Ecological dike foreshore upgrading – Eastern Scheldt

Lessons Learned

The following lessons were learned from this project:

  • Think pro-actively. Even if habitat enhancement is not required by law, it may produce an added value that justifies the investment.
  • Authorities responsible for flood safety are not responsible for other uses of dikes and foreshores, other than that they may not negatively influence the flood protection function. Designs made from this single perspective may be less suitable for other functions such as diverse habitat provision and recreational diving.
  • Involve stakeholders in an early stage. Listen carefully to antagonists as well as protagonists and together seek together for the best solution.
  • Work interdisciplinary. The integration of ecology and/or geomorphology with hydraulic engineering can provide an innovative, beneficial and effective solution on the long term, integration of governance expertise improves the chances of actual implementation.
  • Inform the public to enlarge well-informed support.
  • The legal issues tackled and the increased awareness of underwater life may be the start of legislation to protect the underwater ecosystem. This will make budgets available for underwater ecosystem development, but may also lead to formalization and restricted access.
  • The interdisciplinary network of government agencies, designers, contractors, ecologists and volunteering divers proved very effective and may be of use to future projects.