Saxony-Anhalt: nature conservation project wants to give floodplains more space

Wittenberg/Dessau (dpa/sa) - In the Middle Elbe biosphere reserve, further areas are to be renatured.

Saxony-Anhalt: nature conservation project wants to give floodplains more space

Wittenberg/Dessau (dpa/sa) - In the Middle Elbe biosphere reserve, further areas are to be renatured. In essence, it is about connecting the backwaters of the Elbe and the Black Elster near Wittenberg as a floodplain landscape. The project, covering an area of ​​around 48 square kilometers, is part of a program under the motto "chance.natur". A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry for the Environment announced on Tuesday that lively river meadows safeguard biological diversity and are important as natural protection against flooding.

Part of the program is the "Mittelelbe-Schwarze Elster" project in cooperation with the Heinz Sielmann Foundation. The aim is to improve the water balance in the river meadows and at the same time to actively do something for flood protection, said a spokesman for the nature filmmaker's foundation. Saxony-Anhalt's Environment Minister Armin Willingmann (SPD) called the project a major gain for nature conservation and flood protection in Germany.

According to previous plans, the measures are to begin in 2023 and will initially be discussed on site. The region around Wittenberg is characterized by agriculture. A spokesman said that the effects of the climate crisis could also be felt in the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve. Falling water levels and insufficient water retention capacity of the soil endanger the habitat of floodplains. For a reliable and sustainable handling of floods and extreme heat phases, it is necessary to give the rivers more space.

The transnational Middle Elbe biosphere reserve is a habitat for more than 1000 different plant and animal species, including the Elbe beaver, which is threatened with extinction. In addition, according to the information, the area is home to the largest contiguous hardwood alluvial forest in Central Europe, which is also referred to as "Central Europe's rain forest" because of its biodiversity. The Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve covers an area of ​​125,510 hectares, most of which is in Saxony-Anhalt.

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