Large amounts of fine sediment accumulate in some lakes, disturbing the ecosystem. How can we restore the ecosystem by reusing this fine sediment for nature development?
A new island group is growing in the Markermeer, a large freshwater lake in the center of The Netherlands. The islands, called Marker Wadden, consist of fine sediment, sand and clay, all three from the Markermeer. The goal is to create a nature and recreation area where plants, animals, birds and fish feel at home and where people can enjoy nature.
The reason for the construction of Marker Wadden is the decline of the ecosystem in the Markermeer. On the bottom of the lake lies a thick blanket of mud that disturbs the lives of plants, fish and shellfish. With Marker Wadden a win-win situation arises: fine sediment from the bottom of the Markermeer is used to create nature islands. This improves water quality and the life below water and creates a new nature and recreational area.
Marker Wadden is a unique nature restoration project. Never before has excess fine sediment been used on a large scale to construct natural islands and restore the ecosystem. This unique character offers an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge.
In the Knowledge and Innovation Program Marker Wadden (KIMA), Rijkswaterstaat, Deltares, EcoShape and Natuurmonumenten investigate how the Marker Wadden ecosystem is developing. KIMA aims to generate and present knowledge about building with fine sediment, sand and clay and about ecology and governance.
KIMA is built around three research themes:
Ecosystem of value
Building with fine sediment and clay
The knowledge gained can be used in the evaluation of the construction of the first phase of Marker Wadden and as input for the coming phases. The knowledge can also be applied in other areas with a similar sediment problem. In the Netherlands and beyond, more lakes and inland water suffer from excess sediment and a deterioration of the ecosystem.
Marker Wadden is a Living Lab in which researchers carry out field experiments. Anyone who wants to conduct research here is welcome. Within the Living Lab, the partners exchange knowledge so that synergy is created between the various studies and disciplines.
This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
Clean water and Sanitation
Clean, accessible water for all
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Developing innovative infrastructure
Responsible Production and Consumption
(Re)use of natural materials
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact
Life Below Water
Life on Land
Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment