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 Building with Nature Guideline > Projects > Sand nourishment - Hondsbossche Dunes, NL

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Sand nourishment - Hondsbossche Dunes, NL


Location: Coastline between Camperduin and Petten (NL)
Date: 2014-2015 (construction), 2015-2018 (monitoring and innovation research project)
Involved parties: Waterboard Hollands Noorderkwartier, Rijkswaterstaat, Ecoshape (HKV, Witteveen en Bos, WUR, Arcadis and Deltares)

Technology Readiness Level: 9 – actual system proven in operational environment
Environment: Sandy shores
Keywords: Constructed dune area, dune lake, sand nourishment, innovation research project, habitat development, sand transport. 


Building with Nature designTraditional design

Using a soft, natural barrier of sand dunes to protect the hinterland from flooding. Sand nourishment techniques are used to construct a new dune landscape that also serves natural values and recreation.

The traditional solution to an eroding coast is a basalt dike, possibly with groynes. Although the dike does provide some ecological benefits (e.g. food provision for birds), the design leads to increased erosion of the sea bed just in front of the dike. As a result, frequent maintenance is needed to meet the set safety standards. 



The Hondsbossche and Pettemer sea dike (see Traditional Design) did no longer meet current safety standards. Therefore the dike was reinforced in 2015 with a soft, natural barrier of 30 million cubic metres of sand on the seaside of the dike. The resulting area was renamed 'Hondsbossche Dunes'. The construction presented the unique opportunity to study the development of dunes and nature following a large sand nourishment.

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On the basis of an interim safety test in 2003 it appeared that the safety against flooding could not be guaranteed between Petten and Camperduin.
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Planning and design

The project had a dual objective: improve the flood safety and spatial quality. The budget that was made available for construction plus 20 years of maintenance was 250 million euros. Several alternatives were considered, but a sandy solution was chosen because of multiple benefits. 

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The construction works started with foreshore nourishment using medium size Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers (TSHD), followed by beach and dune nourishment with jumbo size hoppers. Sand was taken from several offshore borrow areas with varying water depth between 20-28 m and sailing distance between 6 and 11 nautical miles to the project site. By April 2015 all the sand was in place, and the coastal section was officially declared ‘Up to safety standard’ by the Dutch minister of Public Works.

Foreshore nourishment (left) and beach nourishment (right) (image start of 2015)

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Operation and maintenance

The maintenance works for the coastal section is part of the project. The main objective of the maintenance is keeping the coastal protection system up to the initial (safety) requirements of the project. 

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Lesson Learned

The objective of the Ecoshape innovation project is to learn more about efficient sand-nourishment, with added value for nature and leisure. The research themes are:


      A. Predictability in the development of engineered habitats

      B. Optimising design and morphological evolution

      C. Perception of local community and visitors


In the read more you will find the lessons learned from the Hondsbossche Dunes within the three themes. 

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