VERBUND Invests in the Conservation of the Ecosystem on the Inn

2/2/2012Wasserburg/Teufelsbruck/Gars, Bavaria

Comprehensive renaturisation measures are to carried out on the Inn backwater sections from Wasserburg through to Gars, thanks to the corresponding agreement with the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment.

VERBUND is launching comprehensive ecological improvement measures in the backwater sections of the River Inn. The foundation for this is an agreement between VERBUND Innkraftwerke GmbH and the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health, determining the framework for a partnership lasting several years. Contained within the agreement, the renaturisation measures for the coming years comprise, among other things, the discharging and integration of backwaters, the creation of breeding islands for rare birds, as well as spawning areas for fish and amphibians.

The ecological integration on the dams will be in place by 2015. "The Inn accommodates a unique diversity of species. These must also be preserved for the future," said Marcel Huber, environment minister. The Inn and its floodplains are home to numerous rare species of animals and plants such as night herons, greylings or meadow gentians. "With our acquisition of the Inn power plants, we have also agreed to the cementing a long-term partnership with the region by means of appropriate measures. As one of the largest operators of hydropower plants, we are aware of our responsibility for the sensitive water habitat," said Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer, chairman of the governing body of VERBUND Innkraftwerke GmbH, "It is for this reason that we are open to the proposals of the State Ministry for the Environment and Public Health. It is intended that the framework is formed through the finalising of an agreement."

A multi-year package of measures for the improvement of the "Inn ecosystem"

Within the scope of extending water law approval for the Inn power plants of Wasserburg, Teufelsbruck and Gars, an agreement was concluded between the Free State of Bavaria and VERBUND Innkraftwerke GmbH. Over the next ten years, the agreement envisages a comprehensive improvement of the natural habitat of the Inn. This comprises, among other things, ecological measures in and around the Inn, as well as the provision of support for Inn-relevant infrastructure installations amounting to a total of around 10 million Euro. A further 10 million will be put to use by Verbund Innkraftwerke GmbH in the establishing of ecological integration on the Rosenheim dam through to Stammham dam.

Within the scope of extending water law approval for the Inn power plants of Wasserburg, Teufelsbruck and Gars, an agreement was concluded between the Free State of Bavaria and VERBUND Innkraftwerke GmbH. Over the next ten years, the agreement envisages a comprehensive improvement of the natural habitat of the Inn. This comprises, among other things, ecological measures in and around the Inn, as well as the provision of support for Inn-relevant infrastructure installations amounting to a total of around 10 million Euro. A further 10 million will be put to use by Verbund Innkraftwerke GmbH in the establishing of ecological integration on the Rosenheim dam through to Stammham dam.

"The goal of the partnership with VERBUND is to preserve, promote and improve the biodiversity of the Inn ecosystem," said Environment Minister Huber. This includes the creation of a new habitat for the fish fauna, such as the establishment of structured shallow water zones for the improved development of juvenile fish and the integration of backwaters, which can serve as the retreat areas in the case of flooding. Summing up, it is intended that the planned measures provide full support for the flora and fauna. "The focus lies on the integration of lateral tributaries and old river branches with the Inn in order to reactivate, preserve or also create diverse new living conditions for the fish fauna," said Marcel Huber.

The initial measures are set for as early as winter 2011/2012

Since the end 2011, the authorisations have been obtained in relation to water law and nature conservation for the first improvement measures for the water body structures, the fish fauna and the wetlands in the reservoir areas of Wasserburg, Teufelsbruck and Gars. "Implementation is undertaken during the winter in order to keep the strain on the environment to a minimum and so as to ensure that the nature is able to actively populate the established habitat in the forthcoming breeding and spawning period," declared Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer.

Since the end 2011, the authorisations have been obtained in relation to water law and nature conservation for the first improvement measures for the water body structures, the fish fauna and the wetlands in the reservoir areas of Wasserburg, Teufelsbruck and Gars. "Implementation is undertaken during the winter in order to keep the strain on the environment to a minimum and so as to ensure that the nature is able to actively populate the established habitat in the forthcoming breeding and spawning period," declared Ulrike Baumgartner-Gabitzer.

Following the presentation of the authorisation in December 2011, work has begun at several points from Wasserburg through to Gars; the first part of the work is scheduled for completion at the end of February. Further measures, above all in the Freihammer floodplains near Wasserburg, are planned for autumn 2012. The costs for the measures currently being carried out amount to approx. 350,000 Euro.

Cooperation with all involved parties

The package of measures envisaged for 2012 has been developed in close agreement with the responsible authorities, the government of Upper Bavaria, organisations and initiatives, as well as the fishery associations. In part, projects initiated by the fishery associations have also been adopted. All measures are in line with the preservation goals of the flora and habitat zones.

The package of measures envisaged for 2012 has been developed in close agreement with the responsible authorities, the government of Upper Bavaria, organisations and initiatives, as well as the fishery associations. In part, projects initiated by the fishery associations have also been adopted. All measures are in line with the preservation goals of the flora and habitat zones.

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