeting, participating in conferences and seminars, stimulating national river restoration centres, supporting of the WFD Review campaign and the call for collaboration on  river barrier location, removal and mitigation in Europe. By this way, already only in a couple of months hundreds to thousands of people are directly and/or indirectly contacted and connected.

Newsletter ECRR 3-2018.pdf


Presentations on river restoration and WFD implementation

To the occasion of the ECRR General Members Meeting a mini-symposium was organised by STOWA the National Centre for Stream and River Restoration in the Netherlands. The general theme was 'River restoration & WFD implementation'. An European and 4 national views from this perspective were presented to the 50 participants of the symposium in the morning, followed by a field exscursion in the afternoon.

OpeningPresentationGMM2018 ErnestdeGrootSTOWA.pdf

ECRRViewonRiverRestorationandWFDimplementation MartinJanes ECRRTheRRC.pdf

SystemAnalysisasbasisforriverrestoration BasvanderWalSTOWA.pdf


Enhancedriverrestoration&WFDimplementationNorway AndersIversenNorway.pdf


Case studies on river continuity restoration by weir removal in France!

The Agency for Biodiversity, also the National Centre for River Restoration in France provided us 6 case studies on river continuity restoration by weir removal in English language. These case studies are also included in the RiverWiki, but these information sheets give other, additional information about the projects.

1. REX2018_ALAGNON_GB_v2BD.pdf

2. REX2018_ERVE_GB_v3BD.pdf

3. REX2018_LEFF_GB_v2BD.pdf

4. REX2018_MARIA_GB_v2BD.pdf

5. REX2018_SIENNE_GB_v1BD.pdf

6. REX2018_SOANAN_GBv2BD.pdf


ECRR Newsletter 2-2018 July

The content of this ECRR Newsletter shows that the river restoration and river management communities are more, and more together on the move for more and better river restoration activities. The articles about the IS Rivers 2018 Conference and the GWP-CEE Summer School 2018 ‘Towards Agenda 2030’ witness a real drive by the youth and the science. Then the articles of the winner of the UK River Prize 2018 ‘Hill to Levels’, the French river continuity restoration approach and the Yecla de Yeltes Dam Removal, in Spain prove that the (best) practices are available.

The DriDanube Project article on the ‘Drought Risk in the Danube region’ describes an advanced approach for monitoring, early warning and impact assessments of droughts for the development of a strategy to improve drought emergency response.

A number of informative announcements are in this issue highlighted as well: The World Rivers Day on the 23rd of September, a handbook presentation ‘From sea to source 2.0’ on river connectivity restoration, and a call for cooperation on knowledge about all aspects of riparian vegetation by the COST CONVERGES Action. We want to remark the 16th EUROPE-INBO 2018 International Conference on the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive will be held in Sevilla, Spain and finally the international river restoration event calendar is updated extensively.

