Bankbusters: A Nature-Based Solutions Engineered Tidal Marsh, Beneficially Re-Using Soft Dredged Sediments
WODCON XXIII - Dredging is changing - The Practice. The Science. The Business.
T. Mascart, T. Sterckx, J. Fordeyn, P. Degroote, G. Verreydt, T. De Mulder, N. Van Putte, P. Meire, M. Huygens
"Productive ecosystems such as river deltas are subject to many anthropogenic and natural pressures resulting in increased flood risk, tidal amplification and strong erosion. In that regard, estuarine tidal marshes provide various ecosystem services like natural flood protection lessening the impacts on embankments. However, they are under pressure, leading to severe habitat deterioration, especially in lowly elevated tidal marshes that flood frequently. Increasing erosion can alter these habitats into non-vegetated mudflats, with an unfavourable steep transition to highly elevated marshes. Moreover, socio-economic development activities in an estuarine habitat ubiquitously require dredging maintenance inducing large volumes of fine dredged sediment disposed without reuse, due to economic, logistical, legislative and/or environmental constraints. A public private consortium researches and designs an eco-engineered tidal marsh, beneficially re-using soft dredged sediments. Bankbusters consolidates and acquires knowledge on ecosystem processes, boundary conditions and beneficial re-use of soft dredged material, in order to facilitate tidal marsh habitats restoration, enhancing ecosystem services delivery. Explicit synergies between biological, physical and technological aspects tackle the complex risks linked to the highly dynamic estuarine environment. Dedicated living lab prototypes validate and regulate the experimental containment of soft dredged materials, while real-time flux sensors monitor the evolution of the newly placed marsh"
Keywords: Beneficial re-use, Flood protection, Nature-based Solutions, Biodiversity, Ecosystem services