Wetland and floodplain habitats management and solutions in Lower Meadow of Prut Natural Park



The pressure of economic development from the last 50 years in the area of Prut river, the protection measures against floods by building dams in the major river bed and the building of the hydrotechnical knot Stânca-Costeşti have been the causes of the transformation of the typical habitats in the humid areas at the border of Prut river, thus of the flood area favouring the breeding of fish and birds, endangering the ecological integrity of the area eco-system complex.

In the past, Romanian Waters National Company the main manager of the water resources from Romania has started the preparation at the request of the Ministry of Water Forest and Environment Protection the inventory of the wetland and floodplains at national level, including the potential for restoration according with the particular case from Romania, where the process of land restitution to the previous owners is one important problem even in present time.

In Prut catchment area is presented a large number of existing wetlands with a large restoration potential (about 200 wetlands recorded for whole Prut basin, many of them are less than 1 sqkm surface).

It has to be mentioned that several wetlands which in present are in natural stage are included or will be included in the List of Protected Areas under the legislation preservation. In this regard the planning of wetlands and floodplains rehabilitation is underdevelopment and will depend by the finalization of the land restitution action.

For all the types of existing habitats housing a large variety of fauna (especially avifauna), sedentary as well as migrating or passing fauna, the Maţa – Rădeanu humid area, with a surface of 386 ha, is similar to the special preservation areas from the Danube Delta.

Among the protected areas within lower Prut basin, according to the criteria of habitat identification, three of them (Ostrovul Prut, Lower Prut river meadow and Vlascuta swamp) have been indicated to include some wetlands as well.

Also, we propose the following potential demonstration sites for wetland management and restoration projects in the Lower Prut basin: Prut flood plain, downstream of Sovarca swamp, up to the mouth point in the Danube; Brates Lake located NE from Galaţi city, connected with the Prut river by the valley of Ghimia brook and Horincea hydrographical basin.

Potential solutions for wetland floodplain habitats management involve technical and organisational issues, but some severe law aspect as well.

The hydro potential of the sub-basins of this stream opens the door to elaborating an unified scheme in line with landscape features, hydrology and geology of the area. In this respect a complex arrangement of Horincea subbasin, Oancea, Bisericii and Stoenesei valleys which are located in an area of moisture deficit becomes essential. To complete the sub-basin planning, they should be viewed as indivisible natural units.

The entire range of hydrotehnical works in this basin aimed to regulate the water stream in order to to avoid negative effects of flooding and must nevertheless respect the principles of ecological planning in order to avoid failures occurring after the completion of this type of works.

Regarding the industrial and diffuse pollution which have an impact on Prut ecology and  water quality, this being closely linked with the ecology of the floodplain forested corridor and the existing wetlands, the situation is much severe in the upper part of the basin, based on a large concentration of industry, agriculture and human settlements in comparison with the lower Prut where the impact is much smaller. We mention this can be subject for another study of ecological issues in this basin.

When considering the environmental planning should start from the principle that the streams in the Prut basin represent simultaneously ways of circulation, tanks and complex ecological zones which are in strict interaction with the surrounding areas.


Prut, wetland, Natural Park, floodplain, management

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