Since 1992, the lower part of Elbe river in Czech Republic is endangered by dam projects. Due to focused effort of environmentalists and local citizen groups, these projects were for two decades successfully opposed. But now, the danger for river Elbe is graver than ever. New project of the dam near Dečín is now assessed by Ministry of Environment and the conclusion is supposed to be issued within next few months. Unlike in the past, the minister of environment is supporting the project.
The home and migration path for salmon, beaver, otter; the whole unique ecosystem of fast flowing large river with natural dynamics of seasonal level changes is threaten to be changed by planned dam. The main claimed purpose for the dam project is to improve navigation. It is clear however, that due to similar navigational conditions on following part of Elbe in Germany (where no such project is planned) and low demand for water transport in area well served by road and railway network, even the economic contribution of the planned dam will be negligible.
Czech government has been for years denying European legislation and direct results of negotiations with European Commission, which demands to enlist the whole area to the list of Natura 2000 sites. Postponing the inevitable and pushed through the dam project, Czech government is intentionally risking court case in front of European Court of Justice and consequent high fees paid by taxpayers. But the money could not bring back irreversible damaged nature.
Help us now to save Elbe Canyon!
Labe (Elbe) - photo by Václav Sojka