The conversion of 2,000 hectares of seabed into a port and industrial area does have unavoidable consequences for the plants and animals that live there. A natural area is being lost. For this reason, compensation for the loss of nature is taking place. This is happening through:
- Instituting a seabed protection area in the Voordelta
The construction of a new dune area near Delfland.
Extent of the environmental compensation
The seabed protection area covers around 25,000 hectares. The new dune area near Delfland extends over 35 hectares. The required extent of the environmental compensation is stipulated in the Rotterdam Mainport Development Key Physical Planning Decision.
The seabed protection area was instituted before construction of Maasvlakte 2 started. The new dunes along the Delfland coast have also already been realised. Although Maasvlakte 2 will only be in full use in 2033, the dunes were already completed in 2009. This is to do with the growth of a natural area, which takes from ten to twenty years.
The results of the environmental compensation are being closely monitored by the European Commission. Should the environmental effects of the land reclamation turn out to be greater than expected, then more environmental compensation is needed. The European Commission is regularly informed of the state of affairs.