"River Experience Isar" – the name says it all

The Isar River – hardly any river is as closely related to the Bavarian history and tradition. Despite its Tyrolean origin it is and will remain the river of the Bavarian people.

The Isar has always been considered "torrential", wild and dangerous. Not surprising – given that its flood waters have always had the capacity to administer sudden hardship and destruction to the nearby population. Once, its braided course and spacious gravel banks were proof of the untamed force of the Alpine stream.

Since the mid-19th century the Lower Isar has been fortified, straightened, embanked and finally, converted into a chain of reservoirs, primarily for the purpose of taming its flood waters, but also in an effort to reclaim land and generate power. Today, seven barrages with locks interrupt the flow of the river between Landshut and Deggendorf. Therefore, the river is neither passable for gravel and scree nor fish nor other organisms. Besides, almost the whole lakeshore is obstructed with stone blocks and is hence not accessible for the population.

Nowadays, the river is only allowed to flow freely in the area immediately below the barrages. The gravel banks and islands, the branches, the bank scars and floodplain waters that used to be typical for this river have disappeared deteriorated, severely decimating the flora and fauna. The river has turned from a vital line of our homeland to a mere barrier and alien element.

The time has now come to restore the river to its old glory. Together with numerous partners and supporters from the region, the Wasserwirtschaftsamt Landshut (Water Management Authority of Landshut) and the Regierung von Niederbayern in their capacity as Höhere Naturschutzbehörde (the higher Nature Conservation Authority of the Government of Lower Bavaria) have teamed up to restore the Isar River to a more natural state in the context of the EU-sponsored LIFE project. To allow everyone to experience the Isar River with all of their senses and, at the same time, give nature back a piece of river landscape that is alive and vibrant – this is our objective!

Keyword "LIFE Nature":The LIFE-Nature programme, which was first implemented in 1992, is the EU's funding instrument for nature conservation projects. LIFE-Nature specifically contributes to the implementation of the Habitats and Birds directives and, in particular, the Natura 2000 European network of protected areas. So its main objective is to support the implementation of nature conservation actions in protected areas under the Habitats Directive and EU bird sanctuaries.