The implementation of restoration measures is central to MERLIN. Roughly 10 million € of the MERLIN budget is allocated for restoration activities, which will be implemented during the lifetime of MERLIN (2022-2025) in seventeen case studies. The implementation cases are grouped into small streams, large rivers as well as wetlands and peatlands. The types of restoration measures comprise re-wetting, channel and riparian restoration, reconnection of floodplains, removal of dams, creation of flowering strips and meadows alongside streams, the improvement of habitats, reintroduction of species and control of invasive species as well as citizen science initiatives.
The MERLIN case studies developed and specified their implementation measures, including a detailed description of the intended restoration measures, a time and budget plan, the skills and support needed, whom to involve, how to optimize, expected risks and what to monitor. The intended measures were optimised in an integral approach, obtaining suggestions from the SWOT analysis and optimization plans as well as from ex-changing with the Case study boards and other MERLIN case studies. Aim of the optimization is to enhance ecosystem services, climate adaptation, biodiversity, and socio-economic benefits, to maximise synergies and avoid trade-offs.
Deliverable 2.3 comprises the implementation plans of all MERLIN case studies. The implementation plans support the case study leads in their planning and implementation process, by detailing their goals, listing necessary work steps, planning budget and time, distributing tasks and considering optimisation potential. Being aware of anticipated or potential risks is crucial in the implementation process. Strategies for mitigating these risks are developed to avoid delays or hinderances in restoration implementation. The plans can also give support the discussions with stakeholders, and thus, contribute to optimize the measures in an open, transparent and participatory way. The implementation planning process thus offers a basis for the participatory and transparent implementation of freshwater restoration measures.