Skip to main content

Report Symposium Towards a sustainable Ems-Dollard estuary

14th Symposium Waddenacademie June 25 and 26 2015

The Waddenacademie organised this symposium in co-operation with Groningen Seaports, Programma naar een Rijke Waddenzee, Provincie Groningen and Rijkswaterstaat.
In the Ems-Dollard economic and industrial developments interact with nature and landscape, which may lead to conflicts between economic and ecological goals. The symposium discussed the past, present and future of these aspects for understanding the historical track towards the current-day state of the Ems-Dollard as a starting point for future planning, management and monitoring in order to foster a balanced economic - ecological development resulting in economic activities that do not harm the unique nature values of the UNESCO Worldheritage Wadden region. The first day of the symposium was filled with presentations and discussions, the second day consisted of an excursion by sailing vessels on the Ems-Dollard Estuary.

The first day of the symposium, which took place at De Boegschroef at Delfzijl started with an official welcome to the more than hundred participants by Jouke van Dijk, chairman of the Waddenacademie, after which he gave the microphone to Franciscus Colijn, the moderator of the  day, who himself was borne near Delfzijl.

The day was subdivided into three themes: Abiotic aspects of the Ems-Dollard estuary, Biotic aspects of the Ems-Dollard estuary and management aspects of the Ems-Dollard estuary.

The first speaker was Gerald Herrling (MARUM, Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany) who talked about the historical development of the Ems- Dollard estuary and reconstruction of the tidal regime prior to major human impact.
Martin Baptist  (Waddenacademie, the Netherlands) presented the first ideas about a common integrated monitoring program for the Ems-Dollard esuary.
The last presentation befor lunch was Eelke Folmer (NIOZ, the Netherlands), who informed the audience about spatio-temporal analyses of mussel beds and intertidal seagrass populations,

In the afternoon, the focus was on the biotic and management aspects of the Ems-Dollard estuary and started with a presentation from Tanya Compton (NIOZ, the Netherlands) on the macro zoobenthos community of the Ems-Dollard.
Victor de Jonge (University of Hull, UK) presented a view on assessing ecological quality in estuarine and coastal systems from a functional perspective.
The last part of the first day dealt with the management of the Ems-Dollard and started with a presentation from Monique van  den Dungen (Groningen Seaports, the Netherlands) about ten years impact monitoring in the Ems-Dollard estuary and the  lessons learnt.

Iris Vis (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands) broadened the scope by paying attention to port added value in regional development and sustainable logistics.
Tom Maris (Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium) compared the situation in the Westerschelde with the Ems-Dollard estuary and possible lessons learnt.
At the end of the first day, Franciscus Colijn made a quick synthesis of the day. He concluded that there is a lot of knowledge about the Ems-Dollard estuary, but that it takes political courage to make serious progress towards a sustainable Ems-dollard estuary.

The last speaker of the day was Beatrice Claus (WWF Germany), who talked about the Masterplan Ems 2050.
The first day ended with drinks and a dinner.

The second day consisted of an excursion by sailing vessels on the Ems-Dollard Estuary. View the Photo-impression of this second day.

Photography June 25: Zwanette Jager, ZiltWater Advies

Wietske Jonker-ter Veld made portraits of the speakers (pdf 2,6 Mb).