DEME Group highlighted importance of the Hedwige Prosper area on the Dutch-Belgian border today.
On behalf of De Vlaamse Waterweg nv (the Flemish Waterways Authority), DEME and partners worked together on the five-year polder project, whereby 465 hectares of land have been given back to nature by creating a floodplain, creating extra space to the River Scheldt and protecting the hinterland from flooding.
A vibrant ecosystem can now develop, including mud flats and salt marshes.
This new area, together with the adjacent Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe, will form one continuous nature reserve of no less than 4,500 hectares, the largest tidal area in Western Europe.
According to DEME, a connection between the River Scheldt and the Hedwige Prosper area was made this week and the first water flowed into the floodplain.
With each tidal movement, the water will flow further and further into the area, gradually reaching the newly built dyke.
The Hedwige Prosper polder initiative is part of the Flemish Sigma flood protection programme.