A natural paradise in the heart of Germany
The Life+ project “Floodplains of the River Elbe at Vockerode” was started in 2010. It sets out the framework and executes measures in order to improve and secure the unique river landscape in the region of the Middle Elbe. The project will ensure that 210 hectares of former floodplain will be reintegrated into the natural flooding procedure.
The Life+ project prevents the extension of the present flood protection structure, the “Gatzer Bergdeich” (Deich = dyke) which currently cuts through the natural floodplain. The strengthening of the dyke structure “Dianenwall” and of infrastructure already present, i.e. the motorway embankment in the southwest of the area, as flood protection structures will also allow for the opening of the “Gatzer Bergdeich”.
The envisaged measures of the project promote the self-perpetuating development of the region as a whole. They also improve and secure a unique river landscape and the ecological state of the water course. Moving back the dyke will create additional retention space and will improve the area thanks to the preventative ecological flood protection structures. The quality of habitat in the listed conservation area (Habitats Directive) and bird sanctuary will not only improve but also be newly established through the additional 210 hectares.
The greater aim of the Life+ project is to combine the ecological-technical guidelines of a sustainable river landscape, the natural dynamics of floodplains and preventative flooding protection structures in order to secure the Natura-2000 area “Dessau-Wörlitzer Elbauen” (Auen = floodplains). Present and future floodplain forests are increased in value and adapted to future developments, wetlands and new floodplain meadows are created and current flood channels deepened.