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: 806583400761094145 CIRF CIRFcommunity CIRFcommunity RT CDF_Lombardia: Medaglia d'oro alla memoria di #MariellaBorasio #impegnocivile appassionato e instancabile #graziemariella #CDF https://t.co/zMPqcdqqVI 07-12-16 19:37
TweetId: 806583384004816897 CIRF CIRFcommunity CIRFcommunity RT CDF_Lombardia: Condivisione progetti e strategie per #sottobacinoSeveso @calvaresi_c @ContrattiFiume https://t.co/IBi0246jLP https://t.co/j05u40yqRS 07-12-16 19:37
TweetId: 806583211543449601 CIRF CIRFcommunity CIRFcommunity RT intlrivers: VIDEO | How do free-flowing rivers support biodiversity? Let us count the ways! https://t.co/qsB7N9S5bH https://t.co/LQgpy07SFJ 07-12-16 19:36
TweetId: 806543557083459585 SYKE SYKEinfo SYKEinfo This amazing group works in supporting economic, social and environmental goals in marine sectors… https://t.co/EZ5uUY9CJa 07-12-16 16:59
TweetId: 806541995418206209 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN Participants at the largest LME Consultative Meeting to date #LME18 https://t.co/UQiMY4R2f6 07-12-16 16:52
TweetId: 806513783023796224 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT RamsarConv: The frequency of disasters worldwide has more than doubled. 90% are #water related. #Wetlands act as a natural buff… https://t.co/TsArMSX2wv 07-12-16 15:00
TweetId: 806512636976361472 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT Gershwin12: There are 276 #Transboundary rivers in the world, only 40% have a transboundary agreement. #WaterResourcesManagement 07-12-16 14:56
TweetId: 806512526095777792 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE Opportunity for young #water professionals: @UnescoIHE fellowships for 4 #WaterManagement MSc programmes. #youth https://t.co/qtjXaptnZO 07-12-16 14:55
TweetId: 806504463892709380 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT APFM_wmogwp: Check out our new #Infographic on #Urban #FloodManagement. Learn more at https://t.co/eU12fdd2CX https://t.co/Wzqt0O9Ca1 07-12-16 14:23
TweetId: 806504447996231680 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT WMO: We want to close the #gender gap in science. Two day workshop aims to train women for leadership in hydrology.… https://t.co/cFhPB3Ewge 07-12-16 14:23
TweetId: 806504391872303105 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT UNECE: #Youneedtoknow what Geneva is doing to tackle #ClimateChange & #AirPollution. Learn about @UNECE #AirConvention on… https://t.co/O3C5a6qFef 07-12-16 14:23
TweetId: 806504339208601600 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT APFM_wmogwp: This tool by @ClimateCentral visualizes the extent of #flooding we will experience depending on our #carbonchoices https://t.co/25KloCQUH2 07-12-16 14:23
TweetId: 806502432175964164 GWP CEE GWPCEE GWPCEE RT GWPnews: GWP Steering Committee & Financing Partners Group meeting in Stockholm this week. https://t.co/lywBs7AnH5 07-12-16 14:15
TweetId: 806492720650981377 Wetlands Europe WetlandsEurope WetlandsEurope We're pleased with @EU_Commission support to keep EU nature laws intact. Focus on implementation needed… https://t.co/fEQp1YB7Jm 07-12-16 13:37
TweetId: 806485196807766016 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE BREAKING NEWS! Nature dodges bullet: huge public campaign saves EU nature laws https://t.co/kWqAZa9o1C 07-12-16 13:07
TweetId: 806472613002432512 WWF CEE WWFCEE WWFCEE RT WWFEU: Major victory for nature!@EU_Commission won't reopen EU Nature Directives but focus on implementation #NatureAlerthttps://t.co/4V14nnZ1Ws 07-12-16 12:17

River Restoration Conferences


       The 1st International

    Eel Science Symposium​

  'Science into Management'​

June 13 - 15, 2017  ZSL London Zoo, UK

The symposium, is organised by the Sustainable Eel Group and supported by ZSL, London Zoo, Institute of Fisheries Management and the Environment Agency all UK.

The symposium aims to provide a global forum for scientists and researchers to present the latest data and initatives on the biology and management of anguillid eels. It will foster and develop international links between key academic, policy industrial and other stakeholders to promote better understanding of the issues, parallels and conservation opportunities for this iconic species.

The symposium will bring together speakers and delgates from around the world for three days of presentations, posters, panel sessions as well as a number of social events including an evening reception on the River Thames.

The organising committee would welcome submissions under 8 subject areas and in relation to all 16 species of freshwater eels.

Call for submissions here, closing date 23rd December 2016.

Submissions and enquieries should be sent diretly to the conference administartor at info@ifm.org.uk

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.