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Artificial reefs at Lauwersoog appear to be full of life & More Latest News Here

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Noorderzijlvest Water Board

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The artificial reefs that were placed in the Wadden Sea almost a year ago have turned out to be teeming with life. This is reported by the Noorderzijlvest water board.

The ‘reefs’ are made of concrete elements where fish, crabs and lobsters can shelter, and mussels and oysters can cling to. Last year, several dozen blocks of about two meters in length were placed along the Lauwersmeerdijk in Groningen.

The reefs are intended to enhance the flora and fauna of the Wadden Sea. The Noorderzijlvest water board, the Leeuwarden Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen are investigating the artificial reefs and their effect on nature. They were recently taken out of the water for the first time.

‘Artificial reefs work’

Research coordinator Jorien Rippen is positive about the first results. “We see a reef full of life. For example, we saw that many eels emerged from the reef. But the reefs are also a nice place for shellfish, echinoderms and algae to cling to,” she says at RTV Noord.

“What we see is that the artificial reefs along the seawall are working,” says Britas Klemens Eriksson, professor of marine ecology at the University of Groningen. “We have discovered a lot of biodiversity. This is really good news.”

In addition to enhancing nature, the concrete structures must contribute to the strength of the dike, for example by breaking the waves. “Mature oyster or coral reefs are known to be able to dampen waves and play a role in coastal protection,” explains Rippen. “This will not be possible with the current number of artificial reefs. But if the results remain positive, we could scale up.”

It is the first time that artificial elements have been tested on this scale. There are six different types placed.

The next two years will be used to research what lives on and around the reefs and which structures work best. It is then determined which artificial reefs will be given a permanent place along the seawall.

Artificial reefs at Lauwersoog appear to be full of life
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