|Limitations in morphological modeling within the framework of the European bird and habitat directives|
Peters, J.J.; Plancke, Y. (2010). Limitations in morphological modeling within the framework of the European bird and habitat directives, in: SIMHYDRO 2010: modèles hydrauliques et incertitudes, Nice, 2-4 juin 2010. pp. [1-8]
Legal systems > Legislation > Directives
Water bodies > Coastal waters > Coastal landforms > Coastal inlets > Estuaries
ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]
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- Site-specific research to determine the disposal strategy, more
Estuaries are very dynamic systems in terms of hydraulic, morphological and ecological functioning. They have been undergoing significant changes due to natural processes and under influence of human activities. In the past, little attention was paid to the possible ecological impact provoked by engineering, bank protection works and dredging activities. Today, many European ports located on estuaries demand a better maritime access by dredging. Because of the European Bird and Habitat Directives, projects must undergo EIA or SEA studies, which traditionally are executed with numerical modeling tools. Most stakeholders do not know enough about the limitations of numerical modeling of the morphological and ecological effects. Information of the stakeholders about these limitations is necessary. However, uncertainties exist about these effects and because of the precautionary principle, projects might be rejected while these would be needed for curbing negative evolutions in the estuary. A cautious approach is therefore needed, assessing new projects with not only numerical models, rather with in addition scale modeling, desk studies, field surveys and studies and, last but not least expertise. In this paper the case of the Western Scheldt estuary is discussed, in which the involvement of the stakeholders was crucial in the acceptance process.