Restoration of aquatic ecosystems in the Sontea-Fortuna area-component of Natura 2000 sites ROSPA0031 and ROSCI0065 of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve [RESTORATION-DD].

Project facts

Project promoter
Danube Delta National Institute for Research & Development Tulcea (DDNI)
Project Number:
Target groups
Bodies responsible for systems and policies in education and local, regional and/or national level.
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 1,123,857
The project is carried out in:

More information


Desilting hydro-technical works of secondary channels, over a length of 13,560 meters, within Sontea-Fortuna wetland ecosystems from the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, are necessary to re-shape degraded connectivity of aquatic habitats to the main channels, as well as to restore migratory routes of waterfowl species. The objective of the project is that fragmented wetland ecosystems within the Natura 2000 sites are restored and their biodiversity decline mitigation occurs. The outcome of the project is that over 5000 ha of aquatic habitats and wild species of flora and fauna, as part of the DDBR natural heritage, are subject to ecological restoration and their conservation status get improved. The result of the project will be: Restoring the conservation state of 6 types of aquatic habitat of Community importance; International conference on „Restoration of wetland fragmented ecosystems”. There are many target groups which will benefit from this project results, among them, Danube Delta Local Councils: Natural Monuments Protection Commission, and Tourism companies. NINA -Norway has as role to share its experience and transfer of knowledge of protected wetland ecosystems. Restoration works, international conference, and exchange of visits will improve wetland restoration knowledge and experience for all project partners.

Summary of project results

Sustainable change that the project achieved, as base action: 13.56 km of secondary channels have been subject to dredging works for reach the project’s general objective of Șontea-Fortuna fragmented wetland ecosystems ecological restoration, for halting these ecosystems’ biodiversity decline. The project’s results: 9 scientific studies /reports for pre- and post-restoration; 6 intermediary technical&financial reports of the project progress; 1 final technical report; hydro-technical works execution for dredging 13.56 km of channels; 2 Press Conferences for the project launching and closure; the project webpage: ; International Conference on „Restoration of the wetland fragmented ecosystems”; Publication of scientific paper in international journal; 2 secondary-level courses on protected wetlands biodiversity and its conservation importance; 1 database and maps in GIS containing: geo-referenced data of the two parts of the Sontea-Fortuna aquatic habitats, as well as data on the 6 habitats conservation status, from the two protected areas; 1 database and maps in GIS (numerical maps) incurred on the conservation status of species of wild fauna in the two areas of the project; 1 scientific report - assessment of the ecosystems restoration success of the two wetlands zones from Sontea-Fortuna aquatic complex; 1 Summary report for policy advice relating to the contribution of wetland ecosystems in the corresponding economic sectors. The project’s outcomes: Restoration of 7,000 hectares of natural wetland fragmented ecosystems within the Șontea-Fortuna hydrographic unit (24,636 ha) from the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (580,000 ha of Natura 2000 sites); Restoration of habitats’ connectivity to the main network of channels, in the Danube’s low water level conditions; Restoration of the migration routes of aquatic species, especially, in the Danube’s low water level conditions; Restoration of the conservation state of 7 types of aquatic habitat of Community importance, of which 1 is a priority habitat, according to the EU's Habitats Directive; Restoration of the conservation status for over 5,000 species of wild fauna and flora; Knowledge transfer and policy advice; Public awareness on wetland ecosystems services and the importance of conserving their favorable conditions; Development of an international scientific partnership relating to restoration of wetland protected ecosystems.

Summary of bilateral results

Working together, the project’s experts from DDNI Tulcea, Romania and NINA, Norway, got the following results: 1. Summary report for policy advice relating to the contribution of wetland ecosystems in the corresponding economic sectors (responsible: NINA). 2. Submission of the journal article “Changes in ecosystem services from wetland loss and restoration: An ecosystem assessment of the Danube Delta (1960-2010)”. Corresponding author: Professor Erik Gómez-Baggethun. Listed co-authors: Dr Eugenia Cioacă, Dr Dalia Onără, Dr Marian Tudor, Dr Alexandru Dorosencu, Dr Stein Ivar Johnsen, Dr Mihai Marinov, Dr Eugenia Marin, Dr Silviu Covaliov, Dr Orhan Ibram, Dr Berit Kohler, Dr Liliana Ene, Dr Liliana Török, Dr Aurel Năstase, Dr Mihaela Tudor, Dr Gabriel Lupu, Dr Mihai Doroftei, Dr Jon Museth, Dr Liliana Teodorof, Dr Marian Mierlă, Anca Crăciun, Dr Eivind Aronsen. 3. Knowledge exchange on ecological restoration of wetlands, occasioned by exchanges of visits. Yes, bilateral funds contribute very much to strengthened bilateral relations at the project level through formal partnerships, ad hoc exchange of knowledge, and collaboration in the project. The bilateral partnership contributed to the project strengthening results in terms of: deeply assessment of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve ecosystems services, their valuable sustainable natural resources; policy advice on biodiversity conservation and protection and its importance in the corresponding economic sectors.