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On January 19th, WWF Netherlands hosted a their first dam removal event!  The room was full of energy with future and enthusiastic dam-removers.

Bart Geenen, nature conservationist at WWF, kicked off the afternoon with a brief introduction to the importance of living rivers and current status of barriers in Europe. He left the attendees with the encouraging message, “Together we can remove these dams and let rivers flow again.”

The afternoon continued with the inspiring story of the first ever crowdfunded barrier removal! Matt Caroll, the project manager of that removal, told the story about how this project came to fruition, especially with the help of Bart Gijtenbeek who raised money for the removal of the Croistwaithe Dam in the north of England. And it worked!

Those in attendance also heard presentations from:

Marco Kraal who inspires via Vis TV

Tim Horneman, ( who takes people in his canoe along rivers

Iwan Hoving from Dam Removal Europe talked about the start of a cycling club in Groningen and the opening of the DRE webshop

Rik Bomer told about 5,000 kilometers on his bike through Europe and talked to all kinds of fish and river experts. You can view his tour and story at

Bert Worms from Dommelvisrecht told about the refurbishment of the lowland streams in East Brabant

Overall, it was an inspiring afternoon packed with knowledge sharing, motivating stories, and lessons learned. And we cannot wait to see what the dam removal future holds!

In the meantime, the next dams that we want to help remove with crowdfunding are in the Ukraine. These 10 dams are located in the rivers Kagach and Kagilnyk, which are part of a wetland in the Danube delta. If you would like to contribute please visit

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*Photographs provided by WWF Netherlands

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