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Lower Morava Floodplains
Start date: Oct 10, 2011, End date: Oct 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project's overall aim is to restore near-natural river dynamics in the Lower Moravia floodplains in the eastern part of Austria. Today the river bed is regulated, the connection of 36 oxbows to the river are cut off and 75% of the banks are reinforced. The project will restore floodplains and foster land-use practices that preserve biodiversity and endangered species and habitats. Project actions will improve the conservation status of EU Habitats Directive habitats such as floodplain forests and floodplain meadows, as well as of a wide variety of Habitats Directive. Expected Results: The main result: the realised infrastructure of the cross-border water supply system. The joint water supply system will result in a better quality drinking water, and in the long term preservation of the water resources. Further results: the consumption peaks of the summer season will be manageable, the consumption of energy will be lowered due to the shortened pumping distances.Renaturalisation of the river banks along a stretch of 6 km, where potential areas for characteristic river bank formations such as sandbanks, escarpments, and alluvial forests will be generated.Additionally, 4 km of river branches will be revitalised and 16 ha restored through a national programme;Improvement of cross-linking of areas through the removal of barriers in at least five spots. As a result, 25 km of near-natural streamed river branches will be created;Protection of at least 10 floodplain water bodies in the outer floodplains, which will create good conditions for target species in an area of some 20 ha;Extension of cultivation, which will improve and secure a total of 65 ha of ecologically significant open landscape habitats;Reintroduction of grazing management, which constitutes a pilot project for the improvement of habitat structures;Improvement of habitat conditions of floodplain forests at the river banks by river restoration works and by controlling invasive plants such as box elder (Acer negundo);Improvement in the conservation status of six representative target species and three types of habitats of Community interest through specific supporting measures; andGreater acceptance of conservation measures through specific information and environmental education in four municipalities. Land users and stakeholders will be directly involved in the project implementation.

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