‘Save declining tidal areas’

‘Save declining tidal areas’



On Thursday 17 February 2022, representatives of Boskalis, WWF and Deltares presented a joint plan during the SpraakWater webinar to turn the tide through a ‘national sediment strategy’. The webinar series is a WWF initiative on discussing ‘natural solutions’ for the Dutch Delta. The sediment strategy involves strengthening slabs with 1 billion cubic metres of sludge every year. Is that a lot? Not when compared to the 12 billion cubic metres that is used every year for beach and dune replenishment


Called intertidal zones, these areas of land are covered with seawater which then recedes with the tide leaving them dry. They are essential for migratory birds, oysters and seals. But in the Netherlands, coastal defences, land reclamation and sea level rise are dramatically decreasing these areas: from 12% of the country in 1900 to 4% now.


Such zones may be grown in the Zeeland Delta by bringing back tidal movement and creating areas where sludge – floating particles in the water – can sink. The growing foreshores help coastal protection and grow with sea level rise, says WWF ecologist Bas Roels.


TU Delft Professor of Ecological Hydraulic Engineering Peter Herman supports the initiative and emphasises the importance of the intertidal zones for the millions of migratory birds that forage in the Zeeland Delta, the last stop on their 4,000 kilometre flight.



Science editor Jos Wassink

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