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

The Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme


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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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Recommendations for estuarine managers concerning measure implementation

  • Estuary managers should select and prioritize management measures based on a systematic deficit analysis of the respective estuary zone. This analysis has to include the description of the targets aimed at, the actual status, the dominant pressures and impacts, the expected development and the requirements and potentials for improvement.
    Inasmuch as different sectoral demands might be affected this analysis will be best delivered by collaborative working.

  • The definition of specific development targets based on this deficit analysis is a crucial step in the initial stages of the planning process of each management measure.

  • Measures executed in an estuary have to be designed to work with the dynamic and complex context of the estuary. The targets have to be able to adapt to natural changes within the environment in the long-term: realistic and to a certain degree flexible regarding goal state and time scale.

  • For measure design it is strongly recommended to maximize the advantage available from natural physical and biological processes and the natural sources from the site. Work with the system, not against it!

  • To optimize the success of the measures it is recommended to incorporate into the planning phase an extensive review on lessons learned from previous and on-going projects.
    Indeed, the general knowledge on how to develop realignment sites for example has already been greatly advanced through practical experiences in many case studies.
    A comprehensive set of information on a broad spectrum of measure examples has been compiled within the TIDE measure database. Further information is available within the reports on TIDE pilot studies and sediment management. You are invited to use these databases within the TIDE toolbox!


  • In order to improve the chances of implementation for management measures in favour of the ecosystem, estuary mangers should analyze the potential co-benefits and synergies as well as conflicts that are derived from the respective measure.
    In the frame of this study, three possible approaches for the estimation of measure impacts were developed and tested on a case-by-case basis: impacts on Ecosystem Services, on management targets of the Birds and Habitats Directive and on pressures related to management targets related to the Water Framework Directive. These approaches could be used as a starting point for further practical application. The description of how to determine the co-benefits can be found in the “TIDE tools”.

  • The findings on benefits, beneficiaries and conflicts should be communicated to e.g. stakeholders, responsible administrations, affected private persons. An early involvement of stakeholders, etc. and an appropriate communication strategy are recommended in order to optimize social support for the measure and to minimize conflicts that may arise during the implementation process of a management measure (e.g. conflicts with former uses or safety concerns).

  • To sustainably improve the success of management measures managers should pay enhanced attention to the consequent verification of the development targets regarding the design and implementation of monitoring programs: A specific target oriented measure monitoring programme which is well linked to integrated and representative estuary monitoring is the essential basis for success control and adaptive measure management.

  • In order to progressively improve the effectiveness of measures in estuaries, estuary managers should make sure that an evaluation of the measure success in terms of lessons learned takes place.

  • For successful implementation of future measures it is crucial to further enhance the knowledge on estuary functioning and good practice of measure implementation. Hence, the results of measure evaluation should be made available to other estuary managers/other organizations.

Go to report "Management measures analysis and comparison"