The artificial island of Neeltje Jans •

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an astronaut photograph of Neeltje Jans, an artificial island just off the coast of the Zeeland province of The Netherlands.

According to NASA, the island is part of a network of land reclamation and coastal protection projects that is helping about nine million people adapt to living below sea level.

“The Eastern Scheldt tidal basin was Zeeland’s only barrier to the North Sea during a massive coastal flood in 1953, when a storm surge destroyed 138,000 hectares (340,000 acres) of land. The historic event inspired the Delta Plan, an engineering project to protect The Netherlands from future storm surges and coastal erosion through a series of artificial islands and dams,” says NASA.

“In 1957, the construction of Neeltje Jans began. The artificial island was eventually connected to the Peilerdam and the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier; together they reduced the inflow of water to the basin during storm surges and extreme high tides.”

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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