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EREP 2013 Annual Report

EREP 2013 Annual Report
The Environmental River Enhancement Programme (EREP) is now in its first year of its second cycle (2013 – 2017). Throughout the current year the project made good progress addressing the aims and objectives initially set out, which included the following;

  • To identify 100km of OPW channels for EREP annually.
  • To select a number of these channels for capital enhancement works and a number for
    enhanced maintenance works.
  • To undertake a biological monitoring programme across a range of these channels,
    addressing the impacts of works on the river corridor biodiversity and hydromorphology.
  • To provide support and advice throughout the implementation period.
  • To carry out external audits of machine crews engaged in routine maintenance.

As part of the 2013 programme approximately 110km of channel were identified for works through either enhanced maintenance or capital works programmes and 80km were completed. All channels were walked and a written enhancement report provided to OPW. Monitoring of the physical habitat and biological elements pre and post works at a number of these channels, across all OPW regions, is on-going with a number of experimental works also being undertaken. These scientific studies aim to assess the effectiveness of such works on the river corridor biodiversity and hydromorphology. While data is collected annually on fish communities, riparian and instream vegetation, aquatic macro-invertebrates, birds, crayfish and lamprey, it is often more appropriate to have several years data available before a full account of impacts is presented.