Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Info & Contact

Wadden & Contact

Wadden ecosystems with mudflats that fall dry during low tide are rare. Thanks to their high productivity, intertidal areas accommodate large numbers of young fish and migratory birds. They also supply opportunities for human use such as fisheries and aquaculture.

Wadden ecosystems and ecosystems services are under pressure. In densely populated areas, coastal lines are redrawn to accommodate for new areas for housing, infrastructures and aquaculture, and diked as protection against the sea. Even the most remote areas suffer from pollution and climate change. Sustainable solutions for managing intertidal areas require multi-disciplinary scientific knowledge and practical knowhow.


The Wadden & Delta Centre focuses on various expertise and supplies easy access to those who would like to make use of expert teams, facilities (equipment and technology) and monitoring programs as developed for a variety of tidal environments. The centre is also responsible for running dataportals, which supplies internationally standardised and open access to data sets on long-term field observations in coastal environments. International courses and training in the theory and practice of research in wadden systems are developed. For more than 100 years, multidisciplinary teams of have gained specific insights and expertise on the functioning of the Wadden Sea. More recently, studies in Mauritania, Australia, Alaska, Oman and China have broadened the expertise, including the design and deployment of innovative monitoring technology.


Are you interested in the facillities or expertise of specifically the Wadden area or just want to ask a question? Mail to Myron Peck or Katja Philippart. In very urgent matters you can contact them by phone. For Delta questions visit the Delta tab on top of this page.

Delta & Contact

Climate change and human activity in flood-prone delta’s and coastlines, make finding cost-effective flood safety measures an increasingly pressing issue. Natural ecosystems may attenuate wind and waves, reduce storm surges and prevent coastal erosion. 

To what extent can the nature functions of coastal and intertidal ecosystems be integrated with their flood defense functions? How to create such ecosystems precisely where needed? How do these dynamic ecosystems develop over time and under extreme conditions? And how to manage these protective systems effectively? These questions apply both to coastal vegetation as well tidal flats with benthic communities. Our studies integrate different scales; combining both the local-scale (within an ecosystem) and the landscape-scale (the connectivity between ecosystems and ecosystem compartments).


(Re)creating coastal ecosystems is complex. We provide insight in the physical and biological mechanisms that hamper ecosystem establishment, and develop methods to create 'windows of opportunity' to overcome establishment thresholds. The Wadden & Delta Centre for ecosystem-restoration and coastal defence, offers in depth ecological understanding, integrated with physical processes, as needed for developing sustainable coastal defence and successful ecosystem restoration. We offer expert teams, unique equipment, and research technology. We often contribute to International PhD courses on Nature Based Flood Defense as well as on Ecosystem Restoration.

Within ecosystem restoration projects, we closely collaborate with engineers from TU Delft and University of Twente, scientists from Utrecht University, Radboud University Nijmegen, Groningen University and the University of Applied Sciences Vlissingen. Of course, we also work with semi-commercial research institutes like Deltares and Wageningen Marine Research. Moreover, we collaborate with consultancy companies like e.g. Bureau Waardenburg. 


Are you interested in the (experimental) facillities or expertise of specifically the Delta or have questions about coastal restoration or coastal defence? Mail to Klaas Timmermans or Tjeerd Bouma. In very urgent matters you can contact them by phone.  For Wadden questions visit the Wadden tab on top of this page.