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After some years of preparation, the Delfzijl Marconi project in The Netherlands, is finally on. The project is situated along the Ems-Dollard estuary, which is one of the two remaining open estuaries in the Netherlands. It lies close to the Unesco heritage site of the Wadden Sea. Among the challenges here are a declining ecological state and rising sediment concentrations. To counter these problems, an innovative project was initiated: The Delfzijl Marconi project. In this project, clean dredged sediment is being used to improve the local ecology and to create recreational benefits.

Ecoshape was already involved in the feasibility phase of the project with an eco-engineered design for development of the area. This eco-engineered design is an inclusive design where recreational facilities (beach and salt marsh park) are combined with nature development in the form of salt marshes and smart use of dredged sediment.

In the next phase, starting from november 2016, Ecoshape is involved as a partner in designing, developing and monitoring the salt marsh that will be created with sediment from the harbour of Delfzijl. The aim is to gain practical experience with, and to develop knowledge about creating and enhancing salt marsh growth. Therefore various experimental plots are designed, in which we experiment with different mud concentrations, different wave reducing structures and sowing of salt marsh vegetation.

As the contract is now signed, the project partners Wageningen Marine Research, Royal HaskoningDHV, Arcadis and Deltares will start setting up the final design within the next months. By the end of 2017, the contractor will start creating the salt marsh. Until 2019, monitoring and analysis will take place, leading to a better understanding and practical design rules for salt marsh development and enhancement.