Measures pertaining to the Coast

The implementation of the Preferential Strategy for the Coast is in full swing. The Dutch coast is reinforced by annual sand replenishments, and stakeholders have joined forces to create room for nature and leisure activities. The agenda for the years ahead also features new projects.

The measures pertaining to the coast are detailed in the Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management and the Coastline Maintenance Implementation Programme.


Over the past six years, the implementation of the national Delta Programme for the Coast has produced a range of results and milestones. Some examples:

  • In 2015, the Hondsbossche storm surge barrier between Petten and Camperduin was improved with sand dunes and a beach in front of the dyke.
  • At the end of 2016, the Weak Links on the Coast programme was completed. This year saw the official delivery of the last section of the West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen weak link. 
  • In 2017 and 2018, the provinces drew up a zoning plan for the coastal zone, under the Coastal Pact. This plan sets out where there is room for new (recreational) construction, where there is no such room, and where such construction is permitted under certain conditions. 
  • In 2017, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management evaluated the enforcement of the Ordnance Coastline. On the basis of this evaluation, the Ordnance Coastline was revised in 2018 and adapted at several locations along the coast.
  • In 2018 and 2019, Rijkswaterstaat conducted a pilot replenishment on the ebb-tide delta between the islands of Ameland and Terschelling. Here, Rijkswaterstaat is exploring sustainable ways to have the Dutch coast keep pace with the rising sea level. The pilot involved a deposit of 5 million cubic metres of sand on the seabed of the Ameland tidal inlet. 

Plans for the six years ahead

The agenda for the six years ahead features, inter alia, the following projects and activities: 

  • By the end of 2020, the Coastal Genesis 2.0  programme will produce policy recommendations regarding the sand replenishment strategy. The advisory report will address issues such as the sand volumes required in the long run, where and when this sand will be needed, the best methods for depositing sand on the coast, and what additional research will be needed to further improve the sand replenishment strategy. 
  • In 2021, the Sand Engine – an innovative sand replenishment project off the Zuid-Holland coast – will be evaluated. 
  • In the period 2021-2027, Rijkswaterstaat will deposit some 12 million cubic metres of sand annually along the Dutch coast. In this period, this volume will suffice to maintain the coastline.
  • By 2024, the Innovations in Coastline Maintenance  project will be completed. This Rijkswaterstaat project is aimed at developing new technologies for more sustainable coastline maintenance.
  • The research regarding the Coast in the period 2021-2026 is featured in the Delta Programme Knowledge Agenda. Key knowledge issues pertain to the uncertainties surrounding the expected (accelerated) sea level rise. The Sea Level Rise Knowledge Programme is investigating how such uncertainties can be reduced. Current expectations are that a potential acceleration in sea level rise will not occur before 2050, and that the sand nourishment strategy will hold good until at least 2050.