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

IUCN report: River Restoration and Biodiversity

The document provides the blueprint for how to move ahead with river restoration. The key 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 is important for achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • Working with mature allows us to achieve many otherwise conflicting objectives.
  • River restoration, working with natural processes and natural flood management, is a cost effective response to changing climate.

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.



Flood risks and environmental vulnerability

This EEA report focuses on the role of floodplains in flood protection, water management, nature protection or agriculture and the impact of hydromorphological alterations on the ecosystem services that floodplains provide. 


For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets ECRR and partners

TweetId: 791707059515432961 CIRF CIRFcommunity CIRFcommunity Freshwater species populations fall by 81% between 1970 and 2012 https://t.co/lAsgivlKX8 via @freshwaterblog 27-10-16 18:24
TweetId: 791682634070056960 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Tykkäätkö Itämerestä? @PuhdasItameri Lokista löydät meren tarinat esimerkiksi meriympäristöstä @lokistories https://t.co/WFTY3nxp0s 27-10-16 16:47
TweetId: 791662856278335488 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope Planned waterways development may have negative impact on dozen #N2000 sites in Poland https://t.co/3qvxxdr5i8… https://t.co/l2eRjUrqRi 27-10-16 15:28
TweetId: 791661799120769024 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT JaneMadgwick: @WetlandsInt our European Association is giving advice to Polish stakeholders of Vistula River which faces massive… https://t.co/R06LH6wtTL 27-10-16 15:24
TweetId: 791632556584235008 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT SEGandrewK: #eel on the Vistula river Warsaw. The Polish now have translocate from the Atlantic millions to maintain the popula… https://t.co/mix6Ux3arG 27-10-16 13:28
TweetId: 791623076240850944 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo RT ELYkeskus: Miten sinä kierrätät? Vastaa kyselyyn 3.11. mennessä tästä linkistä: https://t.co/GXzPLi2sGf #kierrätys #lajitteluhttps://t.co/sDiEH1Gn9F 27-10-16 12:50
TweetId: 791583882151944192 ECRR Network ECRRnetwork ECRRnetwork RT JaneMadgwick: Safeguarding nature in Vistula River close to Warsaw city centre @WetlandsInt https://t.co/KJ1EzeB9Oq 27-10-16 10:14
TweetId: 791583470216736768 ECRR Network ECRRnetwork ECRRnetwork RT RSchinegger: The most recent #LivingPlanet report of @WWF shows also critical decline of freshwater fish species in Europe. https://t.co/mqXXuug761 27-10-16 10:13
TweetId: 791583427346722817 ECRR Network ECRRnetwork ECRRnetwork RT SEGandrewK: Wetlands International European Association meeting in Poland to promote river and wetland restoration #eel the fla… https://t.co/pymSX3UUZ3 27-10-16 10:12
TweetId: 791579770010103809 CIREF Cirefluvial Cirefluvial Demolida parcialmente la presa de La Salvadora en Aduna para favorecer el tránsito de salmones https://t.co/uDHFmokaVp 27-10-16 09:58
TweetId: 791577801535152128 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT SEGandrewK: We gather on a river boat on the Vistula Poland to consider rivers and Wetlands #eel and sustainability… https://t.co/o8Pc5XLTvG 27-10-16 09:50
TweetId: 791566799603130368 The RRC The_RRC The_RRC We will be releasing bookings for our 2017 Annual Conference next week...Watch this space! https://t.co/gDhh5zZsiY 27-10-16 09:06
TweetId: 791558682114920449 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE Biodiversity in Central and Southeastern Europe is in decline, but solutions are available https://t.co/ZYVPUxrBMz… https://t.co/9vn01WPkb6 27-10-16 08:34
TweetId: 791549898260897792 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE Species populations have declined by 58% for 40 years. Humanity is pushing the 🌏 to its limits… https://t.co/mMsiTQzUcI 27-10-16 07:59
TweetId: 791548924838481920 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope Today, we call for a sustainable future for Polish rivers https://t.co/7ws367f561 #rivers #wetlands #restoration #buildingwithnature 27-10-16 07:55
TweetId: 791529870845149184 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Saku Anttila pohtii kehityshankkeen kustannuksia ja hyötyjä #Envibase'n Avauksia-blogissa https://t.co/bqrqecTwmF https://t.co/a15xa9t5AS 27-10-16 06:40

River Restoration Conferences

Lourdes, 2013 flood.  

              EUROPE - INBO 2016​

      ​    Implementation of the WFD​

          Special preparatory workshop:

Circular Economy and Waste Water Reuse

19 - 22 October, 2016, Lourdes France

The 14th EUROPE - INBO conference is co-organized with the Group of European Basin Authorities for the  Implementation of the European Water Franework Directive. 

A preparatory workshop aims to exchange and compare the practices used by the various Member States and Basin Organisations to enable to meet the needs for strategy guidelines to integrate the principles of the circular economy on a basin scale.

The participants will have the opportunity to share their  experiences on the topics of four plenary ​Round Tables.
RT 1: Water Governance in Transboundary Basins
RT 2: WFD towards the 2019 review
RT 3: Adaptation to climate change: resource management, scarcity and drought
RT 4: Adaptation to climate change: knowledge of flood risks, management of aquatic environment and preventive basin meausres
ECRR will present a short report on the European River Symposium held in Vienna in March this year, titled: Building Partnerships in Integrated River Basin Management.
A technical visit will be organised to the Valeys of the Caves, upstream from Lourdes.
The works will be in English, French and Spanish.
Registration is free, but compulsory!


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.