Years of dredging the shipping lane to Antwerp, has made the canals in the Westerschelde deeper. This has increased the flow rate of the water while the estuary’s storage capacity diminished. Coastal defense and biodiversity suffer from the strong currents in the Westerschelde. Extensive deepening and widening of the navigation channel reinforce this. The ecology on the mud flats and salt marshes is under pressure while the cost of coastal protection increases.