Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research

Protecting coastal communities against floods and extreme weather

Climate change and human activity in flood-prone delta’s and coastlines, make finding cost-effective flood safety measures an increasingly pressing issue. Natural ecosystems may attenuate wind and waves, reduce storm surges and prevent coastal erosion. The NIOZ 'Ecosystem Restoration for Coastal Protection Centre' offers Building with Nature expertise, in combining safety functions with natural value.

How to maximize combined nature and coastal protection goals?

To what extent can the nature functions of coastal and intertidal ecosystems be integrated with their flood defense functions? How to create such ecosystems precisely where needed? How do these dynamic ecosystems develop over time and under extreme conditions? And how to manage these protective systems effectively?

These questions apply both to coastal vegetation as well tidal flats with benthic communities. Our studies integrate different scales; combining both the local-scale  (within an ecosystem) and the landscape-scale (the connectivity between ecosystems and ecosystem compartments).

How to create & restore desired coastal ecosystems?

(Re)creating coastal ecosystems is complex. We provide insight in the physical and biological mechanisms that hamper ecosystem establishment, and develop methods to create 'windows of opportunity' to overcome establishment thresholds.

More information

For more information about the Ecosystem-Restoration for Coastal Protection Centre, please contact prof. dr. Tjeerd Bouma & prof dr. Tom Ysebaert.

Working on Java, Indonesia within the BioManCO project:

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Whom do we work with?

In the Ecosystem-Restoration for Coastal Protection Centre, we closely collaborate with engineers from TU Delft and University of Twente, scientists from Utrecht University, Radboud University Nijmegen, Groningen University and the University of Applied Sciences Vlissingen. Of course, we also work with semi-commercial research institutes like Deltares and Wageningen Marine Research. Moreover, we collaborate with consultancy companies like e.g. Bureau Waardenburg.

What do we offer?

The Ecosystem-Restoration for Coastal Protection Centre, offers in depth ecological understanding, integrated with physical processes, as needed for developing sustainable coastal defence and successful ecosystem restoration. We offer expert teams, unique equipment, and research technology. We often contribute to International PhD courses on Nature Based Flood Defense as well as on Ecosystem Restoration.

Can trees truly give us a break from floods? Prof Dr Tjeerd Bouma of NIOZ Estuarine & Delta Systems Research and two colleagues from Deltares and TU Delft are building the first forest ever in the largest wave-testing site in the world: the Delta Flume. Now they want to unleash a devastating storm upon the trees. Why? To put the protective power of trees to the test.

The trees are there, but they have no resources yet for all wave series and for analyses of results. You can make this cutting edge experiment possible by supporting them via