At the Lower Havel, the NABU manages a large and ambitious restoration project. On 90 km river length, old backwaters are reattached to the mainstream, dikes and bank protections are removed. Riparian forests are expected to regrow. On the trip, the IGB group had the possibility to look at the different measures from a scientific point of view.
During the exchange of researchers and nature protection practitioners it became clear that ecologic knowledge is not sufficient to restore a river. In the concrete on-site projects, it is important to know and understand the constellation of interest groups involved. If restoration measures can be done in the desired time and extent is hence depending on the successful communication with policymakers, authorities, associations and users of the area. Rocco Buchta, head of the NABU Havel project, underlined the high relevance of these networks and the trust of the local people.
The IGB scientists also had a stopover at the Schröder Fishery at Lake Gülpe that is connected to the Havel river. Fisherman Mr. Schröder, running the business in 4th generation, explained the currently difficult situation of Germany’s Inland Fisheries. Within the discussion with the IGB group, he highlighted the importance of a smart marketing strategy to find new customers. One example is the Chinese midden crab, an invasive and abundant species in our freshwaters. There is no traditional consumer market for this species in Germany, but the demand of the Asian gastronomy is very high, since it is regarded as a real delicacy.
The excursion was a follow-up event of the workshop with scientists and environmental associations at IGB and took part within the knowledge transfer and the SSI strategy at IGB.