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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Mittelelbe - Schwarze Elster

Waters and floodplains
Large-Scale Conservation Projects
Federal state
Division II 2.4 Water Ecosystems, Hydrologie, Blue Belt
Project I: 2020 – 2023 (preparation of the maintenance and development plan), Project II: 2023 – 2033 (implementation)
planning area: 4,937 ha
Eastern Saxony-Anhalt in the district of Wittenberg between the towns of Pretzsch and Mühlanger on the Elbe and Jessen on the Black Elster
Grant amount
Project I: 2.700.000 €, Project II: 33.100.000 €

Project description

In large parts of the project area, periodically recurring floods prevent arable land use, so that the landscape is largely dominated by grassland areas. In addition to large areas intensively used as pasture, mowed pasture or multi-cut meadow with already strongly reduced species populations, there are also floodplain sections in which the species spectrum is still essentially determined by small-scale site conditions characterized by changing substrate and varying soil moisture and in which species combinations specific to the floodplain still occur. The spectrum ranges from alternating reed and reed meadows in flood channels and other low-lying terrain areas to alternating wet meadows with numerous species bound to floodplains in Central Europe to fresh meadows and small-scale alternating dry grassland stands on elevations and floodplain margins rarely reached by floodwaters.

The aim of the project is the restoration and sustainable development of floodplain-typical aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial habitats in the project area with the characteristic and valuable species inventory. In connection with the "Klöden Pilot Project" of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration for the stabilization of the Elbe riverbed, the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics typical for the river and the floodplain are to be improved in this section of the Elbe and the nature conservation goals of the overall Elbe concept are to be implemented in an exemplary manner.

The following measures are planned to achieve the objectives:  

  •  Reconnection and partial desilting of oxbow lakes in the recent floodplain of the Elbe 
  •  Partial desilting/ecological restoration of scour and oxbow lakes in the old floodplain
  •  Creation of new small water bodies in the recent floodplain
  •  Creation of conditions for dynamic floodplain development along the course of the Elbe River
  •  River and floodplain revitalization along the Black Elster
  •  Grassland extensification in selected parts of the area
  •  Conversion of arable land to grassland, forest and water bodies
  •  Safeguarding and initiation of hardwood and softwood riparian forests
  •  Special species protection measures throughout the area
  •  Public Relations 

Entity responsible for the project

Heinz Sielmann Stiftung
Gut Herbigshagen, 37115 Duderstadt

Project funding agencies

BMU/BfN, State of Saxony-Anhalt
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