The sheer mass of water moving through the tidal part of the Scheldt daily and the corresponding flood risk for the lower areas, form a threat to the safety and activity of the inhabitants. To provide sufficient protection, dikes are built or expanded and flood zones are being made. The two most important projects in this context are the Dutch Deltaplan and the Flemish Sigmaplan
Both in the Sigmaplan and the Deltaplan (as well as in other protective measures), a lot of research (was and) is being carried out concerning the safety in and around the Schelt estuary. Studies on controlled flood zones as an alternative to expanding dikes form an important part of this research. GOG's and GGG's not only protect the estuary, but also increase its natural value.