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 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


Rivers are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world (Dudgeon et al 2006), especially affected by the longitudinal disconnection of the fluvial systems. Longitudinal connectivity in rivers is an extremely important concept that is altered by human activities such as flow regulation produced by dams, weirs and other barriers, disrupting the upstream-downstream linkages in the river (Ward 1989). The loss of longitudinal connectivity in rivers is a major problem worldwide as a result of the dam development (Gought et al. 2012).

Dams and weirs are necessary for human activities; they support agriculture and industry, provide water for human consumption, prevent flooding and also generate electricity. All this makes the dams important for society and, for this reason, they is no general intention to manage the passability of these obstacles.

Spain is one of the countries with the largest number of damsin the world. The existence of more than 1,500 large dams is documented (MAPAMA 2016). Of the total, 353 are state-owned and 1185 belong to private owners.

Download An-Analysis-of-River-Fragmentation-in-the-Spanish-River-Basins


The Living Lab for Mud (LLM): Integrated sediment management based on building with nature concepts.

LLM consists of a series of pilot projects within and outside the Netherlands, which integrate the various aspects and processes of sediment management: from sedimentation and resuspension, to fate and transport, to consolidation and strength development. The LLM integrates these physical processes with biota and socio-economic aspects, in order to develop feasible, applicable and sustainable BwN based solutions.

Download the  Living Lab for Mud


Six hydromorphological river restoration case studies in France

Six new hydromphology restoration examples carried out in France published by the French Agency for Biodiversity: Hydromorphological case studies in English

More case studies in French languages can be found: More case studies in French


ECRR Newsletter, August 2017

This newsletter is a very rich newsletter, with a wide variety of articles. The Polish and Italian River Restoration Centres have shared here the foundation, regular activities and future expectations of different National Centres across Europe. In addidition, this year an important technical event was the International Symposium on "Clean Water of Russia", featuring a river restoration workshop by the Russian River Restoration Centre and the ECRR, which raised great expectations all across Greater Europe.

Download the  ECRR Newsletter, August 2017


Report: Scientific/Practical Symposium 'Clean Water of Russia'.

On April 18 - 20, more than 20 sessions were held in the XIV Symposium 'Clean Water of Russia' organised by Research Institute RosNIIVH with the support of the Federal Agency for Waer Resources and the Ministry of Natural Reources and Ecology of the Sverlovsk Region. The symposium took place in Ekaterinburg at the Ekaterinburg-EXPO Exhibition Center. Within this framework the meeting representatives of the scientific community, business and governement discussed the actual issues of implementation of the Water Startegy of the Russian Federation.

The Symposium in 2017 coincided with the year of Ecology in Russia. Therfore the symposium was traced with the 'red thread' issues of environmental safety, solving problems of natural resources protection and improvement of the environmental quality. An important session was the workshop 'Ecological rehabilitation and restoration of waters' with participation of the European Centre for River Restoration by some representatives of the Board of this organisation.

