New plans to save Markermeer-IJmeer
By The Holland Times Fri. 13 July 2012
Popular leisure destination and important ecological wetlands, the Markermeer-IJmeer area has long been under threat due to its unstable ecology. Fortunately, a consortium of interested groups has recently completed a report detailing several innovative and cost-effective ways to improve the area.
In 2011, the Markermeer-IJmeer Operating Company (Werkmaatschappij Markermeer-IJmeer, WMIJ) presented plans to improve the Ecological Future Proof System (Toekomstbestendig Ecologisch Systeem, TBES), designed to ensure the stability of the area's ecology. However, the cost of this system runs at 630 million euro, and, at the request of parliament, three consortia have today announced alternative plans with a cost less than that of the WMIJ.
The consortia Witteveen & Bos, Grontmij and Kransmeer are composed of various interest groups and have put forth a wide range of proposals including the construction of sheltered areas on the north coast to Holland to address the problem of rising silt levels, sand dams in place of the conventional lee dams and the placement of artificial aquatic plants.
Roelof Balk, director WMIJ seems positive about the proposals. "We are very pleased with this response. Some ideas are really new and promise significant cost savings of 35 to 330 million euro. The proposal for Marker Wadden is today a much more concrete. The directors of state and province will soon have a real choice."
(Photo: Willem J. Poolen)