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Wetlands for Nature and People

Last changes: 2019-01-30

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About the project

Ķemeri National Park (ĶNP) is particular with large variety of wetlands – raised bogs, fens, swamp forests, coastal lakes and floodplains preserve nature treasures unique both on national and European Union scale. Under the bogs in the surroundings of Ķemeri mineral waters containing hydrogen sulphide are formed being the largest deposit in Latvia. Along with development of nature tourism the hiking trails in ĶNP have become increasingly popular offering a chance to visit swamp forests and raised bogs.
 
Persistence of wetlands depends on availability of water. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of wetlands in ĶNP is negatively affected by the drainage performed during the course of the last two centuries. As a result, the formerly open raised bogs overgrow with trees and the peat starts to decompose, while the swamp forests transform into drier woodlands along with extinction of numerous rare plant and animal species.
In order to preserve the nature values of European importance, in the period from 2011 to 2018 three deteriorated wetland areas will be restored by re-creating the natural hydrological regime.
 
Foto: Nial Benvie/imagesfromtheedge.com
 
LIFE+ project “Restoring the hydrological regime of Ķemeri National Park” will implement the following wetland restoration activities:
  • restoration of raised bog in the surroundings of the former peat quarry in Zaļais Bog (Engure municipality, Smārde parish),
  • restoration of bog woodland and swamp forests along the western margin of Ķemeri Raised Bog (Tukums municipality, Džūkste parish),
  • re-meandering of the straightened Skudrupīte River, restoration of floodplain meadows (Tukums municipality, Džūkste parish).
 
Prior to restoration works the present hydrological situation will be investigated using innovative technologies. Hydrological models will be elaborated, thus finding a balance between the interests of nature and local people. The newly created floodplain meadows will be a new tourist attraction.
 
Project duration: 01.09.2011. - 31.08.2019.
Beneficiary: Nature Conservation Agency
Partners: Institute for Environmental Solutions, Latvian Fund for Nature and Elm Media
Funding: EU LIFE Programme
Co-funding: Latvian Environmental Protection Fund
Number of the project: LIFE10 NAT/LV/000160 HYDROPLAN
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