From our ecologist Madeleine den Hartog
Last week, the Keilehaven project won the PROVADA award. In addition to sustainability and circularity, underwater nature is also an important element in this project. The first ecological baseline measurement that was carried out already showed a few interesting fish species such as flounder, eel, pike-perch and houting. The houting is a strictly protected fish that migrates from the North Sea (habitat) to fresh river water to reproduce there. The Keilehaven and the city of Rotterdam are on the route of this migratory fish and the project area is used to get used to the transition from salt to fresh and vice versa, among other things.
In the new design, to promote underwater nature, with the aim of more diversity in aquatic fauna, the most important measure is the realization of a gently sloping embankment and shallowing. It has been decided to let nature take its course and spontaneous establishment and development of vegetation can occur in this part. In addition, structure is added to the water for more hiding places for fish and attachment points for macrofauna, in the form of dead wood (trees), structured concrete, filled gabions and pile hulas. What ultimately works best to enhance aquatic diversity will be reflected in ecological monitoring.
You can already see the shapes of the tidal park emerging at the location, with the fauna present (water birds such as swans) keeping a close eye on developments lately.