Life Projekt

The  Dynamic River System Lech LIFE project, abbreviated to LIFE Lech, began  in autumn 2016. 

Large gravel banks and intact wild river sections mark the Lech river in Tirol and the border it shares with Germany. It is exactly this ecological system which is amongst the most endangered landscape types in Central Europe.

The project LIFE Lech builds on the already successfully implemented project called "Tiroler Lech Wild River Landscape", in which measures have already been taken for making the habitats along the central and lower course of the Lech river more dynamic. This time 11 river engineering measures at the upper course of the Lech river in Tirol and along the German side of the border are being implemented. These areas are especially suitable for redeveloping dynamic gravel areas and locations for pioneering species. Habitats for highly specialized species, which have  adjusted to wild rivers such as the German tamarisk (Myricaria germanica), the European bullhead (Cottus gobio), or the little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) are created. The works stop the lowering of the riverbed and stabilize or raise resp. the groundwater level. Both the  floodplains and its inhabitants profit, and flooding protection is also improved .

In the LIFE Lech project great emphasis is placed on measures to conserve species. These measures are targeted at the dwarf bulrush (Typha minima), crayfish (stone crayfish - Austropotamobius torrentium, white-clawed crayfish - Austropotamobius pallipes), small fish (European bullhead, common minnow - Phoxinus phoxinus), bird species living in the gravel banks (common sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos, little ringed plover), insects and spiders living in the gravel banks (e.g. rattle grasshopper - Psophus stridulusthe Bryodema Tuberculata grasshopper, amphibians (great crested newt - Triturus cristatusEuropean tree frog Hyla arboreanatterjack toad - Epidalea calamita) and dragonflies (Coenagrion hylas). To implement these measures in an effective way, the project starts with a variant study.

The project is accompanied by a monitoring programme. It deals with the morphological development of the river and its  targeted species. The current state and the state of the targeted areas after implementation are investigated.

There is plenty of information to be found on the project: A website on the project, print materials, excursions, action days, a travelling exhibition, visitor assistance in the Nature Park House and a film all complete the project.

Project data:

  • Project area: Tiroler Lech Natura 2000 area (A); Falkenstein, Alatsee, Faulenbacher- and Lechtal Natura 2000 area (GER); Ammergebirge Natura 2000 area with Kienberg and Schwarzenberg as well as (GER)
  • Time span: September 2016 - December 2021
  • Total budget: €6,093.220.00, 60% of which is EU funding
  • Responsible for the project Bundeswasserbauverwaltung Tirol, District Building Authority in Reutte
  • Project partners: Wasserwirtschaftsamt Kempten (D); Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung, Department for Environmental Protection (A)
  • 11 river engineering measures 
  • Species conservation measures
  • Monitoring
  • Public Relations

More information can be found on the LIFE Lech project website.

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