Measures pertaining to the Wadden Region
The national Delta Programme encompasses a range of measures aimed at preserving and enhancing the functions of the Wadden Region. Many of these measures are already in full swing. The agenda for the years ahead also features new projects.
The measures pertaining to the Wadden Region are detailed in the Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management.
Some examples of the results that have been achieved over the past six years:
- A sand dyke has been constructed near the Prins Hendrik dyke on the island of Texel. As a result, the dyke now meets the flood protection standards again. It has enriched the Wadden Sea with a unique piece of floodplain nature: a beautiful sand area featuring dunes and mudflats. Scarce Texel farmland has been preserved. The project has been carried out under the Flood Protection Programme.
- In the Wadden Sea Dykes General Exploration, several innovative dyke concepts and dyke materials have been explored with the aim of having the primary flood defences meet the statutory standards. During the exploration, the results have already been implemented in regular dyke improvements. For example, in 2019, the Noorderzijlvest district water board realised a double dyke in the Eemshaven-Delfzijl dyke improvement project.
- The Coastal Genesis 2.0 programme has generated a great deal of knowledge on the Wadden Region and the functioning of the sand system. Sub-studies and field measurements have generated more insight into the operation of tidal inlets. The Wadden Academy and the “Towards a Rich Wadden Sea” programme have published an outline paper containing linked growth data on the various Wadden Sea basins.
Plans for the six years ahead
The agenda for the next six years features such initiatives as:
- The Lauwersmeer-Vierhuizergat dyke improvement offers several linkage opportunities: natural transitions between the Wadden Sea and the dyke, underwater nature, freshwater-saltwater gradients, and fish migration. Integrated implementation will bring flood protection up to par, whilst concurrently enhancing ecological water quality and Wadden Sea nature in this dyke zone. The project is expected to commence by 2023.
- The Wetterskip Fryslân district water board is improving 47 kilometres of Wadden Sea dykes between the Koehool area and Lake Lauwersmeer. The central government is making resources from the Major Waters Programme Strategy available in the purview of an integrated realisation, resulting in the desired flood protection and the enhancement of the ecological water quality and nature of the Wadden Sea. This project is also scheduled to commence in 2023.
- Under the WAVE 2020 project, the three Security Regions in this area (Noord-Holland Noord, Fryslân, and Groningen) are conducting an impact analysis of flooding caused by dyke failure or by severe waterlogging. This analysis provides insight into the required spatial adaptation measures and into the short-term and long-term effects on the liveability of the affected area.
- The Agenda for the Wadden Region 2050 sets out a collective course and the corresponding agenda of the authorities, nature organisations, fishery organisations, and the collaborating ports of the Wadden Region. This regional agenda constitutes the point of departure for policy and management, and a collective agenda for the choices and taskings.
Expertise and research
The research regarding the Wadden Region in the period 2021-2026 is featured in the Delta Programme Knowledge Agenda. Key knowledge issues are, e.g.: How does the rising sea level affect the primary flood defences? What ecological foreland and natural sediment preserving processes can be used to limit wave development and thus foster the flood protection provided by the primary flood defences? How can such processes be regulated? How can flood protection measures enhance the (natural) qualities of the Wadden Sea? And conversely: how can nature measures improve flood protection?