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 Newsletter 3/2017 December

With this issue of the ECRR Newsletter it appears that there is an increasing interest to publish about ecological river restoration. Moreover, there is a certain development in the type of articles about this item. The content of the articles on river restoration shows nowadays more diversity than in the past. This proves to our opinion, that river restoration is becoming more and more a well known and even cross cutting activity, not only related to nature conservation and protection of specific flora and fauna species. Ecological (river) restoration, defined as the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or estroyed, is more and more recognized as an activity being key to delivering essential cosystem services (Aichi Biodiversity Target 14).

Newsletter ECRR December 3/2017.pdf



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


For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets ECRR and partners

TweetId: 954070407417597953 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT StevenJDowney: If I'm not mistaken, at least 7 out of the top 10 #GlobalRisks with the greatest impact according to @wef are… https://t.co/vMJfKd3XRy 18-01-18 19:18
TweetId: 954011786143043584 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT G_Schwaderer: Study: European-financed small hydropower plants damaging pristine Balkan: https://t.co/CRb9Tr8uxl #SaveTheBlueHeartOfEurope @EuroNaturOrg 18-01-18 15:25
TweetId: 953991595153641477 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN RT alej_iglesias: Happy to announce that the #MSP2017Paris Conference Report has been published by @IocUnesco and @EU_MARE. The elect… https://t.co/YgdKq1hsWC 18-01-18 14:04
TweetId: 953991511686963200 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN RT PEMSEA: Could technology that enables fishermen to stay connected while at sea bring an end to human rights and fishing vio… https://t.co/lHOyvg10n6 18-01-18 14:04
TweetId: 953991387481067520 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN RT IocUnesco: Ever wonder who's working behind the scenes to promote global coordination of #ocean #science? This week, our Chair… https://t.co/tyBVbDBehQ 18-01-18 14:04
TweetId: 953987704009777153 The RRC The_RRC The_RRC Consultation @EnvAgency seeking views on charge proposals developed to take effect in England in April 2018. Deadli… https://t.co/hNUVZWlpZV 18-01-18 13:49
TweetId: 953986157305630720 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT RECstream: #JOINTISZA - Pilot project activities in Debrecen and Oradea will provide basin-wide reference points for urban… https://t.co/y6gBlvk4XM 18-01-18 13:43
TweetId: 953985891474735104 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT wef: These are the biggest risks the world faces https://t.co/MuBsusI9h1 #risks18 https://t.co/RlC4EYL4n4 18-01-18 13:42
TweetId: 953985817256583168 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT UN_Water: Water is complex because it is linked to almost everything in the world. But complexity should not hinder underst… https://t.co/AnwIScJipZ 18-01-18 13:41
TweetId: 953979873739137024 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope Unfortunately, due to an unexpected event, we've had to postpone this webinar. We will circulate the new date very soon. Stay tuned! 18-01-18 13:18
TweetId: 953979489125654529 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT SEGandrewK: @Steinbutt @TRAFFIC_WLTrade @IWTnet @gpj_english @Seasaver @EelStewardship Stop #eel trafficking is a global issue… https://t.co/q5XtvkML2z 18-01-18 13:16
TweetId: 953979476735643649 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope RT EelGroup: Be aware - eel trafficking is on! @JWCSJWCS @EU_MARE @CITES @EU_ENV @Europol @WetlandsEurope @EcofactEcologyhttps://t.co/DkJYKGbM9Y 18-01-18 13:16
TweetId: 953974613050101760 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Julkaisijat: @SYKEinfo @yministerio @mmmviestinta @TEM_uutiset @ulkoministerio @Sitrafund @ilmatiedehttps://t.co/q7VrtZitKK 18-01-18 12:57
TweetId: 953974068105138177 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo #Klimaatti on #verkkolehti, joka tuo esiin ideoita ja toimintaa ilmastonmuutoksen pysäyttämiseksi. Jutut voi tilata… https://t.co/Aawc0dbNxI 18-01-18 12:55
TweetId: 953958007611838464 Fish Migration fishmigration fishmigration RT RLI_UHI: Modelling study endorses #BarrierRemoval plans along the #River Elbe (with one of the highest #barrier densities in… https://t.co/zubSmD7Jks 18-01-18 11:51
TweetId: 953949298282164225 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo RT PIRvesi: #Kokemäenjoki: uusi #jäädytysajo alkaa huomenna. Tällä kertaa ennusteissa on reippaita pakkasia, joten #jää'kansi m… https://t.co/HJ8wfTBAER 18-01-18 11:16
TweetId: 953949145802436608 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo Hyyteen aiheuttama #tulva uhkaa Huittisissa jo asuinrakennuksia. Puolustusvoimilta pyydetty virka-apua räjäytyksiin… https://t.co/lPiyeFwb3j 18-01-18 11:16
TweetId: 953937372793720832 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT RamsarConv: Nearly 400 events & still counting as we approach #WorldWetlandsDay. Add your event click https://t.co/AcGoosOcag J… https://t.co/X6UEXJPZRb 18-01-18 10:29
TweetId: 953917628816424960 The RRC The_RRC The_RRC RT WiltsRivers: Last year during September and October we improved over 9 km of river habitat, with a fantastic 1155 hours of volun… https://t.co/84QSBsva7I 18-01-18 09:11
TweetId: 953915384087891968 The RRC The_RRC The_RRC Exciting Job Opportunity @JBATrust for an 'Engagement and Technical Support Officer: Part-time (0.6 FTE)' supportin… https://t.co/GcsQgXV9Se 18-01-18 09:02

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.

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.