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Delta Works

The Delta Works is a flood defence system in the Netherlands.

In 1953 a break in the sea walls and dikes in the Netherlands killed 1835 people, forced the evacuation of 70 thousand people, caused 10 thousand animals to drown, and destroyed 4.5 thousand buildings. To prevent such a tragedy in the future a prestigious project was conceived, called the Delta Works (Deltawerken).

This ambitious project was meant to improve the safety of the lower areas of the Netherlands from severe storms and flooding, not a small task, since over half of the area of the Netherlands is below sea-level. Among other things, dunes along the entire seashore were raised by as much as 5 meters and several large scale construction projects were undertaken, mainly in the province of Zeeland, which consisted mainly of islands, which have now been joined together by dams. The most sophisticated and famous of these dams (sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world) is the Oosterscheldedam, which can be opened and closed keeping the violence of the sea out while preserving the saltwater climate in the river delta for wildlife and the fishing industry.

It has been declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers[?].



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