The Yangtze Estuary is a large-scale tide controlled river with rich river sediment input into a coastal plain estuary. River discharge and tides are the primary forces influencing the Yangtze Estuary. Nearly half of the river supplied sediment are deposited around the estuary, building up a mega-delta. The remaining sediments are transported offshore. The Yangtze Estuary has a multi-channel system and extensive intertidal flats and wetlands with ecologically valuable flora and fauna. This eco-morphological system is influenced by societal developments and human activities. Examples of the latter are engineering works for improving and maintaining the deep-water navigation channels, and the construction of a deep-water harbour. The navigability of the Yangtze Estuary was improved between 1998 an 2010 by the Deep Navigation Channel Project. The channel through the North Passage has been deepened from approximately 6–12.5 m by building two 50km guide bunds and 19 groins in combination with intensified dredging. Yangshan Harbour is a deep-water harbour in Shanghai, created by closing a serious of inlets, land reclamation and dredging, commencing in 2002 and completed in 2005.
Xiuzhen Li is a professor in the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. Her research background is wetlands ecology, landscape ecology and GIS applications. She obtained her PhD from Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands in 2000. She has conducted more than 20 research projects at national and provincial levels, and published more than 100 papers and several monographs. She serves as associate editor for the journal Ocean and Coastal Management, and editorial board member for Ecological Engineering, Wetlands Ecology and Management, and several other journals. She is an active member of International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE), Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), and Ecological Society of China.
Qing He is a professor in the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. Her research background is civil engineering, especially on sediment transport in Estuarine and on Coast, application studies of port and navigation channel siltation. She has conducted more than 40 research projects at national and provincial levels such as NSFC project “Navigation to a resilient estuary – morphological interactions between navigation channel and estuary”, ”Estuary sediment transport and source-sink transformation in response to natural processes and human activities ”. She has published more than 100 papers and several monographs. She serves as committee member of International Association of Cohesive sediment Transport Processes (INTERCOH), and council member of Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society in Shanghai.