A strong and attractive coastline in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
In Zeeland, the Scheldestromen Water Authority and the local governments are showing how effectively coastal reinforcement can be combined with area development and recreational activities. While the reinforcement works take place, a 350 hectare nature and recreation area is also under construction at Waterdunen, and Cadzand-Bad will get its own marina.
West Zeeuws Vlaanderen, the southernmost part of the Province of Zeeland, was one of the weak points in the Dutch coastal protection line. The Water Authority will reinforce the flood defence from the beach resort of Breskens to the nature preserve
The Waterdunen area is located between Breskens and Groede. Due to the strong offshore currents, it was not possible to extend the coastal reinforcement seawards. Instead, the Authority chose to reinforce the existing dune by extending it 300 metres inland, in order to protect the hinterland against rising sea levels for the next 200 years. Water channels have been dug behind this new ‘climate dune’, and in 2017-2018 these channels will be connected to the Westerschelde by a tidal culvert, creating a brackish nature and recreation area that offers waterfowl space to feed and brood, and provides beautiful surroundings for walkers.
The area development plan also includes new roads, paths, parking areas and a holiday park. A Coastal Laboratory will also be built to encourage the cultivation of salt-resistant vegetables and shellfish. These developments will turn Waterdunen into an attraction for new visitors.
A new dune has been constructed on the seaward side of the existing dike in Cadzand-Bad. The local government took the opportunity presented by this coastal reinforcement to develop the area further. For example, the two longitudinal dikes were reinforced in such a way as to create space for a new marina.
With the coastal improvements in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, the Flood Protection Programme merges safety, nature and the economy.