Universiteit Leiden

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1 million euros for research into climate adaptation Dutch sandy coasts

The C-SCAPE project has received funding of 1 million euros in the context of the NWO program ‘Living labs in the Dutch delta’. C-SCAPE, led by TU Delft, is a collaboration between the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), University Groningen, Deltares and HZ University of Applied Sciences. It aims to explore the long-term future of coastal protection in the Netherlands by evaluating sandy strategies and their societal impacts.

C-SCAPE: Sandy strategies for sustainable coastal climate change adaptation

Sand nourishments are essential as a natural measure to ensure coastal safety. They also offer unique opportunities for nature and society. Climate change will cause an increase of the annual nourishment volumes. C-SCAPE aims to develop knowledge and tools to enable this scale increase. To that end, a Living Lab will be realized at two recent, large-scale coastal reinforcement sites (the Sandmotor and Hondsbossche Dunes). Existing, unique data sets will be enriched with complementary measurements, which provide insight in the morphological, ecological and socio-economic effects of large-scale nourishments. This will enable better design and evaluation of future climate adaptation measures. Other locations, in the province of Zeeland and on Ameland will be investigated, to gain insights that are representative of the entire Dutch coast.

Working together to protect our coasts

The project is a collaboration between three universities: TU Delft (coördination), Leiden University and University Groningen. Each university will employ a fulltime PhD student for C-SCAPE. From Leiden University, the Institute of Environmental Sciences will participate in the project. Alexander van Oudenhoven co-wrote the research proposal. ‘Our work package will investigate how to optimally design sandy strategies, from an ecological, biophysical and societal point of view. Nature’s contributions to people will be core concept in this research.’ In addition to the universities, HZ University of Applied Sciences and Deltares will participate actively in the project too. Many end-users will also contribute to the project: Province of Noord Holland, Staatsbosbeheer, Zeeuwse Kustgemeentes, Waterschap Scheldestromen, Rijkswaterstaat, Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier, OBN, Van Oord, Witteveen+Bos, Natuurmonumenten, Svasek and WWF.

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