Anyways, the barrier reduced the tide range in the river (i.e. the tide does not go as high or as low as it used to). Since intertidal habitats depend on being dry and wet for a certain amount of time, this smaller tide range has lead to rapid shrinking and loss of tidal flat and marsh habitat. Many pilot projects are in the ground already to test ways to slow/stop this degradation, including artificial oyster reefs and tidal flat sand replenishments. The EMERGO project will look at how well these (and other) actions address the unraveling of intertidal habitats.
Let's visit some artificial and natural oyster reefs!
My first impression of tidal flats in the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt), a major river in South Holland, was the ease with which you could walk across them. In San Francisco Bay, where the tidal flats are muddy (rather than sandy), each step sank deep into the mud. The crossing to the oyster restoration site for monthly monitoring was always an exhausting adventure. Tuesday's visit to the tidal flats of the Oosterschelde brought back fond memories of tromping through the mud in California.