This paper presents the results of 7years of integrated monitoring along the Scheldt estuary. The combination of two datasets resulted in a full description of the estuaries water quality parameters from the mouth to the upper boundary, including an extended fresh water tidal part. A synthesis of the monitoring results and all relevant ecological knowledge on the Scheldt allowed to identify opportunities to optimize its management. The results show that the effect of discharge on salinity has a distinct maximum in the polyhaline to mesohaline transition area. Oxygen conditions, nitrogen removal and phytoplankton regulation can be enhanced and improved through management measures within the estuary. To lower carbon and phosphorous loads however measures should be taken within the catchment. To restore most of its ecological functions the estuary needs more space. Optimal locations to address specific functions can be derived from the monitoring results. [KEYWORDS: ecosystem management ; estuary ; nutrients ; water quality ; phytoplankton]
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2005

ID: 290177