Intervention is needed and artificial islands are the key to revive the biodiversity that once flourished the lake of Markermeer in the Netherlands.
It is truly frustrating to see the diminishing vast numbers of species big and small. According to Dutch ranger Andre Donke, the lake used to have been abundant of fishes. Markermeer is a gigantic 700-square-kilometer stretch of water which maintains the level of water in the remainder of the Netherlands and is one of Europe’s biggest freshwater lakes. However, the lake became a cloudy mass destitute of marine life.
Dutch people believed that in order to restore nature to the area, a new landmass of five artificial islands should be built. It would be in general, a challenging engineering proposal for a lowland country that used to wrestle with the sea for hundreds of years.
Markermeer used to be part of the Zuiderzee, a world’s architecture marvel accomplished in 1932. It sealed off a large expanse of water to deny the North Sea of entry and withstand flooding.
The structure is crucial to the country given the fact that 26% of the land is below sea level. It constructed an inland lake and polders which are lands recovered from the sea. However, the environment paid the price.
For the past consecutive years, sediments used to built a watercourse isolating Markermeer from an adjacent body of water – Ijsselmeer – has been eroded and descended at the bottom of the lake. The event made the water murky, harmfully affecting fish and bird population, mollusks, and vegetation.
The construction of the artificial islands is one of the many things being acted on by the Netherlands. The country has been one of the most exposed nations in the planet to climate change.
To assuage the reserve’s case of degradation and reestablish the ecosystem, a collaboration between the Dutch authorities, private companies, organizations, and NGOs decided to build a small archipelago of five artificial islands. The innovative approach will “re-stimulate” the ecological community of the lake.
The five artificial islands were constructed in two and a half years with an aim to bolster the ecosystem of the lake. Since its completion, it already became a refuge for 30,000 swallows this year. As a matter of fact, experts lately tallied 127 types of plants. Most of these plants grew from seeds carried by the wind.
The water becomes abundant of plankton which is essential for the birds such as common tern and greylag goose. The return of night heron and great egret signifies the success of the artificial islands.
Dutch have been known as experts in water management. True enough, the artificial islands were constructed with silt. It is a sedimentary formation that sits between sand and clay.
Boskalis project manager Jeroen van der Klooster said, “Building an island with sand is not that difficult, it’s done all over the world. What is unique here is that we use silt.”
The port of Rotterdam City has been the headquarters of an international climate commission since October. It was spearheaded by previous UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.