Roel Posthoorn, a Dutch professional who has been working with the Cities on Water course, has recently organized a project to improve the ecological quality of the Markermeer, a 270 square mile lake near Amsterdam. Roel works for the Natuurmonumenten (Nature Monuments), a private group that works closely with the national government in protecting natural areas and providing recreational opportunities.
The Marker Wadden project was awarded funds through a national competition to begin construction of a series of islands that will improve water quality and provide aquatic and terrestrial habitat for many species, as well as recreational opportunities for people. The funds came from the national Postcode Lottery, which funds nature, humanitarian, and international projects each year. The Marker Wadden project requested 5 million euros, and the "Dreamfund" competition awarded them 15 million euros. The entire project is estimated at 65 million euros.
Preliminary concepts and engineering ideas were presented for the competition, but no spatial planning has been done. Arrangements are now being made for Cities on Water students to take on this assignment and generate a schematic master plan for the project. The students will present their results at the national headquarters for the Natuurmonumenten in late March.