The French National River Restoration Center


The French national river restoration center named the resource center for watercourses « centre de ressources sur les cours d’eau » brings together 4 organisations: French Agency for Biodiversity (OFB - including former Onema), Water Agencies, Regional Directorates for Environment Development and Housing (DREAL), Ecology Ministry, Water Offices of the overseas territories interested in promoting river preservation and restoration projects in France.

The centre led by the French Agency for Biodiversity is the French representative in the ECRR network and has been created to respond to the needs ot the local river managers and practitionners,in charged of the restoration in their territory.

The technical partners of the national centers provide technical support to this center: the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), International Office for Water (OIEau) . They form alltogether the national network .


The French national river restoration center aims at fostering the river restoration national network, enhancing the visibility of river restoration projects, bringing closer existing networks and disseminating good practices for professionals wishing to engage in river restoration,

For the national and european networks, the national center :

  • Conceives, produces and provides technical resources, practical aids and awareness raising tools for river preservation and restoration
  • Shares best practices and case studies on river restoration and promotes exchanges between scientists, managers, practitionners at local, national and european levels
  • Contributes to the development of capacity building of the professionnals and stakeholders through training programmes, national and international seminars, field visits, workshops…


When rivers are free to run. Notes on weirs and dams removal, on the Sélune river and elsewhere

Detailed and illustrated summary of the international symposium on the Sélune river, contributing to the dissemination of knowledge on dam removal, the consequences on rivers and biodiversity, and conditions of success.


NWRM - Measures offering multiple benefits to meet water-related challenges

Summary of the technical seminar held on 13 February 2020, which highlighted the opportunities to implement NWRMs in the agricultural, urban and forestry sectors, and the many advantages of the measures.




Dam removal: The Sélune River free to run - 24 to 26 september 2019

Summary of the international symposium on the rebirth of the Sélune river, organized by European River network in conjunction with the French Biodiversity Agency from 24 to 26 september 2019 (see below for the presentations).




Selune valley revival - International conference on river continuity restoration, in Rennes and Avranches (France), 24, 25 and 26th September 2019

More than 200 participants from 20 countries exchanged and debated on the river Selune dam removal project, but also on many illustrative examples, actions and policies to help river continuity restoration, in France and abroad.



Restoration of river continuity: model intiatives accross France and Europe, 8 november 2017

The French National River Restoration Centre organised in 2017 a workshop and field visits on river continuity restoration initiatives: link to the presentations. This was an opportunity for practitioners to share examples of reproductible actions targeting multiple issues, carried out in Italy, the United Kingdom, Finland and France, with the example of the River Mérantaise.


A day event to present national river restoration, 1 december 2015

In order to collectively consider this centre’s priority activities, Onema organised a day of discussion with the relevant public-sector stakeholders on 1 December 2015 in Paris, in collaboration with the French Ecology Ministry, the Water Agencies and the French Association of Public Territorial Basin Institution. Expectations, activities and working of the network... : a synthesis of this day is available.