The New Dutch Islands

Would you believe when we say that there is an island in the world that was completely “handmade”? And the name of this island is Marker Wadden — an artificial archipelago on a lake Markermeer in the Netherlands built with the aim to protect against flooding.

But why the Netherlands government decided to construct the islands? Obviously, not just because of the whim to attract more tourists. The reason is that they have built a dike that almost killed the lake and now they want to heal this self-inflicted injury by rejuvenating the Markermeer with its flora and fauna.

The opening of the first of five islands was in September and gathers almost 3,000 people to observe the artificial shores. The distance from the Dutch city of Lelystad to the archipelago equals the usual distance from the city center to the nearest neighborhood — only 30 minutes by ferry. It’s like you decided to buy a delicious bagel but the traffic was a bit heavy and you got stuck in it for a while. But here you spend 30 minutes and get the opportunity to enjoy the view that definitely brings more satisfaction than the freshest bagel in the world.

How did it all begin?

Everything started in 2016, when Jeroen van der Klooster, the project’s lead builder, did the first constructions and decided to build the paradise on the Earth. It seemed to be a difficult project as nobody hadn’t done suck crazy thing before. No people to advise, no previous experience — only you and your knowledge to create magic. But the plan that measures two kilometers by five kilometers was done successfully and now it’s a place with a spectacular view and thousands of new birds.

Dutch people = water wizards

You may wonder why Dutches needed to build this destructive dike. The answer is that 26% of the country’s population lives below sea level and a lot of people are in danger to be flooded. The Dutch government has been building similar constructions for flood control for years, but only the dam on the Markermeer was such a huge mistake.

After creating an artificial island, Dutches understood that it’s the first of its kind but definitely not the last. In the future, they will need more artificial land to feel safe and be able to adjust to inevitable climate changes. So, we guess, that in a few years this water-loving nation will introduce to us a new, even bigger archipelago with its own unique nature and beauty.

Anna Andrukh

Anna Andrukh