Preferred strategy for the coast

The goal of the preferred strategy is to keep the area safe, appealing and economically strong in the future. The ambitions in the national Delta Programme for the coastal zone have therefore been elaborated in the preferred strategy for the Coast, which is based on the Delta Decision for Flood risk management and the Sand Decision. The implementation details have been set out in a series of measures for the coastal area

Sand nourishment 

The sand on the Dutch coast provides natural protection against the sea. Because of the action of the tides, wind, waves and currents, sand is continuously lost to the sea. To maintain the protection afforded by the beaches and dunes, Rijkswaterstaat strengthens the coast with millions of cubic metres of sand annually. Those nourishment operations maintain a structural equilibrium in the amount of sand in the coastal foundation. The volume of sand used will have to increase to allow the coast to grow in line with accelerating sea level rise.  

Flood risk management

The principle underlying the flood risk management strategy on the coast is ‘soft where possible, hard where needed’. In this case, ‘soft’ means using sand nourishment to contribute to an appealing coast with opportunities for nature, leisure and tourism. 

This strategy is based on the National Vision for the Coast from 2013: a safe, appealing and economically strong coast. Parties work together to link the agenda for flood risk management with spatial ambitions, with tailored solutions being adopted for each location. Collaboration is organised in part through the Coastal Pact from 2017 in which government authorities, nature organisations, the leisure sector and drinking water companies describe the various values of the coast. They also set out how they will shape the future development of, in particular, buildings on beaches on the coast for leisure purposes. For each coastal province, the agreements are set out in the respective provincial ordinances, including maps. 

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