Oyster reefs of IMARES presented to Queen Máxima

Published on
September 3, 2013

During the Opening of the Academic Year of Wageningen University, the innovative oyster reefs of IMARES were presented to Queen Máxima.

Photo: Oyster reefs presented to Queen Máxima. From left to right: Aalt Dijkhuizen (Chairman of the Executive Board of Wageningen UR), Queen Máxima, Martin Scholten (Director IMARES), Tom Ysebaert (Researcher Oyster reefs).

Queen Máxima visited Wageningen for the Opening of the Academic Year, on September 2nd. She also opened the new building Orion and got short presentations of innovative projects of Wageningen UR.

Oysters as coastal protection

Researcher Tom Ysebaert and director IMARES Martin Scholten presented the concept of an oyster reef to Queen Máxima, using a model. The artificial oyster reefs in the Oosterschelde estuary reduce the influx of sand from shelves and mud flats. Migrating birds use the waters of Zeeland again as foraging grounds. Small oysters clamp onto the reef made up of old shells. They are quick to adapt their shape to their conditions and grow with the rising sea levels caused by climate change. Eventually a living reef of oysters is made.

The oyster reefs are a part of the project "Building with nature".