Monitoring in the Maasvlakte 2 (MV2) sand extraction sited focussed on the general effects and the landscaped sand bars. General effects were studied in a deep area without landscaping (Fig. 5) and the effects of landscaping were studied at two landscaped sand bars (Fig. 5 no. 1 & 2).
The monitoring was meant to provide answers to the following questions:
- What are the ecological effects of the landscaped sand bars and what is beneficial effect on the local ecosystem?
- What physical effects were responsible for possible differences between normal sand extraction and extraction with ecosystem-based landscaping?
- How do the sand bars evolve morphologically (migration, deformation) and sedimentologically (sediment composition)?
Monitoring of the MV2 sand extraction site initially copied the PoR monitoring campaign to ensure intercompatibility of data. The 2006 and 2008 baseline data gathered by PoR was used as a reference data on the ecological, morphological and hydrodynamic conditions before the large-scale and deep sand extraction operation for the construction of MV2. It is important that before any intervention is made, consensus is obtained among all parties involved on this reference situation, so as to avoid discussion on it after the system has been disturbed. Getting insight in temporal variability in baseline data is important to separate the ecological effects due to the interventions and autonomous changes.
Specific monitoring of the effect of the landscaped sand bars started within one month after they had been created. It should be noted that immediately after dredging there is hardly any macrozoobenthos left in the sand extraction site. This means that initial monitoring can be carried out quickly and with a minimum of samples. Later, when the dredged and ecological landscaped seabed are being colonized, sampling can be intensified, according to the principles of Adaptive Monitoring Strategies.