Lead beneficiary: Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken (Department of Mobility and Public Works, MOW) - Belgium

MOW managed and maintained the maritime fairway in the Scheldt estuary. Sediment resulting from maintenance dredging was relocated within the estuary following the actual sediment relocation strategy. Together with RWS, MOW conducted a common research program aiming at improving the sustainability of the Scheldt estuary and at continuously improving the sediment relocation strategy for maintenance dredging. MOW was the lead partner responsible for project management and communications. MOW investigated and developed measures with Scheldt estuary partners to address tidal amplification, cross-border relocation of dredged material. MOW shared their experiences with cross-border governance to design an optimal strategy. As lead partner, they set up and oversaw the transnational expert group.


Main contact: Frederik Roose (

De Vlaamse Waterweg NV (Flemish Waterway, DVW) – Belgium

Flanders has one of the densest and most coherent waterway networks in the EU. DVW had wished to capitalise on this important asset in the best possible way: Working towards a dynamic management of our waterways. DVW stimulated the use of more than 1000 km of waterways and the adjacent land, while taking into account the interests of all stakeholders and paying additional attention to storm water management, inland waterway management, hydraulic engineering, flood control, and sediment management. DVW built and tested alternatives concerning tidal amplification in cooperation with Schelde estuary partners. The IMMERSE project enabled DVW to pilot a measure included in a theoretical study. The pilot allowed DVW to quantify effects on the estuary and assessed if the approach could be used on a larger scale. DVW contributed to cross-partner activities (steering committee, communications, expert group).


Main contact: Jannie Dhondt (

Haven van Antwerpen-Brugge (Port of Antwerp-Bruges, POAB) – Belgium

POAB worked with Scheldt estuary partners to assess the potential to implement a previously developed morphological management strategy to maintain port accessibility and develop habitat areas. APA contributed to cross-partner activities (steering committee, communications, expert group).

Main contact: Stefaan Ides (

Rijkswaterstaat (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) – Netherlands

RWS was part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and was responsible for major water and other infrastructure, as well as environmental objectives including maintaining the ecological integrity of major lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas of the Netherlands. Rijkswaterstaat was committed to improve the quality of life, access and mobility in a clean, safe and sustainable environment. RWS contributed to the cooperative development of the activities described under MOW in the Scheldt. Additionally, RWS further developed transnational estuarine management measures which met Natura 2000 and Water Framework Directive requirements and additional targets. RWS transferred transnational experience from the Scheldt to other estuaries and contributes to cross-partner activities and expert groups.

Main contact: Joost Backx (

Hamburg Port Authority (Hamburg Port Authority, HPA) – Germany

HPA was in charge of the management of the Port of Hamburg, which included the strategic development of the port and the maintenance of the land- and waterborne public infrastructure, e.g. the maintenance of the fairway and harbour basins to guarantee accessibility of the port. HPA had expertise in sediment management as well as in ecological and nature conservation aspects, and in the development of communication strategies. HPA organised a dialogue process at the Elbe estuary. HPA provided broad knowledge and practical experience on sediment management, implementation of management measures and communication processes, gained from the engagement in estuary management and the organisation of a stakeholder dialogue process. As a lead partner for the Elbe, HPA worked with stakeholders to assess feasibility of managed realignment strategies and optimise cross-border governance.

Main contact: Kirsten Wolfstein (

Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau (German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute, BAW) – Germany

BAW carried out studies for Germany's coastal waterways. The results consisted of impact forecasts and basic decision-making documents for planning both maintenance and upgrading work (e.g. river engineering concepts, fairway dimensions) and also for efficient operation of waterways. These studies demanded a comprehensive understanding of the system, taking account of the interactions between the dynamic water body and the maintenance structures, as well as the shipping and the biotic conditions. BAW informed measure development in the Elbe estuary through project related studies with sophisticated numerical models. The results consisted of impact forecasts and basic decision-making recommendations, as well as consideration of the interests of local authorities.

