The main objective of this work package is to build new tools to improve coastal stakeholder management capacity for dune resilience.
The health and function of coastal dunes is becoming increasingly important. Many traditional defences are old and failing and will be prohibitively expensive to replace. A single linear metre of concrete sea wall costs more than EUR 13,000 – protection of the 420 km of 2 Seas dune coastline in this way would cost more than EUR 4 billion and would still not supply a permanent, economically sustainable defence against the sea.
The key role of dune systems in protecting coastal communities against climate-change impacts is now more critical than ever, however dunes and the people that manage them do not receive the expert attention needed to translate cutting-edge science, research and design into effective daily management approaches. Stakeholders need accessible, relevant best practice to enable them to deliver restoration and optimisation of dune resilience and appropriate, cost effective and sustainable techniques in order to deliver tangible, lasting improvements to dune systems.
We will develop and test 3 new tools to improve stakeholder knowledge, experience and confidence in the use of alternative dune management approaches. This will work to improve the capacity of 2 Seas stakeholders to understand how ecosystem-based techniques can work and improve their confidence and ability to manage dunes for lasting resilience.
The resilience of 2 Seas dunes to the water-related effects of climate change now & in the future is closely linked to the capacity of 2 Seas stakeholders to understand & apply ecosystem-based management techniques. After stakeholder consultation we know that currently stakeholder capacity to understand how ecosystem-based techniques work & how to evidence need for their application is limited - focus has previously been restricted to hard engineering approaches. Therefore there is marketplace demand for tools which help dune stakeholders to become more familiar with nature-based tools & the cost-effective, durable solutions to dune resilience they offer.
We will jointly develop 3 new tools to improve stakeholder knowledge, experience & confidence :
Stakeholders will be at the core of the development process, engaged & consulted at each step to maintain end-user focus & ensure we deliver the solutions they have requested. We take a new approach, viewing stakeholders as customers not an audience & ensuring their needs drive construction. Close collaboration with stakeholders throughout the development process will ensure bespoke products which meet needs of coastal dune defence.
We will use the knowledge-base of the Partnership as asset, efficiently drawing from a broad spectrum of disciplines: fluid dynamics, sedimentology, coastal processes, dune biology & morphology, planning & policy. This joint expertise will work to transform innovative ideas into practical, bespoke tools answering the specific problems facing dune stakeholders.
Each solution represents a simple, coherent & rational response to the challenges across each Member State. Each tool will be tested on the ground by stakeholders across 2 Seas dune sites for concrete results. Each tool will be open source & freely available, adding value and long term durability. The tools will be supported for use by active learning & training supplied in Work Package 3.
This work package will be led by the Regional Water Authority of Holland Noorderkwartier with all partners providing input and observers and stakeholders involved.
This strand of work will deliver three outputs:
The partnership, in tandem with an externally sourced external consultant, will develop a mapping tool to visualise the impact of different management approaches on dune resilience.
There are different management approaches for dune resilience to climate change effects: ecosystem-based or hard engineering. Hard engineering is traditional but expensive & unsustainable. There is no rapid way to demonstrate positive effects of new ecosystem based solutions compared to hard engineering without mention of complex scientific processes.
Many coastal managers are not scientists, therefore this can prevent them from using an ecosystem approach. We develop a new tool to visualise impact of
management options so managers can more easily understand coastal change they will produce. The ability to pre-assess coastal safety will greatly enhance effectiveness of coastal management schemes for dunes.
Based on existing databases (e.g. MorphAn) it will be easy to use without specialised expertise, bringing dune management decisions to stakeholders. Applied to entire project area (110km/saving €1.2 billion). Supported by WP3 training.
All project partners will participate in this output, but to be developed by external consultant.
Dune stakeholder capacity to proactively apply ecosystem-based techniques for dune resilience is limited. No simple tool exists to assess dune status. Current approaches are time consuming, complex & require large amounts of data. There is no consistent or standardised approach available for comparing dune status across large areas e.g. shared coastlines.
Without knowledge of comparative dune health, it is hard for stakeholders to evidence need in order to justify ecosystem-based management. Yet it is more sustainable to implement preventative management before an incident occurs, than reactive management after coastal flooding/erosion.
We will build an early warning tool to assess dune health. It will be simple to use but underpinned by state-of the- art science & technology. Using Marram grass as a natural indicator of dune health, it will provide a ‘gold standard’ for monitoring & management & the 1st ever large scale review of 2 Seas dunes.
Led by University of Gent and the Flanders Hydraulics Research - Department for Mobility and Public Works with assistance from all project partners.
There are many 2 Seas examples where buildings e.g. cafés & toilet blocks are present in dunes. This infrastructure may impact the natural resilience of coastal dunes. Effects can be positive or negative & may include:
Flooding. When building is disturbed (by waves/currents) breach in the dune system could occur
Erosion. Wind/wave action around building can have scouring effect & damage dunes
Nourishment. Buildings can cause sediment build up, nourishing dunes & helping natural function
Defence. Buildings can shelter dunes from wind/waves during storm/surge events.
It is currently difficult for dune managers to understand the effects of buildings on dune systems. It is therefore hard to manage dune systems for greatest resilience under climate change impacts without this knowledge. We will create & develop an innovative new tool to provide a way to easily assess building impact, leading to creation of best practice for dunes.
Led by HHNK with help from all partners.