International Workshop of the North Sea Ports

International Workshop of the North Sea Ports

Knowledge transfer for the topic: sediment management between ports, industry, and environmental research

The tidal currents keep the sea floor in perpetual motion. These currents cause the formation of sand and mud deposits that can affect maritime ship traffic. In order to ensure access to the ports and port facilities, the waterways must have a certain, guaranteed depth. Many port companies in the North Sea region are facing the same challenges: on the one hand, they must ensure smooth port operations and, on the other hand, reduce their ecological footprint.

The port companies Niedersachsen Ports and Groningen Seaports have conducted a workshop in Eemshaven on Tuesday 29th October, in which experts were working on issues concerning an efficient management of sediments and the handling of dredge spoil in ports. What is the impact of current and future sediment movements in the North Sea and the rivers on the sediment entry into ports? How can ports respond to changing framework conditions in an environmentally responsible, yet most efficient manner? What technological developments promise the highest benefit when it comes to warranting safe access to the ports?

Joint Solutions for Innovative Approaches

“From our experience we know that we can best answer questions within networks and collaborations. This is a great way to come up with joint, innovative solutions. Everyone benefits from it, but it is the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site that benefits the most”, Dr. Matthäus Wuczkowski, Sustainability Manager at Niedersachsen Ports, explains.

German, Dutch and Belgian experts from port industry, industry, research, and environmental protection exchange their practical experiences, share their knowledge about ongoing projects and about the latest research findings.

The National Park Administration for the Wadden Sea National Park of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), the Flanders Marine Institute, and the Ludwig-Franzius-Institute are delivering lectures on current research projects around the topic of sediment movements in the Wadden Sea and the impact of released pollutants. Additional emphases are placed on the introduction of efficient dredging technologies, as well as the alternative and environmentally compatible handling of the dredge spoil.


Groningen Seaports is participating in the program EemsDollard2050. Within this program different solutions to decrease the amount of fluid mud within the estuary. The most effective way is to build up a new economy of the reuse of the dredged material. A couple of these solutions will be presented during the workshop.

The EU Project DUAL Ports

Niedersachsen Ports has designed this workshop as part of the European project DUAL Ports, which was initiated in 2015. It is funded by the EU and the Interreg North Sea Program. DUAL Ports brings ports, companies, and scientific institutions from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Scotland to the table. The objective of this collaboration is the joint development of solutions and approaches for the long-term reduction of CO2 emissions and pollution caused by the activities of the port industry. The exchange of knowledge between the partners and the resulting synergies are intended to support and accelerate the development and implementation of sustainability innovations in ports.

Further information about the project DUAL Ports is available here: and

Overview of Eemshaven