Main contact: Holger Rahlf (

University of Hull, Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies (University of Hull) – UK

The Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies was involved with estuarine management covering physical and biological competencies, ecosystem services, management and policy. IECS worked with UK Government Agencies including the Environment Agency and Natural England providing scientific expertise to meet estuarine management issues, such as flood risk management whilst delivering Habitats and Species Directive compliance. The role of IECS in IMMERSE was to provide scientific expertise gained from research and engagement in estuary management to cross-partner activities, including work with the EA and other stakeholders to develop tools for aspects of flood risk management and ecological improvement measures, including field trials on novel realignment techniques e.g. the use of sediment to reduce costs, surface treatment and development of soft defences. Stakeholders were continually engaged to develop a consensus driven approach to estuary management.

Main contact: Robert Thomas (

Tees River Trust (Tees River Trust, TRT) – UK

The Trust was the host organisation for the Tees Catchment Partnership and our work throughout the Tees Catchment had focussed on whole catchment management of the river including the estuary and coastal waters. TRT served as the IMMERSE liaison to the newly formed Tees Estuary Partnership, currently developing an estuary strategy and action plan and investigating measures to increase connectivity and synergy between marine and fresh water habitat in the Tees. TRT benefited from consortium expertise, especially for implementing the forthcoming Tees Estuary Action Plan, with a focus on resource efficiency and via the TEP brought industrial, environmental and economic expertise to the project.

Main contact: Ben Lamb (

Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers University of Technology, CHAL) – Sweden

Chalmers organisational structure in this project assured a high scientific level, as well as a trans-disciplinary approach, where researchers, consultants and stakeholders were collaborating to solve an actual environmental problem based on case studies in the Göta älv and other Scandinavian estuaries. IMMERSE worked with the FRIST competence center, Forum for Risk Investigation and Sustainable Technology, on the use of new knowledge on the management of contaminated materials and sites. Chalmers offered their expertise in the assessments of the pilot study performance and impacts (laboratory, modelling and broader impact assessments) and contributed to the work on effective stakeholder engagement for measure implementation, including developing prioritisation criteria, scenario testing and resolving political fragmentation. These were shared with project partners and used in the Göta Älv estuary to conduct feasibility assessments of climate risk reduction measures.

Main contact: Ann-Margret Hvitt Strömvall (

Holbaek Kommune (Municipality of Holbaek, HOL) – Denmark

Due to the flooding in Holbækfjord, the Municipality of Holbaek had experience in developing small-scale measures to prevent and mitigate flood damage and reduce flood risk, as well as engaging stakeholders and the technical, economic and environmental evaluation of measures. The municipality was responsible for protecting roads, supply pipes, sanitation, and municipal property against flooding. As a partner in the project, the Municipality of Holbaek contributed to the exchange of experiences on addressing environmental pressures and developing strategies for the implementation of measures. This was done by exchanging experiences on the development a measure in Holbaek Fjord, as well as the stakeholder engagement activities. The municipality’s experiences regarding coastal defence and working with local stakeholders was also shared.

Main contact: Dorthe Skovrød Christensen (

Sweco Danmark A/S (Sweco Denmark, SWC) – Denmark

Sweco was involved in flood modelling in the Roskilde and Isefjorden, as well as development of flood protection strategies and designing measures. Sweco had the necessary modelling tools and data to investigate regional flooding including climate effects. This allowed Sweco to conduct flood protection studies and investigate estuary responses using an innovative approach, which helped to solve regional flood protection problems as well as inform solutions in other shallow estuaries. Sweco offered our expertise in the tests of various regional solutions, their performance and their environmental impacts. The work consisted of literature reviews, field testing, concept development, modelling, evaluation and stakeholder interaction. The findings were shared, discussed and developed with key stakeholders during the project as well as with project partners.

Main contact: Martin Møller (