Dredging works reinforce Texel dunes
Belgium based dredging major Jan De Nul has commenced works to reinforce some 3km of the Prince Hendrik Sand Dike on the Dutch Wadden Island of Texel.
The trailing suction hopper dredger Bartolomeu Dias is winning some five million m3 of sand from the North Sea and pumping it to the beach through a floating pipeline. Bulldozers spread the sand in an ongoing project expected to be completed by the end of next year.
The project will create a future-proof water barrier in the form of dunes and improve the ecological value of the Wadden Sea. It will provide Texel’s 14,000 residents and one million annual visitors with assurance to be able to live, work and relax safely on the island.
This island expansion will result in a diverse area with dunes, a beach, a lagoon with tidal flats, mudflats and salt marshes, a sheltered water area and high water refuges. The new territory will provide a new habitat to a number of animal species typical of the Wadden area, including grey and common seals, birds such as eider ducks, avocets, ringed ploversm oyster catchers, shelducks and red knots.
A new cycling and hiking trail with a viewpoint will also be created. During the works an experience centre on top of the dike near the Prince Hendrik pumping station will inform residents and tourists of proceedings.
By Larz Bourne
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