Hedwigepolder unlikely to be flooded

The area of land known as the Hedwigepolder, due to be flooded as part of the deepening of the Westerschelde estuary, will not be given back to the sea, if the Zeeland environmental federation ZMF has its way, reports Trouw.

Flooding the polder was part of the original treaty between the Netherlands and Belgium to deepen the Westerschelde estuary to give bigger ships access to Antwerp port.
ZMF director Tjieu van Mierlo puts the organisation’s change of mind down to the upset caused in Zeeland by the constant changes in government policy. ‘We may be ecologically and legally right but the flooding of the polder has given people a negative view of nature,’ he told the paper.
In 2009, there was a minor diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Belgium with the Dutch council of state halting the dredging process because of worries about its effect on the environment.
At the time, the then foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said plans to flood the polder had been stopped.
Discussions on deepening the estuary are still continuing.

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