Re-establishing floodplain forests and dike relocation: a model project carried out at the Elbe River, Germany.
Purps, Jochen; Damm, Christian; Neuschulz, Frank
A comprehensive and modern strategy to re-establish floodplain forests is currently being utilized at the Elbe River in the biosphere reserve "Flusslandschaft Elbe" in Northern Germany. Through extended measures of dike relocation and recreating natural flooding conditions, it is expected, those typical life conditions of a lowland floodplain will be re-established along the lower Elbe River halfway between Berlin and Hamburg close to the little town of Lenzen. The project aims at the following objectives: restoration of an area of 400 ha of floodplain ecosystems by means of dike relocation, reconnecting the area to more natural river dynamics, removal of a hydraulic "bottle neck" which has been a long time danger during flooding events, re-establishment of more than 300 ha of floodplain forests, excavation of historic flood channels to win sand and loam for the new dike construction.