The project addresses the programme’s objective of 'Developing new methods for the long-term sustainable management of North Sea ecosystems'. The project overall objective is to improve the design, testing and implementation of estuary management measures by using transnational knowledge and integrating stakeholders. International cooperation will lead to more effective measures that cost-effectively deliver multiple benefits, due to the sharing of knowledge and insights on technical and governmental issues. Stakeholder integration will lead to increased acceptance of measures and more efficient implementation, and thereby to a sustained impact.

IMMERSE will focus on creating tangible results which have a real impact during the project’s lifetime, as well as creating a legacy that extends beyond the project lifespan and case estuaries. By connecting knowledge, organisations and practitioners, IMMERSE establishes a forum for the transnational exchange of knowledge and skills on how to address cumulative and in-combination pressures and effective stakeholder integration methods. The project will also act as an incubator to generate new innovative solutions that go beyond accepted engineering approaches. Therefore, IMMERSE will function as an accelerator for new method development by increasing knowledge among partners and estuary actors from across the region, leading to more sustainable estuaries throughout the North Sea region.

Advancing Measures

Develop new measures to address emerging, complex and/or cumulative pressures

New measures are necessary to respond to intensified and cumulative estuary pressures and management challenges, as well as increased demands for cost-efficiency and accommodating stakeholder concerns. The objective will be achieved through transnational research and sharing of best practices.

Improve quality and designs of measures through feasibility studies and field tests

Current measures are designed primarily based on site-specific knowledge. Expertise from the transnational expert groups and stakeholders will improve the testing and assessment of these measures and will enable successful implementation of the tested measures.

Prepare for implementing successfully-proven measures through transnational exchange on pre-implementation issues

Scientific evidence, political support, funding and governmental arrangements influence likelihood of implementation. Actions will be taken to plan for and assess measure implementation, for example through revision of governance and financing strategies, and development of roadmaps with detailed actions.

Stakeholder Engagement

Increase integration of stakeholders in measure development

Stakeholder integration in the design, testing and implementation of measure development will lead to increased support for lasting results. Partners will engage stakeholders through several activities, such as workshops and interactive communication tools.

Transnational knowledge-sharing

Establish a forum for sharing the best-available transnational knowledge for sustainable estuary management

Transnational exchange in expert groups will lead to effective measure development and expert verification. Existing measures will be modified based on practices from other estuaries, especially on cost and technological effectiveness and implementation. The knowledge collected will be actively shared across the NSR to ensure the project’s legacy.