North Sea Region estuaries are dynamic environments subject to persistent and increasing pressures, such as modified tidal ranges, increased flooding, and higher sedimentation rates, which impact estuary functioning and services. Implementation of management measures to address these pressures requires large investments, long planning periods and stakeholder commitment. Moreover, measure development is challenging for estuary managers due to the demand for innovative, cost-efficient approaches which also deliver multiple benefits.
The IMMERSE project will address the challenges facing North Sea estuaries by advancing management measures through:
- Exploration of ideas and solutions;
- feasibility studies and tests;
- planning for implementation.
International cooperation in this highly specialised field will lead to more effective measures, due to exchange of knowledge and experiences on technical and governance issues. Stimulating stakeholder integration by making good use of interactive communication tools will lead to increased acceptance and thus more efficient implementation of measures.
On this basis, IMMERSE will accelerate implementation of large-scale measures that address multiple estuary management challenges, while increasing their cost-efficiency and enhancing stakeholder commitment. The project’s legacy will ensure long-term sustained delivery of measure benefits in the project's estuaries as well as across the region through knowledge and experience transfer.
IMMERSE is co-funded by the North Sea Region Programme 2014 - 2020. The total budget for the project is 4.516.004 EUR, with a contribution from the European Regional Development Fund of 2.258.002 EUR. The project will run from 01.10.2018 to 31.03.2023.
In June 2021, the IMMERSE project was extended for an additional 18 months (until 31.03.2023), including a 6 month lifetime extension, to compensate for any delays at cause of COVID-19, and a 1 year Call 12 extension with the addition of activities related to microplastics and other emergent pollutants.