Over time the banks of the Lower Ems were protected by massive stone embankments in order to protect the coast from breaks in the shoreline. The Master Plan Ems 2050 aims to determine in certain increments whether it is possible to reshape the banks through biological engineering without jeopardising coastal protection and the function of the federal waterway.
The Federal Waterway and Shipping Administration (WSV) is thus taking a closer look at specific sections of the shore along the Lower Ems and the Dortmund-Ems canal. As the topic of biological-engineering bank reinforcement in the tidal range with ship traffic is unique in Germany in this particular form, it has commissioned the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute and the Federal Hydrology Institute to draft corresponding assessments, concepts and plans.
In accordance with the cooperative approach of the Master Plan Ems 2050, the WSV will involve the affected districts, dyke associations, municipalities, water and soil associations, the Lower Saxony State Organisation for Water Management, Coast and Nature Conservation, and the three environmental associations in the project. Should such measures prove unfeasible, the Master Plan Ems 2050 is obligated to search for feasible alternatives.
Wherever the bank reinforcement can be reshaped, sand and silt may build up and (nearly) natural bank zoning with shallow water areas, broken shorelines, reeds, and riparian woodland may form on top of it. The suitability of multiple target areas along the river is being examined.