Free the Rivers

Sandra Bartocha / Wild Wonders of Europe

Free the Rivers

Free-flowing rivers are vital for the functioning and ecological connectivity of freshwater ecosystems. Dams, dykes, reservoires, navigation and irrigation systems are altering the flows of rivers and fragmenting them. Among these barriers in Europe, it is estimated that at least 100.000 are obsolete. The highest pressure is put on freshwater species: migratory freshwwater fish in Europe have already declined by 93% compared to 1970.

Freeing rivers from old barriers creates the enabling conditions for ecological processes, which ultimately bring to a healthy and resilient freshwater ecosystem.

Track a barrier with your smartphone

AMBER

Knowing where and which those barriers are is the first step to remove them. The scale of river fragmentation across Europe is almost unknown because of lack of data and because barriers are managed by different entities.

With the AMBER Barrier Tracker App you can record barriers into a database just with your smartphone. You just need to take a picture, add the location, the description and the height of the barrier. Through this app people have collected data on more than ten thousands barriers. This helps identifying where rewilding and restoration are needed, as well as to keep inventories updated.

By just going around with your phone, you can contribute to accelerate river rewilding!