As the operator of the Danube power plants in Upper Austria, VERBUND has completed the "Eizendorfer Haufen" renaturation project in the backwater area in Ybbs-Persenbeug in the municipality of Saxen (Upper Austria). In what is called the Reischelau and at a total cost of half a million euros, the left bank island tributary was reconnected to the Danube and the riverbank was restructured. The project was financed by the Ministry of Life and by the Kommunalkredit Public Consulting. An info board provides information on the sponsored "Eizendorfer Haufen" measures as well as on flora and fauna in the area.
In the last years VERBUND has started to undertake ecologically valuable modifications to the habitat along the banks of the Danube by implementing different environmentally-friendly measures, such as by participating in the LIFE+ projects, working with the Ministry of Life and with the fishing associations. These measures are a contribution to the implementation of the EU's Water Framework Directive and the FFH guidelines.
Close to Nature: Eizendorfer Haufen
The Eizendorfer Haufen is a natural monument in the municipality of Saxen. This is an original, almost completely disused element, which is typical of the landscape on the left bank of the Danube, which was greatly affected by the construction of a control unit on the left bank slip-off slope at the start of the 20th Century. Due to gravel deposits, a floodplain plateau was created, which in the course of the years separated itself from the Danube.
As part of a special renaturation project, this silted up tributary has once again been reconnected to the Danube. Through specifically designed new, diverse riverbank structures, fish and bird species of the Danube should once more gain an additional habitat. The landscape elements of the original island and land surface along the Danube are typical to the landscape, it reemerged thanks to the reconnection to the Danube and stretches out in total for 1.7km and is 200m wide. The newly created natural area will in future serve once more as a winter residence for cormorants and as a breeding ground for different species of birds. One can also find different types of floodplain, which in terms of vegetation are particularly worth protecting.
New Opportunities for Fish and Co.
The waterway network makes it possible for currents to pass through the tributary all year round and makes the new habitat more valuable for fish, invertebrates and semi-aquatic mammals such as beavers and otters. Erosion and sediment deposits maintain balance and improve the ecological quality of the entire river-floodplain system (dynamic processes typical to the area).
The tributary offers shallow water habitats and areas which are protected from the wash, which can be used as spawning and nursery grounds for nase, barb, Danube perch and other typical Danube fish. The natural riverbanks offer diverse places for fishing. Along with different fish there are also rare types of dragonfly, snails and mussels, which will find an attractive habitat.
Habitats full of Opportunities for Birds and Plants
Thanks to the new structuring of the inlet area and the renaturation of the bank revetments, flat gravel banks have come about, which are beneficial to the birds which like to breed on gravel such as the little ringed plover and sandpipers. The new pioneer areas offer a habitat for rare insects and make it possible for softwood floodplains to flourish once more through naturally-occurring reforestation.