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 Building with Nature Guideline > Projects > Sand nourishment - Sand Engine Delfland, North Sea, NL

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Sand nourishment - Sand Engine Delfland, North Sea, NL 


Location: Coast of Delfland (Netherlands)
Date: March 2011 – November 2011, monitoring from 2011-2016 and from 2016-2021

Involved parties: Rijkswaterstaat, Province of South Holland, Ecoshape, DHV, Deltares, Van Oord, Boskalis
Technology Readiness Level: 9 (Technology available)

Environment: Sandy shores
Keywords: mega-nourishment, innovative, safety, space for nature




To assess the feasibility of mega-nourishment as an innovative measure to create long term safety conditions in combination with extra space for nature and recreation, a pilot project "Sand Motor Delfland" has been initiated.

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Inception phase

The first ideas for the Sand Motor date back to the beginning of this century. Initiators were the Province of South Holland and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (Rijkswaterstaat).

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Planning and design phase

The planning and design phase consisted of a pre-feasibility study after which the planing phase stated, taking into account the process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which emphasized on safety, recreation and knowledge development for the different scenarios.

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Construction phase

In 2010 an international tender took place, which was won by the consortium of Boskalis and Van Oord. Construction started in March 2011.

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Operation and Maintenance phase

In November 2011 the construction of the Sand Motor was completed. A total amount of 21,5 million m3 of sand had been placed in front of the Delfland coast, with the objectives to provide long-term safety, to create extra space for recreation and natural development and to learn as much as possible from it. Are mega-nourishments a good alternative for smaller-scale periodic nourishments? The first results of the experiment will be assessed 5 years after construction. To this end an extensive monitoring program is in place.

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Lessons Learned

The first of the monitoring period 2011-2016 can be found through this link, other lessons learned can be read below.

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