Dynamic preservation of the coastline in the Netherlands
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In 1990, the Government and Parliament of the Netherlands decided on a new national policy for coastal defence. To ensure the enduring safety of the low-lying polders as well as the sustainable preservation of the coastal dunes, it was decided to maintain the coastline in its 1990 position.
The main method for coastline preservation in the Netherlands is beach nourishment. Since 1991, approximately 7 million m3 of sand is added to the Dutch beaches annually. From an evaluation study of sand nourishment projects it is concluded that nourishment is an effective and efficient method to preserve the coastline. The evaluation study also proves that nourishment projects should be ‘tailor-made’, taking the local morphological and hydraulic conditions into account. The first results of an experimental shoreface nourishment are discussed.
The choice for nourishment as the principal method to combat erosion is well in line with the intention to restore the natural dynamics of the dune-coast in the Netherlands. The key probably is a less strict policy with regard to the maintenance of the foredunes. Plans for the development of typical coastal features such as slufters*, wash-overs, blow-outs and mobile dunes are currently under discussion.
KeywordsCoastal dune Coastal erosion Coastline management Natural dynamics Sand nourishment
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