The specific fauna and flora of the natural reserve "Het Zwin" are generated by the seawater that streams in and out of the channels of the reserve at each tide. This water transports sand and mud, that are deposited in the channels and on the inundated surfaces. This way the chanels and saltmarshes are silting up gradually.
The international Belgian-Dutch Commission of the Zwin has decided to stop the silting up and to maintain the Zwin as a salty tidal area.
In 1987 a technical committee was established to deliberate on the mesures that had to be taken. In 1989 the main channel was deepened and a sandtrap introduced.
This article represents mainly the calculations on mathematical model by Flanders Hydraulics to estimate the influence of different proposed solutions.
Alternative managements are examined concerning their effect on the ecological values, the landscape and the recreational values of the Zwin.
The international Commission of the Zwin has approuved a project in phases, where alternatives are combined to maintain and fortify the natural values of the Zwin.
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