Today, ANP|WWF began work on their first-ever barrier removal – the Galaxes weir in Alcoutim – which will restore the river connectivity of 7.7 km of Ribeira de Odeleite. The programme-supported removal will boost the conservation of fish populations and several species of birds and iconic mammals, such as the otter and the endemic and threatened Iberian lynx.
“The removal of river barriers is a nature restoration tool and is the most effective and least expensive way to restore the functioning of these ecosystems permanently…When it comes to restoring rivers, we cannot forget that when we return rivers to nature, we also return higher quality water to people, we return more conditions for the survival of animal species and vegetation in the river and on its banks, and we thus restore this entire ecosystem,” says Ruben Rocha, ANP|WWF Water Coordinator.
Learn more about the Galaxes Weir project.
Considering the negative impact that river barriers have on river ecosystems and the decline of biodiversity, ANP|WWF is also launching a public petition for a budget for the removal of river barriers in Portugal and for the Government’s commitment to speed up these removals to meet the objectives of ecological restoration of rivers.