Newsletter ECRR 2018-2-July.pdf


For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets ECRR and partners

TweetId: 1108774470150512640 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT PfRglobal: "When discussing disaster management #legislation and #policy, one should understand what these mean and how proces… https://t.co/2D7usYM60g 21-03-19 16:56
TweetId: 1108774383240253440 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT WetlandsInt: It's #WetlandsWednesday! A good day to think about how there is no water without wetlands. 💧💧💧That's why, while cel… https://t.co/N8h0sm69M6 21-03-19 16:56
TweetId: 1108774285081038850 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT WetlandsIntEA: Communities in #RufijiDelta join hands to conserve the #mangrove forest & resources as they celebrated this years… https://t.co/jtms4Qlo4q 21-03-19 16:56
TweetId: 1108774073641959427 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT WetlandsIntEA: You are never too young to start learning about the importance of forests. #MangroveForestshttps://t.co/aPiHFciN4X 21-03-19 16:55
TweetId: 1108766493729325061 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN GEF IW:LEARN wishes everyone a Happy World Water Day. Learn more about this year's World Water Development Report a… https://t.co/wj5uECuLPJ 21-03-19 16:25
TweetId: 1108764320614117376 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT dw_environment: The Mesopotamian marshlands in southern Iraq were once the largest wetland ecosystem in western Eurasia – but after… https://t.co/gupGlggaO7 21-03-19 16:16
TweetId: 1108763046074306561 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope #water as a right. Let's protect our freshwater ecosystems. We will all benefit from it. https://t.co/QNSzVywnyB 21-03-19 16:11
TweetId: 1108761753427550208 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope @WetlandsEurope @RPBrotherton calling for better implementation and enforcement of the #water Framework Directive… https://t.co/96sDHhGLpR 21-03-19 16:06
TweetId: 1108759965370671104 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT greifswaldmoor: Great achievement, congratulations! So good to see #peatlands recognised at #UNEA4. More joint action of globally a… https://t.co/CSlgLfyNsL 21-03-19 15:59
TweetId: 1108759366688215040 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Onnistutaanko puusta kehittämään tehokas vedenpuhdistaja valumavesille? Seuraa #Puumavesi-hankkeen etenemistä ja tu… https://t.co/UQD8HnPwSw 21-03-19 15:56
TweetId: 1108706964811468802 ECRR Network ECRRnetwork ECRRnetwork RT EndangeredLands: We're excited to share news of #ELPGeorgia's local launch, and look forward to sharing updates on how they are achi… https://t.co/7G2Tn3Cpii 21-03-19 12:28
TweetId: 1108701822032793600 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Kattojen #lumikuorma'varoitus edelleen voimassa Itä- ja Pohjois-Suomessa: isojen hallien lumikuormaa tarkkailtava.… https://t.co/OsVew9utp8 21-03-19 12:08
TweetId: 1108696652175589377 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Emma Terämä ja Leena Kopperoinen Ratkaisuja-blogissa: Puita tarvitaan myös tiivistyvään kaupunkiin #viherrakennehttps://t.co/l7nF3TRC5p 21-03-19 11:47
TweetId: 1108679210296635393 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo RT pinnanalta: Järvien jäät heikkenevät Etelä- ja Länsi-Suomessa, jäillä liikkujien oltava varovaisia! https://t.co/Z27yYrngeQ… https://t.co/cy3LCuySTK 21-03-19 10:38
TweetId: 1108657054179315712 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE #SUMMERSCHOOL 2019 "When the stakes are high: Water Engineering and Global Diplomacy for Sustainable Cities" will f… https://t.co/VpHvpZz5d0 21-03-19 09:10
TweetId: 1108630585508020226 International RiverFoundation ReviveOurRivers ReviveOurRivers Celebrating 20 years, the River #Mersey in the #UK was awarded the very first International #Riverprize back in 199… https://t.co/2uQBH8cYmO 21-03-19 07:25
TweetId: 1108529867325227008 International RiverFoundation ReviveOurRivers ReviveOurRivers RT ErieCoDEP: Do you have a solution to plastic pollution in our seas? Enter this contest. https://t.co/rAWka2y8MH 21-03-19 00:44
TweetId: 1108500047182942210 Fish Migration fishmigration fishmigration Attending at #wildestad #wildcity screening at @NLintheUSA @dceff_org film festival hope they some #wildfish too… https://t.co/vIU1Po2a5q 20-03-19 22:46
TweetId: 1108458806781116416 Fish Migration fishmigration fishmigration Thank you @TroutUnlimited @WWFUS @americanrivers @USFWSFisheries @pewenvironment for hosting this #happyfishhttps://t.co/zxJGaSG5Yg 20-03-19 20:02
TweetId: 1108428679288442880 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE "#NSWRMs are showing us how to take advantage of the natural features of the rivers and integrate them into water m… https://t.co/sKxA7s0QYm 20-03-19 18:02

River Restoration Events

Registration open!

The meeting will discuss how to improve the environmental sustainability of hydropower in the perspective of the EU Water Framework Directive, while enjoying the striking nature. The meeting presents three main themes on day one and a fieldtrip on day two. The themes are:

1. Essential planning for sucesful improvement of environmental values while securing the benefits of hydropower production.  2. The smorgasbord of environmental measures and best available technology. 3. Governance with regard to sustainability, resilience, biodiversity and climate change.

Preliminarary Programme: Programme Sustainable hydropower.pdf

Registration and information: http://www.havochvatten.se/sustainable-hydropower

Contact: Björn Sjöberg; bjorn.sjoberg@havochvatten.se or Magnus Johansson; magnus.rjohansson@lansstrelsen.se.

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

6th ERRC, Vienna October '14

The ECRR and the SEE River Project together organised the 6th edition of the European River Restoration Conference (ERRC), integrated with the Final event of the SEE River project. The ERRC was held from 27 - 29 October in Vienna. 

The webpage on the conference contains all the presentations, recordings of the presentations, the conference report and the final statement.

Alongside the conference, the 2nd European Riverprize was awarded in Vienna's magnicifant City Hall on 28 October; the winner is the River Mur (Austria)!

Wetlands International presents River Talk; a series of short video interviews with featured speakers at the 2014 European River Restoration Conference. Topics include the state of Europe’s rivers, challenges, opportunities and innovative approaches for river restoration, the European Riverprize, better implementation of European environmental directives through green infrastructure, floods and disaster risk reduction, and urban planning. 

5th ERRC, 2013

Celebrating successes & addressing challenges

The European Centre for River Restoration, alongside the RESTORE partnership, organised the 5th European River Restoration Conference (11-13 September 2013) in Vienna, Austria.

The event showcased inspiring examples of river restoration and shared lessons learned about the successes, challenges and opportunities for river restoration in Europe. The conference brought together over 300 key policy makers and restoration practitioners to discuss opportunities for river restoration to achieve a number of environmental, economic and social objectives.

The conference featured the 1st European Riverprize awarded by the International River Foundation and won by the river Rhine.

See the conference programme and view the presentations, posters and videos on our conference page.