Interreg VI news




The Green & Blue Rhine Alliance

Die grün-blaue Rhein Allianz

In the German-Dutch border region Rhine-Waal the project Green Blue Rhine Alliance (GBRA) ran for four years (2017-2021) as part of the European Interreg Program Deutschland-Nederland. In the GBRA, 10 German and Dutch nature, sport fishing and water management (government) organisations worked together on ecological connections for otters, migratory fish, floodplain development, knowledge development, nature education and the development of the professional network. For the partners, the Rhine was a logical linking element in their cooperation. The Rhine has connected Germany and the Netherlands for centuries and is important for man, economy, landscape, water and nature.

As too many otters still die in traffic, the project has constructed 18 otter passages under roads and 45 otterholts in Germany and the Netherlands. This allows the otters to move more safely. Joint monitoring has provided more insight into the distribution of otters in the border region.

In addition, the knowledge base for migratory fish has been strengthened. During the past decades, populations of migratory fish in the Rhine have steadily declined. The Netherlands and Germany have jointly monitored migratory fish and plastics in the water, tested different monitoring methods and drawn up a survey of available data bases on migratory fish in Germany and the Netherlands in order to facilitate data exchange. In addition, the partners have investigated the possibilities of reintroducing the sturgeon and the thick shelled river mussel into the Rhine, wounded eels and released 80,000 larvae of the rare allis shad in Nijmegen into the Netherlands.

Within the GBRA, cooperation has also been established for floodplain development and restoration. In order to learn from each other, build a professional network and exchange knowledge on the condition and restoration of floodplains. To this end, several German-Dutch workshops have been organised and studies carried out.

On both sides of the border, extensive communication took place about the project, and young and old were taken into the field through field lessons and excursions. Over 1500 schoolchildren and almost 1700 students, professionals and other interested people have participated in the GBRA activities.

The project ended 30 June 2021. The good news is that the 10 partners are so enthusiastic about the cooperation that they are continuing it. This has been formalised in a cooperation covenant. More information can be found in the final report of the GBRA. Both documents can be found on the website

To project (external link)


Planned project costs

3.545.380,81 €

Project Duration

1.5.2017 - 30.6.2021


Socio-cultural and territorial cohesion in the programme area

Lead Partner

ARK Natuurontwikkeling (Stichting ARK)

Project partners

Rijkswaterstaat Oost Nederland , NABU-Naturschutzstation Niederrhein e.V., Naturschutzzentrum im Kreis Kleve e.V. , Sportvisserij Nederland , waterschap rijn en ijssel, Vereniging Cultuurlandschap Nederland, Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf, Biologische Station Kreis Wesel e.V. , Stichting De Bastei,


Financer Amount
Stichting De Bastei 17.802,82 €
ARK Natuurontwikkeling (Stichting ARK) 218.437,69 €
Sportvisserij Nederland 36.055,97 €
Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf 101.731,59 €
Rijkswaterstaat Oost Nederland 139.852,02 €
Biologische Station Kreis Wesel e.V. 18.587,11 €
Naturschutzzentrum im Kreis Kleve e.V. 79.641,18 €
MWIDE NRW 438.582,13 €
Provincie Gelderland 438.582,13 €
EFRE / EFRO 1.754.328,54 €
waterschap rijn en ijssel 49.649,14 €
NABU-Naturschutzstation Niederrhein e.V. 102.113,77 €
Vereniging Cultuurlandschap Nederland 113.293,01 €