More wilderness on the altmain?

It is their heart project. And that’s why ulrike geise is also putting a lot of energy into a possible redesign of the altmain between volkach and gerlachshausen.

The river runs for about twelve kilometers between vineyards and meadows. An idyll that fascinates canoeists, tourists and locals alike. The biologist and deputy chairwoman of the nature conservation association in kitzingen now wants to give this section of the river even more naturalness. More dynamic, more wild. "As fliebgewasser, the main is not alive," says geise. How could it.

In the 1950s, the river was developed as a navigable waterway – including the section between volkach and gerlachshausen, which has long since ceased to be navigated by ships.

The groynes (stone embankments) on the shore areas are a testimony of these interventions by human hands. About half of these were installed geise was happy to have them removed again.

"Without endangering the villages on the banks of the river main, the road or the camping grounds in any way," she asserts. Positive effect of the reconstruction: the main river was actively changing its riverbed and thus the riverbank areas were gradually changing as well. "Sometimes flatter, sometimes steeper."The idea is that the main river should once again be able to shape the landscape itself. Plants and animals benefited. Geise and her fellow campaigners are hoping for a broader range of plants and species. At the beginning of this week, the plans were presented at the volkacher schelfenhaus. Around 70 interested citizens followed the invitation of the BN. The driver had commissioned a feasibility study on the "dynamic altmain" in advance. Graduate engineer loreen ahmadian emphasized that from a hydrological point of view it would be possible to remove the road in many places without endangering towns or roads. Even in the event of a flood, the hazard situation did not change. Only by removing the obstructions could the main, which is currently constricted to about 50 meters in a channel, once again form islands, oxbow lakes and side arms that should be typical for it.

A clearly "wilder" landscape was created, which according to geise was unique in germany. How it continues? "Ideally, a project working group should be set up in which as many interest groups as possible are represented and in which the next steps and goals are jointly agreed," says geise. Whether fisherman, tourist, or mayor: all residents should sit down at one table to discuss the effects of such a project. So far, according to geise, she has not encountered any rejection. If the project enters a planning phase, they believe that grants will be available for the implementation of the reconstructions.

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