Underwater Forest

A lively NLDelta with the aid of Flowing Force

Underwater Forest is the first design out of the toolbox of ‘Landscapers’ that will be turned into practice in the ecologically vulnerable area of the haringvliet. This artfull tool functions as ecological fix and uses natural processes to create a hotspot for biodiversity and recreation.

Date: 1 August 2017
Awards: Underwater Forest is the winner of the NLDelta Challenge 2018
Project details: Landscaper nr.1 Underwater Forest
Jury Members: Henk Ovink,Camilla Dreef,Matthijs Schouten,Dick Verheijen,Stefan Schöning
Online publication: View the link

A boost for biodiversity

This tool made out of dead wood is designed to slow down currents in the water and provide a habitat for marine life and recreation at the same time.

The idea for an Underwater Forest consists out of a group of dead trees anchored in the water, which together form a new biotope for underwater life to flourish. The reef that arises forms a boost for marine habitat and can be used as diving destination at the same time. Flora and fauna can nestle on the bark of oak trees and fish can take a rest in the quieter circumstances of the caverns between the trees. When time is passing the Underwater forest will turn into a hotspot for biodiversity.


A beacon for the environment

Next to a boost for biodiversity the Underwater forest accelerates human exploration in multiple ways. It functions as diving hotspot and will be adopted by the monitoring parties that are investigating how the Haringvliet ecology is changing, after the event of gradually opening up the dams. This makes it able for fish to migrate from the see to the rivers ones again.

By showing the monitoring material (video and images) at the shoreline, passers by can also witness the beauties of the underwater life, a big part of the marine ecosystem which is usually not visible to the human eye.

Pilot project

How can we shape our landscape by the use of flowing force?

The Underwater forest will be a real life experiment that researches which characteristics of the delta system kan be deployed for landscape design.  The use of ‘landscaping tools’ can be a relatively small scale design methodology, that derives from large scale building with nature-examples.

see http://www.mirtevanlaarhoven.com/projects/flowing-force-2/ for more details on experiments and design methodology.

Landscaper nr. 1

The Underwater forest is the first design out of the toolbox of ‘landscapers’ that will be turned into practice. Winning the NLDelta Challenge provided a budget and support from the organisation to start making this possible.

“Mirte van Laarhoven has won the NLdelta competition because her entry for an Underwater forest was very grounded in the conditions of the delta. Mirte’s idea emphasizes the essence of our dynamic delta landschape. With her plan something can be put into motion that will contribute to the long term goals for biodiversity of the NLdelta region and resonates the story, the mysticism and dynamics of our delta at the same time. By this her plan is not a momentary proposal, but a durable and sustainable solution to the diminishing ecology and which can increase human experience as time goes by.”

Henk Ovink, jury chairman and Dutch Water Ambassador.