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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme

The authors are solely responsible for the content of this report. Material included herein does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of it.
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Shallow water areas in North Sea estuaries. Changing patterns and sizes of habitats influenced by human activities in the Elbe, Humber, Scheldt and Weser

1. Introduction

The TIDE- project (Tidal River Development) aims at developing strategies for an integrated and sustainable future management of the estuaries of the North Sea region, considering the requirements of existing uses and, additionally, the requirements of European environmental law, especially the Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) as well as the Birds (BD; 79/409/EEC) and Habitats (HD; 92/43/EEC) Directives.
Different administrative and scientific institutions from the estuaries of the Elbe, Humber, Scheldt and Weser rivers are project partners of TIDE. Tidally influenced river basins are home to a number of highly regarded and protected nature and landscape features. Major parts of the TIDE estuaries belong to the European Natura 2000 network. On the other hand, centres of economic inter-est have developed along the estuaries. In addition to well-known ports like Antwerp, Bremen, Hamburg or Hull, uses such as industries, shipping, tourism, fisheries and agriculture are important economic factors in the TIDE-estuaries. These diverse uses in the estuaries make it a challenge to balance all interests, it is necessary to develop effective and sustainable estuary management strategies.

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