As a result of the Delta works the total surface of the salt marsh in the Oosterschelde has decreased. One wishes to restore this lost natural value where possible. The Ministry of Waterways and Public Works deems the Schelphoek area bordering the Oosterschelde a favourable location for the realization of a new salt marsh.
The Ministry has asked Alkyon to develop alternatives for the realization of a larger salt marsh acreage in the western part of the Schelphoek area and to draft a plan for the carrying out of the first phase of the execution.
Alkyon has developed alternatives based on the ideal typical characteristics of a salt marsh, such as ample space, bio-diversity, natural dynamics and durability, and has determined that a reasonably small area in the Schelphoek is suitable for generating salt marshes. By means of geomatical techniques, such as simulations with a spatial model, four alternatives for the development of a new salt marsh have been presented: a sedimentation alternative, an accelerated alternative, a constructed alternative and – the least natural of all – a bulldozer alternative.
Next, a classification was made, based on seven criteria: salt marsh quantity, marsh quality, the effect on birds, the effect on other organisms, a habitat test, the effect on clam beds and feasibility. During a joint workshop, these alternatives were presented to a group of representatives of the Ministry of Waterways and Public Works, the province of Zeeland, ‘Staatsbosbeheer’ and the ‘Dienst Landelijk Gebied’ of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Food Quality. Based on the assessments of the experts attending the workshop, the constructed alternative has been proposed for further development.