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2.9 million for sustainable management salt marshes Wadden Sea

22 May 2024

Prof. Chris Smit of the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (Science and Engineering, UG), together with Prof. Kai Jensen (University of Hamburg), has been awarded an NWA grant of 2.9 million euros for research that will contribute to sustainable management of the salt marshes of the Wadden Sea. The consortium that will work on the research project consists of scientists from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Chris Smit
Prof. Chris Smit

Of the total amount, 1 million euros will go to the Dutch partners, of which Smit is the coordinator. The project is being conducted as part of the Netherlands Science Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda, NWA) and is funded by the German federal and Dutch governments and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Strategies for sustainable conservation

In this project, the researchers will develop  strategies for the sustainable management of the salt marshes of the Wadden Sea. They will analyze the effects of existing risks in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands through lab studies and fieldwork. This will involve collaboration with stakeholders from nature management, coastal protection, agriculture and tourism. Dutch cooperation partners are Staatsbosbeheer, Natuurmonumenten and the municipality of Schiermonnikoog.

About salt marshes of the Wadden Sea

The salt marshes of the Wadden Sea are among the last untouched ecosystems in northwestern Europe. They are not only indispensable feeding grounds for millions of birds but also have an important role in coastal protection. Due to biodiversity loss and pollution on the salt marshes and climate change, there is an urgent need for action perspectives to safeguard this exceptionally valuable nature for the future.

Wadden salt marsh near Uithuizen (photo: Rudmer Zwerver)
Wadden salt marsh near Uithuizen (photo: Rudmer Zwerver)

Involving future generations

The project also aims to draw the attention of future generations to the ecological pressure on Wadden Sea ecosystems. This will be done through joint activities of scientists with secondary school students.

Consortium partners

Dutch consortium partners are Deltares, Delft University of Technology and Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. From Germany, researchers from the University of Hamburg, University of Münster, University of Kiel and the Alfred Wegener Institute are involved. Aarhus University is the Danish partner.

This is one of five research projects aimed at protection and conservation of the Wadden Sea, in which the Netherlands and Germany are jointly investing €15 million.

Last modified:23 May 2024 6.13 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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