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 800 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 RiverWiki 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

River Restoration and Biodiversity

This IUCN document provides the blueprint for how to move ahead with river restoration. The messages are:

  • ​Healthy rivers are important for people and nature, but much historic damage has caused serious problems that now need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
  • River restoration s important for achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • Working with nature allows us to achieve many otherwise conflicting objectives.
  • Working, with natural processes and natural flood management, is a cost-effective response to changing climate.

ECRR Newsletter, October 2016


This newsletter includes a variety of articles on river restoration issues.

Download the ECRR Newsletter, October 2016.


UNESCO book: River Restoration

This book is the result of a collaborative effort between the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, Ministry of Water Resources, People's Republic of China (GWIP). GWIP has been tasked with coordinating a major programme of work to improve the condition of small and medium sized river basins in China. Many of these rivers become severely impacted as a result of pollution, over abstraction of water, dredging and other works within the channel and adjoining floodplain. This book was originally conceived to provide support to the planning and mangement of China's river restoration programme by reviewing approaches to river restoration and identifying frameworks and methods suitable to the Chinese situation. The content, however, considered to be universally applicable.


Floodplain Meadows – Beauty and Utility


In Shakespeare’s play Henry V, there is a scene, after the battle of Agincourt, where the captured Duke of Burgundy is lamenting the cost of war. He does this by conjuring up before our eyes a picture of what happens to a meadow when the men have gone off to battle and the fields lie neglected with no-one to mow them.



ECRR Newsletter, May 2016

This newsletter includes:

Report on the European River Symposium 2016, March 2-3 Vienna ​and ​Spain's Segura river awarded top prize for river restoration in Europe.



For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets ECRR and partners

TweetId: 821421556819750913 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE RT wwf_uk: Will we allow more #UNESCO sites to be excluded from the list? Help us #SavePirin! Pls Share:… https://t.co/I55e0Ho8u6 17-01-17 18:18
TweetId: 821352053817667584 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE RT WWFEU: Over 1/3 of all Europe's land habitats currently under threat based on 1st ever Red List of habitats https://t.co/FfXZhMgQNS #NatureAlert 17-01-17 13:42
TweetId: 821349036351438849 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE Humans have destroyed 7% of Earth’s pristine forest landscapes just since 2000 https://t.co/I3kw37geAt 17-01-17 13:30
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TweetId: 821288623328919552 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE WWF warns: By 2050 some will need the fish, others can afford it. Fish becomes an issue of #foodsecurityhttps://t.co/kuNzAfq1lQ 17-01-17 09:30
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TweetId: 821256336168144896 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE 2016 was the hottest year on record and the Arctic warmed much faster than predicted https://t.co/G8sfGJJcdl #climatechange 17-01-17 07:22
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River Restoration Conferences

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    Clean Water of Russia​

April 18 - 20, 2017 Ekaterinburg


The main topic of the symposium: Implementation of the Water Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020 with a plenary meeting on Implementation of the Water Strategy as a move towards water security.

​Programme:Thematic sessions, workshops, Panel sessions, Round tables, Open education and training seminars and Open lectures will be organised on several themes and topics. ECRR is invited by the Russian National Centre for River Restoration to organise a River Restoration Workshop. The Symposium is organised alongside the Clean Water of Russia Exhibitions. Contests, research project presentations  and technical excursions are also part of the programme. More information will follow soon.

​Organiser: ​Russian Research Institute for Integrated Water Management and Protection supported by ​Federal Agency of Water Resources ​and Governement of Sverdlovsk Oblast.

​​More information: ​rosniivh@rambler.ru ​and wrm@wrm.ru For the River Restoration Workshop info@ecrr.org

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.