Our project goals at a glance
With the Action Network Small Water Bodies (funded by the German Postcode Lottery) we want to achieve that more is done for small water bodies in Berlin. The Action Network is an alliance of the environmental organisations BLN, NABU Landesverband Berlin, BUND Berlin, Grüner Liga Berlin, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and a tip: tap e.V., which will join forces to protect small water bodies. It is also active in the nationwide initiative for small water bodies. The action network is to be continuously expanded and strengthened by interested citizens who want to stand up for water bodies on their doorstep.
Our event will take place on 27.08.2022 at the Packereigraben: 11 am - 1 pm. More information coming soon.
Small bodies of water such as streams and ditches as well as small lakes and ponds[*] are of great importance for the urban climate and as habitats for fish, amphibians and insects. More species naturally live in them than in the same area in larger bodies of water. But they are also invaluable as recreational places for us humans and provide natural retention in times when there is too much or too little precipitation.
(Left to right: Juliana Schlaberg NABU, Michael Bender Living Rivers Stiftung, Christian Schweer BLN, Athénaïs Georges Grüne Liga, Manfred Schubert BLN, Sandra Kolberg Grüne Liga)
However, many small and large bodies of water in Berlin are in a bad way. More and more animal and plant species that should naturally occur in them are disappearing. Rivers and streams are impassable for fish and other creatures because of weirs. Banks are concreted over, pollutant concentrations are too high and too much water is being taken from our groundwater for our daily water consumption, causing our moors, forests and water bodies to increasingly dry out. These problems show that Berlin has so far done far too little for water protection. Small bodies of water are particularly affected, as they often fall completely out of the focus of efforts. Yet they make up the largest share of the more than 600 water habitats in Berlin. The small watercourses with a catchment area of less than 10 km² alone account for almost 70 percent of the 650 km long watercourse network in our city.
What we do in concrete terms
To this end, we offer public education and participation opportunities, such as dialogues on the actual or target status of watercourses, as well as practical water protection measures, in order to draw attention to the situation of small watercourses and to promote civic engagement (see dates).
For example, we select a certain stretch of stream and get an idea of the typical features, uses and impairments on site. In addition to interested citizens, politicians and administrators as well as residents are invited to participate in order to jointly solve current conflicts or problems in watercourse improvement. The exchange should encourage the participants and enable them to actively improve the water situation and the quality of life in the public space. In addition, we enhance individual water bodies with targeted measures and thus also promote biodiversity, e.g. by removing bank reinforcements, installing flow deflectors or planting trees.
Find more information on the project website here: https://bln-berlin.de/aktionsnetz-kleingewaesser/
* Small water bodies include streams and ditches with a catchment area of less than 10 km² as well as small lakes and ponds with a size of less than 50 ha.