Delfzyl, which was formerly an important fortress for the protection of the ancient sluices on the little river Delf (hence its name), has greatly benefited by the construction of the Ems (Eems) shipcanal connecting it with Groningen, and has a good harbour with a considerable import trade in wood.
Under ordinary conditions the sluices are raised to admit boats to pass from the half flood to half ebb, so that the river remains tidal up to Teddington, the next lock.
Long ditches with stone-paved sluices for washing this mineral-bearing material have long been used by the Indians, who also construct stone bars across the beds of the streams to make riffles and hold the deposited grains of gold.
The area south of this would be divided into four polders, with reservation, however, of a lake, Yselmeer, in the centre, whence branches would run to Ysel and the Zwolsche Diep, to Amsterdam, and, by sluices near Wieringen, to the northern part of the sea.
The gain would be the addition to the kingdom of a new and fertile province of the area of North Brabant, a saving of expenses on dikes, diminution of inundations, improvement of communication between the south and the north of the kingdom, protection of isles of the sea, &c. The costs were calculated as follows: (I) enclosing dike, sluices, and regulation of Zwolsche Diep, £1,760,000; (2) reclamation of four polders, £5,200,000; (3) defensive works, £400,000; (4) indemnity to fishermen, £180,000; total, £7,540,000.