Download: Symposium Resolution Final.pdf


For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets ECRR and partners

TweetId: 941056733753102336 CIRF CIRFcommunity CIRFcommunity RT italia_sicura: #proitaliasicura il Report finale di "Progettare l'Italia Sicura" 12 tavoli, 144 esperti e 1 Guida condivisa https://t.co/2QHWhlKqbo 13-12-17 21:26
TweetId: 941019447720140800 CIRF CIRFcommunity CIRFcommunity RT Andreacritico: @CIRFcommunity manutenzione e restauro ambienti naturali per avere #italiasicura https://t.co/RZQLLq0jWk @tuttogreenLST 13-12-17 18:58
TweetId: 941016485979480065 ECRR Network ECRRnetwork ECRRnetwork @ Floods in Northern Italy! How about ecological river restoration as flood risk management?https://t.co/C22UGciF79 via @NUnl 13-12-17 18:46
TweetId: 940990931418910721 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope Missed the #webinar on Dam Removal - step by step by Laura Wildman @PrincetonHydro? Watch it online… https://t.co/tat7qmeYor 13-12-17 17:04
TweetId: 940985474335821824 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE #FramWat project presented today at #ICPDR Ordinary Meeting. By using the natural (small) water retention measures… https://t.co/tgHxgL8K30 13-12-17 16:43
TweetId: 940979917684125696 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE Today at #ICPDR Ordinary Meeting, Mr. Balázs Horvath, PA4 Coordinator @EUSDR presented #JOINTISZA project progress… https://t.co/c1aShDMxEi 13-12-17 16:21
TweetId: 940979874885447681 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT PrincetonHydro: Thank you to everyone who joined our expert Laura Wildman's "Step by Step Dam Removal" webinar with @WetlandsEuropehttps://t.co/zKoOMm8RnN 13-12-17 16:20
TweetId: 940975045102505989 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE Andreja Susnik of @meteoSI presenting #DriDanube project and its strategic relevance in the Danube region at #ICPDRhttps://t.co/G8e9viLzKp 13-12-17 16:01
TweetId: 940971518594514949 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope 'Rivers in #Europe are more like canals, they are highly managed systems. This makes dam removal far more complex'… https://t.co/QYD2bUrj2N 13-12-17 15:47
TweetId: 940970906138152960 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE The winner of #DanubeArtMaster video category Denis Savchenko from #Ukraine received a special award by #ICPDR, whi… https://t.co/xK8jRFrDVb 13-12-17 15:45
TweetId: 940970602608975872 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope 'Removing consecutive dams can have an enormous amount of environmental benefits' says Laura Wildman… https://t.co/q1D8Apr7lJ 13-12-17 15:44
TweetId: 940970382592528385 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT PrincetonHydro: What are the steps of #DamRemoval? Our expert Laura Wildman breaks it down into 4 steps on @WetlandsEurope webinar:… https://t.co/YoAYEQlpOE 13-12-17 15:43
TweetId: 940967236172382210 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT PrincetonHydro: On #damremoval: Step 1: Planning/Feasibility Phase... First find out: "Will the dam owner consider removal?" Many… https://t.co/l3ZWlda9qH 13-12-17 15:30
TweetId: 940963790081970176 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT PrincetonHydro: Wildman compares putting a dam on the river to holding an eel: "The river is going to continually fight you."… https://t.co/oE5kk51qou 13-12-17 15:17
TweetId: 940962813027278848 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT PrincetonHydro: "When you put a dam on a river, some of the first things that happen is you stratify the reservoir, you get increas… https://t.co/soxuL0EHlb 13-12-17 15:13
TweetId: 940962457811652608 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope Join us in our second #webinar on dam removal - we just started https://t.co/w1d3WWao74 #rivers #restoration https://t.co/rMbwsGlJYN 13-12-17 15:11

River Restoration Conferences

    8 - 9 Nov. 2017, Massy France

ECRR General Members Meeting

The first ECRR Association General Members Meeting was hosted by the French Agency for Biodiversity and held in Massy near Paris. The 13 member and 1 partner organisation were represented by 15 delegates from 10 countries and experienced the meeting as inspriring, promising and challenging.

The meeting approved ECRR's Strategic Intent 2018 - 2020, workplan and budget 2018, member, partner and funding structure. The following Board was appointed: Chair Martin Janes, England, Secretary Giancarlo Gusmaroli, Italy and Treasurer Jukka Jormola, Finland. The meeting stressed the call for at least two more Board Members for respectively member affairs and coordinatior operations.

Furthermore previous Board Member and Chair, Bart Fokkens was awarded with the honory title, Patron of the ECRR, in recognition of his outstanding commitment with the ECRR during it's 20 years existence.

The meeting was combined with a mini symposium and field excursion on best practices of river continuity restoration with the Mérantaise river as case study, organised by the river syndicat SIAVHY and the regional nature parc of Haute Vallée de Chevreuse. The mini-symposium presentations are here.

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.