Living Elbe


 Save our precious river

Save our precious river.

Sign the petition here to keep one of our largest and the most famous rivers alive.
Sign the appeal for Living Elbe, which will then be handed to the Czech government and parliament
Your signature will help to protect the Elbe from being buried in concrete.

1823 people have already signed the petition Living Elbe.
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Appeal for Living Elbe

Dear Prime Minister, Dear Ministers, Honourable Members of the Parliament, I urge you to support the protection of the valuable area of the Elbe river and to vote against all the constructions allegedly increasing the navigability of the Elbe near Děčín. The largest Czech river has just recently been enlisted among the most important natural areas of European nature Natura 2000.

Arguments against projects enhancing Elbe’s navigability:

  • improving the navigability of Elbe is solely the  interest of some of private companies but definitely not of the whole public sector;
  • Elbe could bring economic benefits without further regulation, such as the development of tourism, which can be focused in several sectors including cycling;
  • the problem of navigability is similar across the border in Germany; however, according to the so-called Overall Concepts for Elbe, the Germans do not expect to build any weirs nor dams significantly affecting the level of the flow;
  • any construction will drain billions of dollars from the state budget, e. g. the proposed project of a weir just outside Děčín would cost approximately 5 billion crowns in total
  • the Elbe River going from Ústí nad Labem to the German border is a very well preserved river of European significance with the occurrence of protected species and natural phenomenons, such as so-called gravel pits. The construction of the Elbe weirs, would destroy this ecosystem irretrievably not only for us but also for future generations.

About Elbe

The lowest part of Elbe is one of the last river runways all over Europe unbounded by concrete and dikes. The river is still wild - the water is not limited by any weirs or dikes. In the Protected Landscape Area of Labské pískovce, the river creates a stunning and unique three hundred meters deep sandstone canyon. Similar scenery cannot o be found anywhere across Europe. One could easily speak of a nature jewel while mentioning the gravestone sediments which were being created by the river itself for centuries. It surely belongs among the most precious natural sites in the Czech Republic, only three hectares of these sediments can be found in the country. Arnika wants to preserve this European jewel and prevent the destruction of building unnecessary weirs.

Concrete menace

The idea of the construction on the Elbe River has appeared again. The projected weir should be a crucial part of shipping transport concept. In January 2018, the Czech government in resignation adopted a proposal naming the weir an object of “public interest”. By this decision, the government protects the interest of several private companies from preserving the unique natural phenomenon. This part of the Elbe was included among the most important areas of European nature Natura 2000. At the initiative of the European Commission, the government decided on it in May 2017.

Attempts to build a weir have been going for over twenty years. The navigational point at Děčín is presented as the last detail that is missing from finishing the project on the Elbe River and also from the alleged unprecedented development of the entire Czech economy.  The Elbe is not and most probably never will be the appropriate size required for a “river super-highway” that is proposed. Even the German side doesn’t suggest any construction enhancing the navigability of the river in the future.

The negative experience of Czech citizens with construction of megalomaniac buildings (such as the Blanka tunnel complex in Prague) means that people watch such budget-draining attempts and projects with serious apprehension.


Help to protect the unique canyon and the life in it.  Acting together today, we will be able to keep the current face of nature without concrete for future generations.

Thank you for your donation!!

Donate by card or transfering money to account number IBAN: CZ9520100000002900117959.