Fresh water health control through Black Stork perspective

Estonia is a small country in eastern shores of Baltic Sea and all its fresh water sources end up in Baltic Sea. Originally Estonia has been rich of different types of wetlands, including mires and bogs surrounded with forests, but during last 150 years and especially during 1950-1990 a lot of melioration both, in fields and forests have been conducted. The heavily changed hydrology of rivers and wetlands (including mires) has led to substantial losses of wetland and freshwater biodiversity. 

This project wants to enable restoration of fresh water sources ending in Baltic Sea, starting from the sea shore and moving upstream. These are the habitats of the key species in this project- the critically endangered Black Stork (Ciconia nigra).

An inventory of fresh water sources in protected areas and Natura 2000 sites will be performed starting closer to Sea and moving inland. According to the field inventory, guidelines will be composed for restoration of fresh water sources to be used in further projects for the restoration on bigger scale. One of the sites will be selected for pilot restoration. Volunteers will be invited to take part in cleaning of foraging areas of the Black Stork.

Project Goals & Objectives:

  • The goal of the project is to help the Black Stork population in Estonia to recover.
  • The overview about fresh water sources in protected areas and also outside in economic forests will help to protect these areas in future. 
  • Projects for restoration of natural conditions of fresh water streams will be launched and performed.
  • Fresh water sources shall produce cleaner water running into Baltic Sea. Black Storks will have more possibilities to forage in natural streams and feed on diverse fish and amphibians.


  • Database about fresh water streams condition
  • Guidelines for restoration of fresh water sources in database
  • Pilot restoration of sample site
  • Volunteer camps to clean parts of streams
  • Monitoring of results to understand the Black Stork satisfaction
  • Communication about project plans, actions and results


  • Preparation of fieldwork task and composing of relevant project team
  • Data storage in the field, preliminary suggestions for restoration
  • Preparation of guidelines for further restoration projects
  • Restoring of pilot site to understand the bureaucracy mandatory for such projects and for to enhance guidelines respectively
  • Organizing of volunteer camps to perform minor restoration in selected sites
  • Tracking of adult Black Storks to monitor results of the restoration before and after actions performed
  • Communication with stake holders and public (media) about project plans, activities and results


Eagle Club Estonia (Kotkaklubi)


  • Environmental Board
  • State Forest Management Center

Project region 

Estonia, focus on coastal areas

Project duration 

2019-01-01 – 2020-12-31


total project budget: €164,850
funding BaltCF: €148,500.00