Study: can a sand motor work on the Flemish coast?

Beginning 2018, the Coastal Division started along with Hydraulics Research a prospective study about alternative nourishment methods for our Flemish coast. In order to increase and keep the level of safety against flooding from the sea, the Coastal Division regularly performs beach nourishments. The beach is made larger so that the waves during a storm lose their strength and cause less damage to the seawall. Because of the erosion, it is necessary to perform regular maintenance nourishments.

The implementation of beach nourishments causes temporary nuisance to the users of the beach and to nature. That is why the Coastal Division is looking for alternative methods to the replenishment of the beaches.

One of the methods being examined is the local supply of a large amount of sand in one go, as has taken place with the Sand Engine in the Netherlands. By the action of wind, waves and currents, this sand can replenish the adjacent zones naturally. Such a large-scale nourishment has an impact on the environment, users and possibly also on the sand transport on larger scale along the coast. How big exactly this impact is towards our coast, is currently not known. The study will initially consider the feasibility and desirability of such a coast nourishment.

In addition to the study on the impact of a so-called sand engine, the Coastal Division also examines the impact of foreshore replenishment in Mariakerke.