Ecological restoration is a problem-driven scientific discipline. Thus an evaluation of the restoration strategies is needed periodically to improve the concepts. In Northern Germany, the Environmental Ministry adopted a peatland action plan in 2002 with the goal to (I) rehabilitate the water quality improvement potential of degraded peatlands and (II) to create suitable habitat conditions for endangered wetland species. The plan is implemented in a series of stages. To improve goal-oriented site selection and planning, local authorities need more training and a better hydrological understanding. To improve the effectiveness of ecological restoration projects, training and capacity building are as important as tool development and research.