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It was a bright day in early spring last year, when we strolled through Donau-Auen National Park in Lower Austria. The clear sunlight breaking through the delicate foliage conveys the atmosphere immediately in my opinion. The National Park is one of the largest remaining floodplains of the Danube in Middle Europe. It protects a large area of lowland forests, meadows, wetlands, and other riparian habitat along the Danube just downstream of Vienna.
In 1984, the planned construction of the Hainburg hydroelectric power plant, just downstream from Vienna, threatened the destruction one of two remaining free-flowing sections of the Danube in Austria and its riparian forests. An outcry by environmental and nature protection groups caused nationwide protests against the project. In January 1985 the Austrian Supreme Court forbad further deforestation.