Dr. Gustav Harmer, President of WWF Austria, took over the personal liability for a bank loan, which was then granted to WWF Austria in 1989 to buy land along the Danube to prevent a power plant company from developing the land. Together with Professor Dr. Bernd Lotsch, Austria's most famous conservationist, Dr. Gustav Harmer took over the personal leadership for an unparalleled nature conservation campaign.
The campaign "Bail out Nature" had to raise US$8.5 million. As many persons as possible and groups, including schools and organizations, needed to be contacted. Industrial leaders (sponsorships) and wealthy persons (large donors) were personally contacted by Dr. Gustav Harmer. In the end more than 200,000 Austrians gave donations.
This was the first step to actually realize the planned national Park Donau-March-Thaya-Auen, which today is in preparation.