Opening of the Haringvliet locks: reconnecting the river Rhine to the sea. A project in cooperation with the WWF to restore nature around one of the greatest flood defences in the world, the Delta Works
The Haringvliet used to be the most important river mouth of the rivers Meuse and Rhine. This estuary, with a gradual transition between fresh and salt water, sediment transport and strong tidal dynamics, used to be a highly productive ecosystem, with unique species. It was the entrance and exit for migratory fish. When in 1971 the rivers were closed from the sea by the Haringvliet dam, the rich estuarine ecosystem heavily deteriorated. Starting from autumn 2018, the Haringvlietdam have been opened (a little) by the Dutch government.
The opening of the Haringvliet locks is a historic moment: a crucial step in the restoration of the natural dynamics between sea and river. It is essential for the survival of migratory fish, because the connection with the sea allows them to reach their old spawning grounds upstream again.
During this excursion we will visit the Haringvliet sluices, part of the world famous Delta Works, and witness with our own eyes the enormous difference between the dynamic seaside and the more stagnant inside freshwaters. The significant changes in water management will be discussed with a focus on innovative projects that have been developed in the area (including climate proof housing development and alternative freshwater supply).
Thursday 7 November, 09.00-15.00
09.00-10.30 Travel by bus from RAI to Haringvliet
10.30-11.00 Visit Stellendam sea harbour and Haringvliet sluices
11.00-12.30 Bird Observatory
12.30-13.30 Lunch (restaurant Zoet of Zout)
13.30-15.00 Travel by bus from Haringvliet to RAI