Restoring estuarine ecosystems


This page provides in-depth knowledge related to a number of concepts that can contribute to restoring the health of an estuarine ecosystem:

Estuaries are located on the transition between the freshwater and marine environments. As a result, estuaries are subjected to influences from both: the conditions in the estuaries change under influence of the tides, wave action and from the freshwater discharge from the rivers. This makes the estuaries a highly dynamic environment in which salinity and water levels vary in space and time. In response to the dynamic conditions estuaries contain a unique species assemblage.

Estuaries offer suitable habitats to both marine and freshwater species, but also contain species adapted to brackish conditions. The rich species assemblage is also enhanced by the generally high availability of organic matter and nutrients as a result of the hydrodynamic conditions in estuaries and their position downstream from rivers. In the past, human activities and interventions have reduce the health of estuarine ecosystems. Several concepts can assist in restoring the estuarine ecosystem, thereby providing a range of benefits for society and nature.

Overview of different concepts related to restoring the estuarine ecosystem and the underlying physical processes