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Towards the restoration of rivers and aquatic environments

A collection of river hydromorphology restoration examples


The collection presents more than 60 examples of river hydromorphology restoration undertaken over the past 20 years throughout France. These actions aim to preserve river hydromorphology or to re-establish hydromorphological processes of rivers.

The first part of this publication provides basic information on the benefits of restoration, given that river dynamics lie at the origin of biodiversity and good ecological conditions, and the fact that aquatic environments have much to offer society, etc.

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  Many services to society depend on the quality of aquatic environments
The natural environment provides many services (also called amenities) to human societies, thus contributing to their development and well-being. The majority of the services provided depend on the conservation status of ecosystems.
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  River dynamics lie at the origin of biodiversity and good ecological status
Transformations of rivers and their habitats are referred to as ”river dynamics” and are explained by physical and biological phenomena.
In order to preserve these phenomena, which are one of the driving forces for the biodiversity of the river system, it is essential to understand river dynamics...
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  Some examples from the collection

2016
Restoring the river continuity of the Bresle River by returning it to its original bed in Sénarpont
Widening and sediment reloading of the Drac riverbed in Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur

2015
Removing a weir and renaturalising the Iton River on the Plis industrial site in Hondouville
Removal of the dam on the Allier River at Saint-Etienne-du-Vigan
Creation of flood channels and restoration of exchanges between the flood plain and the low-flow channel on the Vezouze
Returning the Fontenelle to its original bed at Saint-Wandrille-Rançon
Restoration of the river continuity on the Touques Basin

2014
Reopening of the culverted Redon river
Restoration of side channels of the Loire and its tributaries

2013
Reactivating river dynamics in the Vieux-Rhône River (non-navigable section)at Cornas, Roubion and Petite Île
Bio-engineering techniques for bank protection on the Moselle River in Villey-le-Sec

2012
Removal of the Fatou dam on the Baume River

2010
Elimination of a dike blocking a Petersback tributary
Restoring the natural dynamics of the upper Adour
Removal of twenty small structures and diversification of the main channel of the River Couasnon
Adaptive management of hydraulic structures on the Sèvre nantaise and Thouet rivers
Agreed definition of a mobility area for the Adour
Removal of twenty small structures and diversification of the main channel of the Couasnon river
Removal of the Kernansquillec dam over the Léguer river
Removal of the Maisons-Rouges dam over the Vienne river
Restoration of the surface fl ows of two temporary tributaries of the upstream Clauge
Refilling the meanders of the Colostre
Restoring the Doquette river to its original bed
Reopening a section of the Bièvre river in an urban environment
Removal of five lakes on the Val des Choues stream