Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Info & Contact

Sea level-rise is one of the most important consequences of climate change. In the Netherlands, about half of the country is located below sea level. People all over the world need to prepare for future sea level-rise, particularly in low-lying countries and delta areas like the Netherlands.

The sea level changes, because of changes in the ocean, in the atmosphere, on the land and in the solid Earth. This impacts the coast in different ways, not only in terms of physics (increased water levels), but also in terms of ecosystem interactions. For this reason, we look at sea level across different scientific disciplines. We work at better understanding of sea level-changes in the past, on time scales of years, decades, centuries and millennia. We also work at making better projections worldwide, with a focus on coastal change and in particular the Southwesterly Dutch Delta and the Dutch Wadden Sea, to help prepare vulnerable coastal regions for future climate change.


The place where sea-level change matters most is at the coast. Part of our research focuses on how tidal ecosystems can be used to defend our coasts against sea-level rise impacts. We also extend our work towards the consequences of sea-level changes for the biogeomorphology of tidal ecosystems along our coasts. These systems host benthic species like algae, mussel beds and oyster reefs and provide foraging opportunities for birds.  We also study sea level-changes in the geological past, where data and models can provide constraints for future scenarios.


We aim to strengthen the collaboration on a national level, bringing together researchers from various institutes where sea-level change is being studied, and we regularly organise workshops and symposia to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the initiation of common research projects.


Are you interested in the possibilities and expertise of the Sea Level Centre or just want to ask a question? Mail to Bert Vermeersen or Aimée Slangen. In very urgent matters you can contact us by phone.