De Marne (NL), 2004
Lauwersoog is wedged in between two national parks: the Wadden Sea and the Lauwersmeer lake. The port is used primarily for shrimping, cockle fishing and gas extraction. Cockle fishing is considered detrimental to the bird population and the shrimp trade is primarily flourishing because the shrimp are transported by road to Morocco and shelled there. Both activities are under pressure from environmental activists. The gas extraction is intended to yield compensation funding for the Wadden Sea. The Lauwersoog port needs to be redeveloped in order to renovate and provide assurance of employment in the region. The exceptional location served as an inspiration to assess what alternative activities might be possible for development in this area.
In our vision for development, we suggest establishing a research centre in the port that could focus on researching options for sustainable exploitation of the Wadden Sea. This would allow regional tourism to continue developing by specialising in ecotourism. The third activity in the port consists of port activities such as sustainable fishing, trade and small-scale ship repairs. These three primary activities are envisioned in different zones of the port. The south side, on the Lauwersmeer, would be best suited for tourism, while the north side would be excellent for research on farming saline soil and cultivating oysters in the Wadden Sea; the east side could house the traditional port activities that sometimes cause some inconvenience.