Yachting and marina development in the Dutch Wadden Sea
The Dutch Wadden Sea is an important intertidal zone with tidal flats and wetlands rich in bio-diversity, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007, a covenant to balance recreation with nature was signed by 27 governments and organizations.
In 2009 a Marina Master Development Plan for the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea was initiated by the 11 municipalities in the area to implement the principles of the covenant, and to explore the quantity and type of recreational development that would encourage nature and stimulate the economy. Our role on the project was to conduct all analyses and recommendations associated with the development of yachting, marinas and berths for visitors, while our partner Oranjewoud was responsible for the environmental and ecological aspects.
Yachting network Wadden Sea
The task was to spatially assess areas where issues between recreational activities and nature were occurring, to assess the impacts and make suggestions on how negative effects could be avoided or mitigated. The focus of the analysis was on protecting this special Natura 2000 area and on accommodating growth of water tourism in the area in a responsible way.
The analysis determined that nature and recreation could in fact live in harmony. A special Code of Conduct for yachtsmen now provides information about sensitive natural areas. The study recommended extra berths for visitors in several existing marinas in order to accommodate the visiting yachts in a safe and proper way. The plan manages to balance the aspirations of the recreational tourism industry at a world-renowned intertidal zone with the need to sustain the region’s biodiversity.