What is Smartsediment?

Deltas are amongst the richest ecosystems in the world. This also applies to the Scheldt delta; a unique protected Natura 2000 area. Unfortunately, its two branches – the Eastern Scheldt and Western Scheldt, Upper and Lower Scheldt – have been under great pressure for the last decades. The disappearance of sandbars and shallow water areas is endangering birds, fish and seals. Smartsediment wants to rebalance the biodiversity, sediment and other delta functions. Through sharing of knowledge, monitoring and analysis we also work on solutions for the future.

Why Smartsediment?

The Scheldt delta has a rich ecosystem. Since rivers flow into the sea in this area, it’s full of transitions: from fresh to salt, from dry to wet and from high to low. Each area has its own specific plants and animals. At the same time, the Scheldt basin inhabits more than ten million people and the area is experiencing strong economic growth. This makes it hard to ensure that all interests are served.

Ecology without limits

There are two important ecological problems in the Scheldt delta: the so-called ‘sand demand’ in the Eastern Scheldt and the disappearance of important shallow water areas in the Sea Scheldt and Western Scheldt. Tackling these problems is crucial for preservation of the habitat of endangered delta species.

Safety first

In a delta it’s important that everybody has ‘dry feet’: people need to be protected against floods. That’s why safety plays an important part in every project. The first steps to reconcile nature, safety and inland navigation have been taken. The Smartsediment projects continue this development.

We’re lost without knowledge

As part of the Interreg project, Dutch and Flemish partners develop knowledge about smart sediment management, like the nourishment of intertidal zones, relocation near sandbars and sustainable relocation strategies. Together we search for solutions, implement projects, investigate results and share knowledge.

Where do I find Smartsediment?

The Smartsediment partners are working on different locations in the Netherlands and Flanders. Various sandbars, over-depths and shores are being or have been raised. In the meantime, the collaborating parties monitor and analyze the effects, to gain knowledge for future projects.