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  • In October, the new Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst (then still minister of transport) visited the nature reserve Emmericher Ward. He was interested in the successful construction and "operation" of the side channel (LIFE project “Side channel Emmericher Ward”). Since its completion in 2017 it developed into a species-rich river habitat without affecting the shipping industry on the waterway which runs right next to it. It is connected to the Rhine main channel at a level of the mean water level minus one meter.

    Project manager Klaus Markgraf-Maué made it clear that it is necessary to restore further side channels –dynamic and in the best case permanently flooded ones- if we want to reestablish more biodiversity along the river.

    The importance of the planned restoration of the wetland character of the floodplain was also explained to the Prime Minister during his visit.


    Klaus Markgraf-Maué (NABU Naturschutzstation Niederrhein) and Dr. Heide Naderer (state chairwoman of NABU NRW) in conversation with Hendrik Wüst (Prime Minister of NRW).
    (Photo: Lena Wiest)

  • Monitoring the sites where seeds of rare plant species were planted in autumn 2020 and spring 2021 we observed successful establishment of meadow sage in most of the areas. In addition to meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) the areas were sown with seeds of lesser meadow rue (Thalictrum minus), crested hair-grass (Koeleria macrantha) and small scabious (Scabiosa columbaria). We are very happy about the success in the case of the sage and will continue to monitor the progress.

    (Photo: Lena Wiest)

    (Photo: Lena Wiest)

  • We received good news from the approval authority: The construction measures have been approved and can finally begin. Although we have to adhere to a few requirements during implementation, we are pleased that the project is now moving into the next phase.

    (Photo: Lena Wiest)

  • The breeding rafts for the black tern (Chlidonias niger) that were released in May were brought back in over winter. The aim of the breeding rafts is to provide nesting opportunities for this species which is threatened by extinction in North Rhine-Westphalia. In order to prevent the breeding rafts from being driven away during the winter floods they were retrieved to be released again in spring. The rafts were used - unfortunately only by resting geese. Again there were no interested black terns. During winter break, however, there is enough time to repair the slight damages caused by the summer floods in July so we are able to offer prospective breeding pairs an attractive breeding spot next spring.

    (Photo: Nabu-Naturschutzstation Niederrhein)


  • The data of the loggers for measuring the groundwater level has to be retrieved approximately every three months. We rely on this data to estimate possible impacts of planned construction measures on the level of groundwater in the project area. A delay of one to two weeks was found between higher water levels in the Rhine and the resulting increase in groundwater level in the Emmericher Ward.

    Sometimes it is not that easy to find the locations of the loggers again. (Photo: Lena Wiest)

    The loggers are sunk into the depths within a pipe. (Photo: Lena Wiest)


  • On September 11th, the annual International RhineCleanUp took place. The NABU-Naturschutzstation Niederrhein took care oft the meeting point Emmericher Ward. About twenty people we were able to collect a lot of garbage and even pick up a mattress. At the and, we almost filled up a whole container. This too supports the observation, that in each year less and less garbage is found. We would like to thank all those involved, the City of Emmerich and the organizers of the RhineCleanUp (

    Even the cows are wondering about the garbage (Photo: Dr. Thomas Chrobock)... 

    ...and away with it (Photo: Charlotta Köferstein)!

     Many thanks to all (Photo: Charlotta Köferstein)!


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