Step-by-step guidance on how to develop and implement a successful river restoration project in Europe.

River restoration can generate economic benefits from tourism, recreation, flood control and many other services provided by healthy river ecosystems.

Restoration can make significant contributions to flood risk reduction by increasing the natural retention capacity of rivers. Excess water can be absorbed by restoring wetlands and floodplains, former meanders and other natural storage areas.

River restoration contributes to biodiversity by restoring natural habitats that support aquatic animals and plants.

Hydropower production may harm rivers by affecting changes such as natural water flows and disconnecting upstream and downstream areas. Restoration offers opportunities to mitigate these impacts.



The RESTORE partnership created this website to share knowledge and promoting best practice on river restoration in Europe. The partnership encourage the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state for increased ecological quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits. As the project has ended, the ECRR will carry this forward.


What is river restoration?

River restoration is action that restores the natural state and functioning of a river system in support of biodiversity, recreation, flood safety and landscape development. Read more...


The RESTORE project

The ECRR worked together in close collaboratin with the RESTORE project*, which ran between 2010 and 2013. It launched with six European partners and the objective of making connections between river restoration professionals in Europe and joining existing national efforts on river restoration.
Among the outputs of the RESTORE project are the Layman's report, and the guide for planners: Rivers by Design.


* Rivers: Engaging, Supporting and Transferring knOwledge on River Restoration (RESTORE)
RESTORE received funding from the LIFE+ financial instrument of the European Union.


RESTORE Layman's report

More than a project report, the RESTORE Layman’s Report is an agenda setting document highlighting the achievements of RESTORE, while also looking beyond RESTORE and stressing the key policy and technical challenges that still need to be overcome to take river restoration forward. The report will provide a direction for future activities in the hope that these will be taken up by policy makers and river basin managers. Click to view the report.


Rivers by Design

A step-by-step guide for planners, developers, architects and landscape architects on how to maximise the benefits of river restoration in development projects. Click to read more.

Publications-Latest uploads

5th European River Restoration Conference report

This special edition newsletter presents a selection of the conference workshop sessions, the keynote speech by the EU commissioner for the environment, mr Janez Potočnik, the launch of the ECRR Community of Practice of 5 pilot river basin catchments, the interview with EU Water Director mr Peter Gammeltoft, and a panel discussion with representatives of various sectors.


Jokien kunnostus Euroopassa: mahdollisuuksien taide

RESTORE Layman's Report: Finnish translation

RESTORE -projektin loppuraportti:LIFE09/INF/UK000032

RESTORE –hankkeen loppuraportti ei ole pelkästään yhden projektin raportti, vaan se on tavoitteita esittävä ohjelma, jossa kerrotaan RESTORE-projektin saavutuksista ja luodaan silmäys RESTORE-projektin jälkeiseen aikaan. Siinä painotetaan tärkeitä poliittisia ja teknisiä haasteita, jotka on vielä ratkaistava jokien kunnostuksen eteenpäin viemiseksi.


Restauration des cours d'eau en Europe : l'art du possible

RESTORE's Layman's Report French translation: Rapport de vulgarisation de RESTORE LIFE09/INF/UK/000032

Plus qu'un rapport de projet, le rapport de vulgarisation de RESTORE est un document cadre qui souligne les réalisations de RESTORE, tout en regardant au-delà du simple programme de RESTORE et en mettant l'accent sur les politiques et les défis techniques qui doivent encore être surmontés pour faire avancer la restauration des cours d'eau.


For more publications go to the Publications page.

Tweets (ECRR and partners)

TweetId: 459342897884573697 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, S... 24-04-14 14:47
TweetId: 459182549990793216 River Foundation ReviveOurRivers ReviveOurRivers #riverprize applications close in 2 weeks for the #international and #Australian categories! Get started now - 24-04-14 04:10
TweetId: 459182231039143936 River Foundation ReviveOurRivers ReviveOurRivers Just one week left to submit your @riversymposium abstract! 24-04-14 04:09
TweetId: 458986318547406848 The RRC The_RRC The_RRC RT @Robinandbirds: please RT @The_RRC we promote British birds to children via storybook apps but we need help to fly, only 8 days left htt… 23-04-14 15:10
TweetId: 458983234291118080 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt RT @silvaparonakian: #greatopportunity #Recruiting Junior Technical Officer in #Mali @WetlandsInt Please, spread thi… 23-04-14 14:58
TweetId: 458976057417162754 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN Cook Islands, Palau lead momentum for regional fisheries surveillance:  FFA HQ, Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS--A mi... 23-04-14 14:29
TweetId: 458947954011697152 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN Somalia to Become Newest GWP Country Water Partnership: The Regional Secretariat of GWP Eastern Africa assiste... 23-04-14 12:38
TweetId: 458901706722381824 GEF IW:LEARN IWLEARN IWLEARN The GEF Celebrates Earth Day 2014: Like every year, people around the world are celebrating Earth Day on April... 23-04-14 09:34
TweetId: 458807182293622785 River Foundation ReviveOurRivers ReviveOurRivers RT @riversymposium: 1 week left to submit a #riversymposium abstract! Don't miss the chance to present @ the worlds leading river event - h… 23-04-14 03:18
TweetId: 458633857865351168 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Happy #EarthDay2014 and many thanks to all our partners, members and donors that help us to make every day #EarthDay! 22-04-14 15:50

5th ERRC, 2013

Celebrating successes & addressing challenges

The European Centre for River Restoration, alongside the RESTORE partnership, organised the 5th European River Restoration Conference (11-13 September 2013) in Vienna, Austria.

The event showcased inspiring examples of river restoration and shared lessons learned about the successes, challenges and opportunities for river restoration in Europe. The conference brought together over 300 key policy makers and restoration practitioners to discuss opportunities for river restoration to achieve a number of environmental, economic and social objectives.

The conference featured the 1st European Riverprize awarded by the International River Foundation and won by the river Rhine.

See the conference programme and view the presentations, posters and videos on our conference page.

Wetlands International CEO, Jane Madgwick sits down with Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment to discuss the EU's commitment to rivers. This is the first of seven River Talk videos recorded at the European River Restoration Conference.