Measures for the Coast
The implementation of the preferred strategy for the Coast is proceeding apace. Since 1990, sand nourishment has taken place every year on the Dutch coast and the parties concerned work with each other to provide space for nature and leisure as well. New projects are on the agenda for the years to come.
A number of milestones have been passed in recent years with respect to the coast:
- In 2015, the Hondsbossche sea dike between Petten and Camperduin was reinforced by creating sand dunes and a beach in front of the dike.
- The Weak Links in the Coast programme was completed in late 2016. In that year, the final element of the weak link in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was formally completed.
- The provincial authorities drew up a zoning plan for the coastal zone in line with the Coastal Pact in 2017 and 2018. It shows where there is room for new construction (for leisure and other activities), where there is no room, and where there is room for construction subject to certain conditions.
- The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) implemented the Coastal Pact Monitor for the first time in 2022. It demonstrated that the agreements made are actually producing the desired effects.
- In 2017, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) evaluated the maintenance of the Reference Coastline (BKL). The BKL was revised in accordance with that evaluation in 2018; the BKL was modified in several locations on the coast. It was updated again in 2023 and optimised in terms of location in a few places.
- Rijkswaterstaat conducted a pilot nourishment project involving 5 million cubic metres in 2018 and 2019 on the ebb-tidal delta between Ameland and Terschelling. Here, Rijkswaterstaat is studying how the Dutch coast can grow in line with sea level rise in a sustainable way.
- In 2021, the Sandy Coast research project began, following up from the Coastal Genesis 2.0 project. The project is a part of the Sea Level Rise Knowledge Programme.
Plans for 2024-2026
The agenda for the years to come includes the following projects and activities:
- The Sandy Coast research project (a part of the Sea Level Rise Knowledge Programme) is looking at how much sand is needed for future sand nourishment for different values of sea level rise. The investigation also involves looking at the availability of sand that can be taken from the North Sea for this purpose.
- The interim results of the Sea Rise Knowledge Programme will be published in late 2023.
- In the period 2022-2027, Rijkswaterstaat will, for the time being, be depositing approximately 11 million cubic metres of sand annually on the Dutch coast. This will be enough to maintain the reference coastline and the coastal foundation during that period.
- The Innovations in Coastline Maintenance (IKZ) programme will be completed in 2024. The aim of this programme, which is run by the Directorate-General for Water and Soil, is to develop new techniques to make coastline maintenance more sustainable, and it explores opportunities to make significant reductions in emissions of CO2, particulate matter and emissions during sand nourishment operations.
- Research looking at the coast in the period 2022-2026 can be found in the Knowledge Agenda of the Delta Programme. Important knowledge questions relate to the uncertainties associated with sea level rise (and its possible acceleration). The Sea Level Rise Knowledge Programme is studying ways of reducing those uncertainties. That will serve as the basis for a periodical evaluation in 2026 of the Delta Decision for Flood Risk Management, the Sand Decision and the preferred strategy for the coast. Ultimately, this should result in possible adjustments to boundary conditions and guiding principles for operations to strengthen the coast and spatial developments with a longer life span.
- These conditions and principles can then be adopted in environmental visions at the municipal, provincial and state levels after 2026.
- The Delta scenarios will be revised on the basis of, among other things, the KNMI’s new climate scenarios, which will be published in late 2023.