Interaction between land and sea

iPad movies by provinces, municipalities and water boards.

Wisselwerking tussen land en zee

The North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda and the EU Directive ‘Establishing a framework for Maritime Spatial Planning’ seek to clarify the interaction between land and sea. This goes beyond the Wadden Sea and the coast, which have been addressed in the National Water Plan. The interaction also concerns the use of salty lakes, inland waters and transitional waters and the economic, ecological and socio-cultural connection between more inland areas and the sea.
From this point of view it is not only the traditional coastal towns like Delfzijl, Harlingen, Texel, Den Helder, Zandvoort, Noordwijk, Katwijk, Scheveningen, Hoek van Holland, Bruinisse, Rotterdam, Goes and Vlissingen that come to mind, but also towns like Urk, Emmen, Gorkum, Wageningen, Amsterdam and Oss. From an ecological perspective, the behaviour of the oystercatcher is a good illustration. These coastal birds, whose favourite food is oysters, are finding fewer and fewer good habitats on the coast, as a result of which they are obliged to move to the hinterland. At the moment breeding pairs are even found in Assen.

It should be noted that the new policy-paradigm with its focus on interaction between land and sea, as part of the policy-making process for space at sea is still in its infancy. The paradigm consists of the coast being seen as wider than the places where coastal protection, ecology and tourism and recreation require attention, and land and sea in that respect form each other’s backdrop. It goes further than that, with logistics flowing from sea to land and vice versa, and with ecological connections much further inland having a direct or indirect relationship. This is about value creation, in other words, that is related to the sea or coast, but which can effectuated far inland.

Policy research interaction between land and sea

During the consultation period of the National Water Plan and the present policy document, the government, several provinces, municipalities and water boards carried out a joint survey of the interaction between land and sea. This has led to 19 films with various subjects and messages. It is partly about ongoing projects like Holwerd aan Zee and initiatives for tackling sludge problems in the Eems-Dollard. Partly it also concerns refocusing attention on the policy analysis behind familiar issues, like the sand hunger in the Eastern Scheldt and litter on the beach. Some films deal with value and logistics chains in transport (Emmen) and fish (Urk). In terms of innovation, training and value creation (cultivating seaweed), both Wageningen University and the marine research institute MARIN are on the sea.

The policy films were presented during the yearly conference of the North Sea Commission that took place in Assen from 16 to 18 June 2015.

The Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment and Economic Affairs would like to thank all public authorities involved and other participants of the project.