Seaweed & Wind (Wier & Wind)
Together with the 'North Sea Farmers', SMARTLAND is working on stimulating multiple use of space at sea. The North Sea, once a moderately nutrient-rich, clear coastal sea with extensive oyster beds as hard structures, with a very species-rich ecosystem. Now mainly a nutrient-rich turbid sea with a flat sandy bottom, no significant structures and low biodiversity. Developments such as wind farms have proven to have positive effects on this system, because they can restore part of these hard structures that have disappeared with nature-inclusive scour protection around the piles and cables. Seaweed and mussel cultivation within the wind farms increase this positive effect even more, through extra structures such as eco-anchors and through extra food and peace for the bottom fish and crustaceans that live around these structures.
What is often lacking in communication about offshore wind, for example, is an appealing representation of these opportunities. This can serve as a basis for broader social support, and also for more support among NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund, which often do not see the opportunities of multiple uses for strengthening the North Sea ecosystem yet. We visualize these opportunities for the North Sea ecosystem and biodiversity in smart structural sketches and lifelike visualisations based upon that. We are currently doing this for the ‘Wier&Wind’ project in the Norther Wind Farm, in the Belgian part of the North Sea. In addition, we do this also for the 1 km2 pilot of the 'North Sea Farmers' near Scheveningen, which should be the prelude to a widely rolled out seaweed cultivation program for the entire North Sea.