De Grevelingen Nature and Recreation Board

De Grevelingen Nature and Recreation Board (Natuur- en Recreatieschap de Grevelingen) was established on 1 March 1986 with the aim of "representing the interests of nature, landscape and outdoor recreation in the Grevelingen". The Board is a collaborative partnership in the context of the Wet Gemeenschappelijke Regelingen (Joint Arrangements Act). Taking part in this are: the provinces of Zeeland and South Holland and the municipalities of Schouwen-Duiveland, Goedereede, Middelharnis, Dirksland and Oostflakkee.
De Grevelingen
Years ago, the Grevelingen and other inlets, such as Haringvliet and Oosterschelde, together formed the outlets of the Rhine, Meuse and Waal rivers into the North Sea. The difference between low and high tide was around 2.5 metres. On 1 February 1953, the dikes in the southwest of the Netherlands burst during a heavy storm. Large parts of the Schouwen-Duiveland and Goeree-Overflakkee area were flooded.
In order to prevent such a catastrophe in future, the Delta plan was implemented. This plan included building the Grevelingen Dam (completed in 1965) and the Brouwers Dam (in May 1971). The Brouwers Dam effectively closed off Lake Grevelingen from the North Sea.
In the period after 1971, money from the central government was used to develop the area into the beautiful nature reserve and recreation area that it is today. In 1978, Lake Grevelingen was again connected with the North Sea when a lock was built in the Brouwers Dam. This allows the water in the Grevelingen to be continually refreshed with salt water from the North Sea.
LakeGrevelingenhas a total surface area of 11,000 hectares of water with around 4,000 hectares that are less than 1.5 metres deep. In addition to this, about 3,000 hectares of land has been permanently reclaimed through the absence of the tidal flow. This land has become predominantly a nature area. About 300 hectares of land, mainly along the two dams, has been developed as a recreation area.
Lake Grevelingen is one of the cleanest and most beautiful salt-water lakes in Europe. Damming the area brought safety, exceptionally beautiful nature and a pleasant area for recreation. Unfortunately, damming also carried an ecological threat. The quality of the water is slowly deteriorating as a result of stagnation. Moreover, the region could use an economic boost.
In 2006 a broad coalition of stakeholders (nature conservation organisations, water and landscape management, recreational businesses and energy companies) presented ideas to secure the future of the Grevelingen. Under the title ‘Zicht op de Grevelingen’ (View of the Grevelingen) the stakeholders outlined how nature-oriented recreation, ecology and energy production can go hand in hand and even enhance one another. This offers a strong impetus to the regional economy as well as providing local employment.
More nature makes the area more attractive for recreation. Combinations of sustainable energy projects with facilities for recreational purposes result in scores of exciting possibilities being created. The most striking example of this is the proposal to reintroduce tidal flow in the Grevelingen through a sluice in the Brouwersdam.
As part of the implementation programme for ‘Zicht op de Grevelingen’, cross-border collaboration is also being sought through participation in the Natura People project. In addition to the exchange of knowledge and experience, Natura People helps facilitate the realisation of various projects that contribute to the objectives of the ‘Zicht op de Grevelingen’ programme.
The activities within the Natura People project contribute to the following projects:
  • Rondje Grevelingen - a recreational attraction as well as a marketing concept, whereby structural route elements around the Grevelingen are interconnected.
  • Virtual 3D World - a virtual world of the Grevelingen, enabling the area to be experienced via the computer screen.
  • Information and inspiration - a network of information and inspiration concerning the Grevelingen.
More information about the developments in the Grevelingen can be found at:

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