On October 13th and 14th 2020, the annual visit of the EU Monitoring Team took place in Linz. Due to the existing Corona restrictions, the two EU monitors of the German-based consortium NEEMO EEIG were connected via video to the meeting room of the Lentos Kunstmuseum. For the IRIS team, however, the appointment was a very welcome occasion to come together again as a group after the countless video conferences of the past months and to exchange ideas in person.
After a warm welcome by the Upper Austrian Regional Minister KommR Ing. Wolfgang Klinger, the project leaders of the BMLRT and the IRIS partners presented the current status and progress of the IRIS project to the monitoring team. Despite the difficult situation in 2020, the majority of the planned actions could be implemented within the estimated time. For each of the IRIS GE-RMs, the preliminary study is now available, which represents the basis for the further processing of the integrative planning processes.
Organised by Bernhard Karl (viadonau), an excursion of the project team to the planned IRIS pilot measure Danube-Marktau took place on the 2nd day of the event. The ship MS Maria took the participants along the Danube from Linz upstream to Ottensheim. There they changed into 2 smaller boats of the local voluntary fire brigade, which were used to navigate through a Danube branch in an renaturated section of the Danube below the Ottensheim hydropower plant. The participants went ashore at a gravel island, which was created as part of the renaturation. The area visited is located next to the area of the planned LIFE-IRIS measures. There is also the mouth of the Innbach, which is the lower end of Europe’s longest fish migration facility (14 km).
The Danube expert Gerald Zauner from the technical bureau ezb accompanied the excursion and explained the ecological measures already implemented in the area. The excursion provided the IRIS team with very interesting insights into the Danube action area and an impressive outlook on the planned renaturations within the framework of LIFE-IRIS.