Visited a managed realignment project (ontpoldering) near Lippenbroek, Belgium.

During the yearly Coastal Ecology meeting, we visited the managed realignment project (ontpoldering) near Lippenbroek, Belgium. The Belgians allow Scheldewater to enter a former polder area so that a reduced tidal regime is established. Due to the tidal water, a very interesting and diverse (for floodplain standards) intertidal community has established.

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To see the project: http://www.lippenbroek.be/natuur/natuur.htm

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Nature restoration (ontpoldering) in the Biesbosch

On August 23, I visited the nature restoration projects in the Biesbosch area. While in the Zeeland region, people are very reluctant against “giving back agricultural lands to the sea”, no such sentiments exists among the Biesboschers (among which I am one), and large former polder areas were “returned to the river” to provide a safety buffer against river floods. See below some photographs of how these “ontpolderde” areas look like after a few years. A must admit I was amazed by the diversity of habitats, plants and birds that we observed, even when looking from a distance. A sighting of a (likely) Sea Eagle nicely ended the day.

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Click here to see more about Ontpoldering in de Biesbosch .

Nature’s mosaics observed again at the Kapellebank

The Kapellebank is the hotspot of self-organized patterns in diatoms, no tidal flat that I know of in the Netherlands has them more clearly. Also this year, they were clearly observable. It is striking how easily the tidal flat is given up as a so-called alternative option for nature compensation, where a thick layer of clay will be deposited on top of this tidal flat to “generate nature”.