The project Safety Buffer Oesterdam is one of the pilot projects in the Oosterschelde basin that aims at safeguarding eroding intertidal habitats for nature and safety. The intertidal flats and shoals have two important functions in the basin. Firstly, they are valuable habitat and foraging grounds for many waterbird species; for this reason the Oosterschelde is an important N2000 area. A second function of intertidal foreshores is to reduce the wave attack on surrounding water barriers and dikes.
In front of the Oesterdam, Rijkswaterstaat has started a pilot project called the Oesterdam Safety Buffer to find a solution to the erosion problems in the Oosterschelde (so-called sand starvation of the Oosterschelde). The project combines a sand nourishment andoyster reefs (Oesterdam) to protect the area from further erosion in the coming years. This pilot project will contribute to a better understanding of the eco-morophological functioning of intertidal habitats and how to manage and conserve these valuable habitats. The project is an example of a Building with Nature approach that make use of the properties of nature to establish/conserve nature areas that at the same time form robust and climate proof coastal defence systems.