Salt marshes in the Dutch Wadden Sea
The Dutch coast is protected from flooding by long dikes – earthen embakments along the shore that act as barriers to waves. Saltmarsh has been constructed on the seaward side of 25km of dike. To cope with sea level rise and increased frequency and severity of storms, the flood defence must be enhanced. Models of the system showed that construction of earthen breakwaters within the saltmarsh, above the area where sediment naturally accumulates, appears to be more effective than increasing the height of the dike itself.