Development Plans for Molenplaat - Markiezaatsmeer

Markiezaatsmeer is a 1,800-ha nature area, 1,100 ha of which is open water. The area once formed part of the Eastern Scheldt estuary, but since being dammed in the 1980s the water has become increasingly less saline. The area is both a Natura 2000 site (Birds Directive) and a WFD waterbody (Water Framework Directive). It is also one of the most important bird habitats in the Netherlands.

Our client, Brabants Landschap, is keen to enhance the natural values of the area. The aim is to expand the breeding and foraging habitat for Natura 2000 target species, such as the avocet, ringed plover and Kentish plover. Where possible, the area must also be made more attractive to birds like the spoonbill.

Witteveen+Bos was asked to make a preliminary design for the development of Markiezaatsmeer and the adjacent Molenplaat, providing substance to the various tasks at hand, including those being compensated.

The design was based on an integrated system analysis. This integrated system concept was combined with an extensive analysis of the specific habitat requirements of the target species from the perspective of the Natura 2000 objectives. These specific habitat requirements were then translated into design requirements, which in turn were translated spatially into the final design.

Integrated system analysis, Building with Nature, circularity, biodiversity and robust design provided a sustainable basis for the Natura 2000 assignment.

To this end, Witteveen+Bos:

  • drew up a draft design and a preliminary design
  • prepared a cost estimate
  • carried out a permit scan
  • drew up an implementation plan
  • drew up recommendations on feasibility
  • chaired and facilitated core team meetings (with, among others, the water authority, municipality and province).

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