What will nature think about this? I think I know, because jackets are generally not good for growing nature. After all, it can create diverse, safe and beautiful landscapes through self-regulation. Human control leads to net reduction.
What do we want?
The question is what do we want in the Wadden Sea? Cherish it as it is now, protect it and maintain it as a World Heritage Site, keep it in place and limit it? This is a Wadden Sea Reserve. Or give her the freedom, flexibility that helps us humans adapt to unexpected changes.
With the dams of the Wadden Sea, the dynamics are lost, with all consequences for the ecosystem
Will this beautiful place soon be surrounded by a scanty northern clay shell, boring to the end, without birdsong or nature? And on the north side, it’s become a waste land for large wind turbines, which are supposed to help our hydrogen economy, and other things that should be kept out of sight?
Read also: Economics often takes precedence over Wadden’s character
With the dams of the Wadden Sea, the dynamics are lost, with all consequences for the ecosystem. Moreover, the spatial quality deteriorated. After all, outside the reserve there is space for ports, wind turbines, power stations, light and sound and soon, solar fields.
Three Sailors Wadden
Is there an alternative? Can we map a truly new perspective that provides answers to major issues and uncertainties in the near and distant future? From two thirds less to two thirds of nature, to an extension of the Wadden Sea? It is then three times the current size. If we want, we can.
The new government should fundamentally rethink the position of the Wadden Sea and shift its focus from conservation to expansion, less defensive, but progressive. After all, if this area is truly valuable, should we make more use of it, rather than trying to perpetuate what already exists?
I suggest that the new government cherish three two seas: the North, the Central, and the South.
1- The North Wadden Sea consists of land located to the north of the islands, where large-scale releases of Sand and Markerwadden engines have been planned and where nature can exercise the self-regulating power of a new nature reserve consisting of sandbanks, islands, wetlands, canals and trees, and provide their resilience Great protection against potential sea level rise and northwest storms.
2. The present Wadden Sea will become an inland sea, with a calm dynamic, where sedimentation can occur steadily, sand and mud are brought in, and mudflats and mudflats are formed where migratory birds and fish feed can breed. Beautiful and serene scenery, as the raging sea is urged to calm.
3. A space will be given to the South Wadden Sea on the old land behind the existing dam. The seawater is reintroduced and forming new salty, salty and sweet environments, allowing the land to grow with sea level and feeding food production with new conditions. Here lobster farms can thrive, salty crops make saltiness an opportunity, and sturgeons, eel and salmon can migrate back from the sea to land and vice versa. The ‘Mother Zernike’, a proposal for a long-term adaptive landscape in northern Groningen set up as part of the Climate Adaptation Summit, shows that our farmers can earn twice as much money this way on 40% of current productive land. . Moreover, it shows that a reflection of environmental degradation to growth is possible in 60 percent of the land that is suddenly released as a dynamic wetland, for example, a muddy landscape.
For example, the Wadden Sea will be three times larger, and we are finally returning two-thirds of the biodiversity we took from our environment. Mother Zernike demonstrates this is possible, but also requires pioneering spatial planning. The new government can and should focus on that.
It protects the Wadden Dam at the height of the Wadden Sea Delta. Photo: Shutterstock
Entrust the most creative thinkers in the field of ecology, coastal management, agriculture and space to come up with a plan that is created with the people in the area and provides perspective for the people who now live, live, work and grow there.
Do not be afraid, Cabinet, but be tough, the Wadden Sea deserves it, because it is making use of the power that can turn unruly conditions in its favor. Provide space and install a “spatial perspective of the envoy” as a new portfolio within Wadden Academy, so that the importance of the beauty of the three Wadden seas is promoted and not the sum of the partial interests is the same.
Trust the natural strength of the sea and the environment and the elusive interaction of water, weather, sand and wind
Then start with three experiments, one in each of the Wadden Sea, in which design, intervention and dynamics are followed and, if necessary, can be adapted to new conditions or outcomes. New sandbank north of Terschelling, tidal plain in the west of the Wadden Sea, and a small hole in the North Sea Dam north of Kloosterburen. Test this, redesign it, and then expand it.
The government dares to choose Wadden’s own resilience and belief in the natural strength of the sea and the environment and the elusive interaction of water, weather, sand and wind.
Dr. Rob Rujima Landscape Architect, Adaptive Spatial Planning Consultant and Owner / Director of Cittaideale and Professor of Spatial Transformations at the Hanzi University of Applied Sciences in Groningen
This article is part of a series in the lead up to the debate on the leader of the Northern Party. Read more at www.frieschdagblad.nl/debat. Also look directly at the debate of Northern Party leaders there on February 8 at 3:30