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

MOW manages and maintains the maritime fairway in the Scheldt estuary. Sediment resulting from maintenance dredging is relocated within the estuary following the actual sediment relocation strategy. Together with RWS, MOW conducts 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 is the lead partner responsible for project management and communications. MOW will investigate and develop measures with Scheldt estuary partners to address tidal amplification, cross-border relocation of dredged material. MOW will share their experiences with cross-border governance to design an optimal strategy. As lead partner, they will set up and oversee 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 wishes to capitalise on this important asset in the best possible way: Working towards a dynamic management of our waterways. DVW stimulates 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 will build and test alternatives concerning tidal amplification in cooperation with Schelde estuary partners. The IMMERSE project enables DVW to pilot a measure included in a theoretical study. The pilot will allow DVW to quantify effects on the estuary and assess if the approach can be used on a larger scale. DVW will contribute to cross-partner activities (steering committee, communications, expert group).


Main contact: Jannie Dhondt (

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

POAB will work 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 will contribute to cross-partner activities (steering committee, communications, expert group).

Main contact: Stefaan Ides (

Rijkswaterstaat (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) – Netherlands

RWS is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and is 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 is committed to improve the quality of life, access and mobility in a clean, safe and sustainable environment. RWS will contribute to the cooperative development of the activities described under MOW in the Scheldt. Additionally, RWS will further develop transnational estuarine management measures which meet Natura 2000 and Water Framework Directive requirements and additional targets. RWS will transfer transnational experience from the Scheldt to other estuaries and contribute to cross-partner activities and expert groups.

Main contact: Joost Backx (

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

HPA is in charge of the management of the Port of Hamburg, which includes 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 has 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 will provide 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 will work with stakeholders to assess feasibility of managed realignment strategies and optimize cross-border governance.

Main contact: Kirsten Wolfstein (

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

BAW carries out studies for Germany's coastal waterways. The results consist 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 demand 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 will inform measure development in the Elbe estuary through project related studies with sophisticated numerical models. The results consist 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, Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies, IECS) – UK

The Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies is involved with estuarine management covering physical and biological competencies, ecosystem services, management and policy. IECS works 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 will be 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. Stakeholder engagement will be ongoing to develop a consensus driven approach to estuary management.

Main contact: Daniel Parsons (

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

The Trust is the host organisation for the Tees Catchment Partnership and our work throughout the Tees Catchment has focussed on whole catchment management of the river including the estuary and coastal waters. TRT will serve 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 will benefit from consortium expertise, especially for implementing the forthcoming Tees Estuary Action Plan, with a focus on resource efficiency and via the TEP will bring industrial, environmental and economic expertise to the project.

Main contact: Ben Lamb (

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

Chalmers organizational structure in this project assures a high scientific level, as well as a trans-disciplinary approach, where researchers, consultants and stakeholders are collaborating to solve an actual environmental problem based on case studies in the Göta älv and other Scandinavian estuaries. IMMERSE will be working 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 will offer their expertise in the assessments of the pilot study performance and impacts (laboratory, modelling and broader impact assessments) and contribute to work on of effective stakeholder engagement for measure implementation, including developing prioritization criteria, scenario testing and resolving political fragmentation. These will be 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 recent flooding in Holbækfjord, the Municipality of Holbaek has 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 is responsible for protecting roads, supply pipes, sanitation, and municipal property against flooding. As a partner in the project, the Municipality of Holbaek will contribute to the exchange of experiences on addressing environmental pressures and developing strategies for the implementation of measures. This will be 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 will also be shared.

Main contact: Christian Baadsgaard Jentzsch (

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

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

Main contact: Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (