A GIS-Tool to Identify Ecosystem Services Delivered by Smart Sediment Management Strategies
CEDA Dredging Days 2019
A. Boerema, K. Van der Biest, D. Vrebos, K. Buis, P. Meire, M. Taal, G. van Holland, S. Mestdagh, T. Ysebaert and F. Roose
Abstract: Implementing ‘Working with nature’ in sediment management means the development of sediment management strategies that are more cost-effective and include additional environmental benefits by supporting the creation of specific habitats. Such a smart sediment strategy may not only improve the status of protected areas and species, but at the same time provides multiple socio-economic benefits, known as ecosystems services. Although ecosystem services is considered a key concept to guide sustainable management, practical tools to apply the concept in an estuarine context were found to be missing. In this paper we introduce a GIS-tool that identifies the benefits from ecosystem services in estuaries and links these to several sediment management measures. The tool allows managers to investigate and demonstrate the effects of different sediment management strategies on the delivery of ecosystem services. State-of-the-art knowledge on ecosystem processes and the relationships with ecosystem services were used to develop the impact calculation rules. Following ecosystem services can be assessed: food production (mussels, shrimp and sole), water quality regulation, flood regulation, raw materials provisioning, navigation, climate regulation, recreation (on-shore, swimming and recreational navigation) and habitat support (for seals, breeding birds and wading birds). The practicability and validity of the tool is tested on a series of smart sediment management strategies in the transboundary Scheldt delta.
Keywords: Smart relocation strategies, co-benefits, coastal zone, transboundary Scheldt delta