Near-natural bank structures and efficient dam restoration or dam raisings in one step.
Within the framework of the LIFE-Project, which was scheduled for three years, two pilot areas were set up to comprehensively test the eco-berms and evaluate the effects of the intervention. The power plant (KW) Offingen/Danube and Oberelchingen serve as pilot sites. At the former, an eco-berm was installed over a distance of 500 meters in order to remediate the dam and to improve the ecological situation. In the pilot area at the power station of Oberelchingen, the dam was also raised.
Fig. 1 Center: Storage of Power Plant Oberelchingen with the present dam (left), right: Pilot Siteof the Eco-Berm at the Power Plant Offingen
Before the project began, the eco-berm was already tested on three small test fields, each 30 meters long, on the Upper Danube (close to the power station of Günzburg). Already these tests were promising and showed a visible enhancement of the reservoir as a recreational area and an ecological improvement by creating new habitats for animals and plants.
In order to realize the ecological improvement also at the two new pilot areas, different ecological structures were incorporated in small sub-areas. The infrastructural measures, as already explained here, will always remain the same. In the sub-areas the habitats were structured by different substrate. In detail, this means that, for example, gravel was used in one area and coarser crushed stone in another. As expected, the different habitats were populated differently. In a next step further structural measures, e.g. in the form of dead wood or leading platforms, were installed.