On 11 July 2012, the seawall around Maasvlakte 2 was completed and with that, an additional 2,000 hectares of The Netherlands is protected from the sea. The compensation measures for the loss of natural habitat on Maasvlakte 2 will be monitored by Deltares, together with IMARES and CSO (a consultancy for environment, space and water).
These compensation measures are necessary because Maasvlakte 2 is located in the Voordelta, a protected nature reserve (Natura 2000 area). As a result, the foraging area of protected birds like the black scoter, sandwich tern and common tern has been lost. To compensate, a protected area has been designated in another part of the Voordelta where trawl fishing is prohibited. In this area, extra roosting places for birds have also been created. These measures are expected to lead to a 10 per cent improvement in the environmental quality in this area, which is 10 times larger than the area of Maasvlakte 2. Monitoring the area will help to establish whether these measures fully compensate for the adverse effects on the Voordelta.
Gerard van der Kolff, project manager on behalf of Deltares: ‘We already began monitoring in 2009 and are following the developments closely. Actually, it is still too soon to draw any conclusions on compensation for the loss of habitat and more time is needed. Officially, the project is set to run until 2013 but it will probably continue for a number of years after that.”
Deltares, IMARES and CSO are carrying out the monitoring on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat. The subcontractors are Arcadis/Alkyon, Bureau Waardenburg, NIOZ Yerseke and the Flemish Institute for Nature and Forest research.
Source: deltares, July 13, 2012; Image: Van Oord