Recovery project and awareness of the natural dynamics of island spits

The stabilisation of dunes and the construction of sand-drift dikes has resulted in the loss of a significant degree of natural dynamics on the islands’ sandy coasts. Nitrogen deposits have also played a role in this development.┬áThis development has resulted in the disappearance of the distinctive surge areas and sand-drift dike complexes as well as large-scale overgrowth, which in turn has caused the typical coastal flora and fauna to disappear. These developments could jeopardise the Natura 2000 targets (among others) as well as damaging the adaptability of the islands.

The problem, which was first acknowledged many years ago, is apparent on all of the Wadden Islands and particularly affects the island tails. The commissioning parties believe there is an urgent need to take steps in the years to come in order to preserve and restore the islands’ ecological value and formulate a concrete strategy to restore their natural dynamics. Of course, this must be done in a manner that prioritises safety and has wide support among the parties concerned. These measures will boost the ecological value and climate resilience of the sandy coasts, while all of the experiences from the various Wadden Islands will be incorporated into the measures. The commissioning parties believe there is an urgent need to take steps in the years to come to formulate a strategy to restore these natural dynamics, although this must be done in a manner that prioritises safety and is widely supported by the parties concerned.

Role of the PRW:

Results to be delivered:

  • Awareness among the island communities of the role of natural dynamics around the island tails will have been raised by 2022.
  • One or more pilots will have been set up in 2020 that will allow the island communities to observe all intended and unintended effects of the improvement measure(s).
  • One large-scale pollination or flood plain will have been realised before 2022.

Commissioning parties:

  • Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management
  • National Forest Service (SBB)

Follow-up action by:

  • Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management