To free 3,500 km of streams that will contribute towards the target of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to reconnect at least 25,000 km of rivers and make them free-flowing by 2030.
WHAT IS BLUE RIVERS?
For better river management and restoration
BLUE RIVERS is a consortium of 33 partners from 16 countries that seeks to reverse the loss of river biodiversity by applying Nature Based Solutions (NbS) and implementing a voluntary environmental certification scheme (The Blue Flag for Rivers) to incentivise river restoration and begin to heal Europe’s broken rivers, making them better for people and Nature. The consortium is open to anyone and everyone who shares this vision and is supported by over 130 actors and institutions
Despite two decades of concerted efforts since the Water Framework Directive was implemented, Europe still has some of most heavily modified rivers in the world, and also the aquatic fauna that has suffered some of the steepest declines. Only 39% of rivers are in good ecological conditions, due in part to the impact of artificial instream structures, embankments, and other hydromorphological pressures that interrupt the continuity of natural river processes. Encroachment of the floodplain, coupled with climate change, has increased the frequency and severity of extreme floods, while overexploitation of aquifers and more persistent droughts have put many citizens under water and heat stress, particularly in cities.
BLUE RIVERS will strengthen the wide array of ecosystem services available from integratively managed rivers and their floodplains.
Developing that blue-green infrastructure throughout Europe represents a multifunctional option e.g. to secure biodiversity, to reduce GHG emissions and to improve the well-being of citizens in many urban agglomerations, especially under climate change.