Evaluation of the Belgian Coastal Waters

The North Sea
19/07/2016
Evaluation of the Belgian Coastal Waters
post by
Sigrid Maebe

Until 31 October 2016 the Belgian Ministry for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment is organising a public consultation on the management plan for Belgian coastal waters. This management plan was drawn up to make Belgian waters as clean as possible. 

The Water Framework Directive was approved by the European Union in 2000 with the aim of achieving a good environmental status for all waters (rivers, lakes, coastal waters and groundwater) by the year 2015 (since amended to 2021). A river basin management plan was drawn up for the subsequent six years, based on the 2009-2014 data. The Belgian Federal Government, responsible for the management of Belgian coastal waters, is now organising a public consultation. 

Content of the management plan

The River Basin Management Plan includes a description of Belgian coastal waters, an overview of the pressures and effects of human activities on Belgian coastal waters, the results of monitoring programmes, the environmental objectives and a description of measures. The evaluation of the situation was made by the Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Model (MUMM, RBINS-OD Nature) in cooperation with the Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries (ILVO).

As Belgian coastal waters are influenced by the freshwater inflow from rivers such as the Scheldt, the quality of Belgian coastal waters is dependent upon measures taken upstream. In addition, there is an inflow of water and air from the Atlantic plus the many maritime activities (shipping, pleasure boating, fishing, dredging, etc.). All the above have an impact on the quality of Belgian coastal waters. 

Public consultation

To give the study results broader support in society, the public is also being consulted. You can consult the management plan online and submit any comments until 31 October 2016 to   Brecht Stechele, Belgian Ministry for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment, Environment DG, Marine Environment Department, Victor Hortaplein 40, box 10, 1060 Brussels, marien.milieu.marin@environment.belgium.be

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