Rewilding progress as multiple dams removed in Ukrainian Danube Delta

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Financed by crowdfunding, the removal of 10 obsolete dams on the Kogilnik and Sarata Rivers will help to restore wild nature and should provide economic benefit to local communities.

Removal role model

The Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta rewilding area has just become a little wilder, with 10 dams removed on the Kogilnik and Sarata Rivers. The dams were all located within the territory of the Danube Biosphere Reserve (DBR).

Removing the dams should rapidly revitalise the rivers, restoring natural processes, supporting the comeback of wild nature, and underpinning the development of local nature-based economies.

“It’s great to see these rivers flowing freely once again,” says Rewilding Ukraine Executive Director Mykhailo Nesterenko. “For many years these obsolete dams had a detrimental impact on fish populations, other wildlife and people. This removal project, which will aid our rewilding efforts in the delta significantly, serves as a role model for other outdated dams across the delta and Ukraine.”

The removal process, which was carried out by a local contractor, was financed by a crowdfunding campaign. The campaign was coordinated by WWF in the Netherlands and was part of the Dam Removal Europe (DRE) initiative, of which Rewilding Europe is a partner. Prior to the removal the Danube Biosphere Reserve carried out an investigation which established the feasibility and desirability of the  dam deconstruction.

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