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Way Downstream …(Feb. 7-12, 2019)

A Dutch Solution?

       With climate change at the door like the big bad wolf, who are you gonna call? Down in Hampton, Va., they may have figured it out: Hello, the Dutch.

         Who better to help coastal communities cope than the Netherlands, a land that was covered by swamps 2,000 years ago? Fine minds and industriousness have enabled this densely populated nation to flourish as a result of dikes, dams, floodgates and pumping stations. Oh, and windmills.

         Wisely, Hampton planners last week brought in experts from Bosch Slabbers, a Netherlands-based landscape architect firm, for a series of meetings about what promises to be our watery future.

         In Hampton, the Dutch architects are preparing strategies that will be presented to the community for action.

         “Here in Hampton, there is water everywhere. Hampton is the city of creeks, and we want to strengthen that,” Steven Slabbers, one of the visiting architects, told the Daily Press.

         His colleagues will present solutions for people’s safety, he said, “but at the same time turn Hampton into a more interesting place.”