Growing with the Sea

Credit: K. GerdesIn The Netherlands the level of the land sinks at around 40 cm per century, whilst sea-level rises at about the same pace. On top of this increased river flow rates with unpredictable high and low flows add to the problem. Higher dykes, dams and bigger pumping stations may keep things at bay for a while but will not solve the problem. WWF-Netherlands' vision 'Growing with the Sea' advocates a strategy whereby natural processes are allowed to take place wherever this is possible. Sedimentation and the cultivation of peat bogs have for centuries ensured that The Netherlands could rise along with sea level rises. These processes were curtailed once spatial planning started. Allowing them to take place again would create a more resilient system, which in turn would enhance safety at the same time providing great opportunities for nature restoration