Fragile ecosystems

A fragile ecosystem what is it? An ecosystem is a natural collection of microorganisms, animals and plants in a given area. An ecosystem is constantly changing and plays an important role in its environment. When such an ecosystem is vulnerable, it has unique characteristics that must be preserved. Often, a fragile ecosystem contains endangered biodiversity.

Smalle hoge duinen en strand aan Kust Zuidwest Walcheren (gemaakt door Marcelle Davidse)

Coast and sea

The Scheldt runs as a blue thread through Geopark Schelde Delta. As a result, our geopark consists largely of river and seawater but also coastal areas. Together these form coastal and marine ecosystems, because a coastal and marine ecosystem is where land meets sea. These systems come in many different forms, think of a mangrove forests, coral reefs or estuaries. They provide directly and indirectly a wide range of services for humans, such as recreation but also carbon sequestration and reducing coastal erosion.

Luchtfoto Westerschelde (Sky Pictures)


Geopark Schelde Delta is an estuary. An estuary? That's an area where a difference between salt and fresh water is noticeable. So, often this is about a place where the river(s) meets the sea or ocean. In which you can find birds, for example, because the coast is a good breeding ground for all kinds of birds. The coastal water is a good nursery for various fish species, the dunes a habitat for salt-loving plants and the sand a home for dozens of species of bottom-dwelling animals. What is unique about these areas is the brackish water where various forms of flora and fauna can be found.