From the late sixteenth century the united provinces of Holland undertook an extensive land reclamation project—at that time it was the largest land reclamation project ever undertaken in the world. Between 1590 and 1664 More than 110,000 hectares, (425 square miles) of land were reclaimed from the sea and inland lakes by means of a complex system of dikes and drainage. The land area of the province of North Holland alone increased by 52.7 percent during this period.
Ann Jensen Adams, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting, (Quoting H. Blink), 1994
Landscape and Power, Edited by W. J. T. Mitchell, Chicago, 2nd Ed. 2002, pp. 39-40