Aim: Climate change may cause a fundamental change in the productivity patterns of the North Sea ecosystem with consequences for management. We aim to provide a detailed spatial overview of the past, present and future ecosystem features of the North Sea (with an emphasis on the Nederlands Continentaal Plat (NCP), i.e. the Dutch part of the North Sea) in relationship to climate change. Background Large open waters in the Rhine delta include lake IJssel, the Wadden Sea and the Netherlands Continental Shelf. These waters are vulnerable ecosystems and under substantial pressure. Climate change will have a profound impact on the fluxes of river water (and nutrients and other pollutants) into the Dutch coastal waters. In addition temperature and re-suspension of silt by wind forcing will change. Consequently the water turbidity and the type and dynamics of algae blooms may alter (e.g. more harmful algae blooms). Remote sensing measurements of water quality parameters in combination with specific mechanistic ecosystem models and chemical dispersion models are a promising alternative to the traditional study of the coastal waters ecosystem using limited sets of in-situ measurements. These spatial measurements help to link sources, transport and effects of substances and the identification of pollution (e.g. eutrophication) in the Dutch Delta. This work has strong links with the IVM Coastal Zone Management research. Results : Basic results are derived for the relationships between relevant environmental variables (e.g. temperature, nutrient load, turbidity, CO2) and indicators of ecosystem performance. Management, including monitoring of harmful algal blooms of the large aquatic environment can be made regionally explicit. Risk assessment and mitigation and adaptation strategies will be more (cost-) effective when having (web-based) access to relevant spatial information. Major direct effects of changing pressures (nutrient input, dredging activities, large infrastructure activities (construction 2e Maasvlakte) can be monitored. Indicators can be spatially mapped to improve the recognition of short- and long-term changes. Even adaptation might be established with regard to allocation of fishing areas, marine reserves, offshore exploitation and wind parks.