Netherlands - Spotlight on Salt Marsh Construction
Salt marshes were created on the coast of Delfzijl in the north of the Netherlands in 2018. A section has been used as a trial location for salt marsh development.
Researchers from EcoShape studied the salt marsh for two years to learn more about the construction and development of salt marshes. The results of this trial can be used worldwide on sediment-rich coasts to enhance coastal protection and biodiversity.
The research focused on the change in the height of the marsh surface due to sediment accretion, wave attenuation and the development of biodiversity on the salt marsh. The findings are positive.
The vegetation is developing rapidly and model studies based on the current observations show that the height of waves passing through the salt marsh can be reduced by up to 60 percent.
Matching sea level rise
Salt marshes are valuable nature areas and, with their rich vegetation, they act as natural breakwaters.
Because salt marshes capture sediment, they can rise in line with the sea level. In addition, salt marshes capture CO2 and improve water quality. Encouraging the development of salt marshes is an example of Building with Nature.