The new landscape at the mouth of the Ybbs 

The river mouth today displays a keen diversity of habitat structures, and the Ybbs river branches into a number of distributaries separated by islands. The new delta at the mouth now encompasses an enlarged area of about 9 hectares in total.

FOTOS of the Redevelopment

The Ybbs is one of the largest rivers in Lower Austria. Its mouth lies near the city of Ybbs an der Donau. The river and the Danube form part of the Natura 2000 “Lower Austrian Alpine Foothills Rivers” region, which also includes the Pielach, Melk and Erlauf rivers. The previously natural River Ybbs has been reworked in four stages since 1891. Adaptation of the mouth of the Ybbs took place in 1971. We know today that adapting rivers entails a number of problems. From an ecological point of view, it led to a massive reduction in the available habitat for many species of animals.
The work was also partly responsible for the decline in previously abundant fish stocks. In 1940 the mouth still consisted of islands, gravel banks and branches.

Aerial picture of the mouth of the Ybbs in 1940

The objective was to create characteristic fluvial habitats in the zone where the Ybbs flows into the Danube. Prior to the LIFE project, flow regulation at the river mouth had resulted in a dearth of gravel banks, gravel islands and natural shore zones.

mouth of the Ybbs in 2005 before the constructon work.
In the lower section of the picture the grey water of Danube can be seen.

Redevelopment was made possible by purchasing 3.8 hectares of agricultural land and through the contribution of additional land areas by the municipality of Ybbs and the Republic of Austria. 80,000 m³ of earth was excavated and environmentally valuable tree populations were able to be preserved. The construction work lasted about one year and on 5 March 2007 water was first let into the new zone.

simplified Grafic of the new mouth
of river Ybbs- former shape in small picture
(© Andreas Bachmayr)