Marker Wadden

Using sand, silt and clay, new islands are built in the Marker Lake. This project offers opportunities for knowledge development and innovation.

The Marker Lake is the site of a unique water and new construction project, called Marker Wadden. Sand, clay and silt from the lake are combined to form a new archipelago, improving the water quality and habitat for birds, fish, plants and shellfish. People also benefit from this nature reserve: the first and largest island will be accessible to nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

Marker Wadden
Photo: Tineke Dijkstra / Dutch Government

The IJsselmeer Closure Dam and Houtrib Dyke have cut off the lake from the sea and the rivers. This has disrupted the ecosystem and the bottom of the lake is now covered with a suffocating silt blanket. There is a lack of natural habitats for flora and fauna, such as banks, land-water transitions and shallow zones. This problem is found at more locations, both in the Netherlands and in the rest of the world. By removing the silt and putting it to good use, humans, nature and the economy all benefit.

During the development of Marker Wadden, a great deal of knowledge is gained about building with sand, clay and silt. This knowledge can be used for other purposes, such as dyke improvement, combating erosion or the construction of residential islands. The research focuses on three themes:

  • Building with sediment: how to build a strong base for an island using thin silt or thin clay?
  • Developing ecosystems: how can Marker Wadden contribute to increasing the food supply and food quality for birds and fish?
  • From idea to construction and management: which steps are needed? How do you organise the decision-making process?

The first phase of Marker Wadden will be complete by 2022.
Watch the Marker Wadden video here.

If you would like to know more about Marker Wadden, please feel free to contact Wiegert Dulfer / wiegert.dulfer@rws.nl