Share

Protecting The Netherlands’ Vulnerable Coasts With A ‘Sand Motor’

A outrageous sandbar-shaped peninsula along a southern seashore of a Netherlands is one of a country’s latest experiments in coastal management.

Rijkswaterstaat/Jurriaan Brobbel


hide caption

toggle caption

Rijkswaterstaat/Jurriaan Brobbel

A outrageous sandbar-shaped peninsula along a southern seashore of a Netherlands is one of a country’s latest experiments in coastal management.

Rijkswaterstaat/Jurriaan Brobbel

Along a southwestern seashore of a Netherlands, not distant from The Hague, kite surfers slip on a waves around a outrageous silt peninsula where beachcombers sketch seagulls.

But a peninsula is some-more than usually a distraction spot. It’s also an examination in coastal management: It keeps a sea divided from circuitously cities.

The Dutch call it “De Zandmotor” — a Sand Motor, also famous as a Sand Engine.

“We don’t have a large barrier here safeguarding us from a sea,” says Joanna Scholten, a retirement from The Hague walking on a beach circuitously a Sand Motor. “This is a good examination since it works with nature. It protects us, and it’s also a place to enjoy.”

The Netherlands, a nation reclaimed from a sea, is already formulation for a effects of a warming planet, including sea-level rise. The Dutch, prolonged deliberate masters of inundate management, have left over a common sea gates, dams and dikes.

Scientists In Houston Tell A Story Of Concrete, Rain And Destruction

Sand dunes have stable a Dutch seashore for years. But a shoreline erodes easily. Tons of silt are shipped in from a North Sea to feed it each 5 years.

But that’s not adequate to understanding with a beach erosion that will come with sea-level rise, says Jasper Fiselier, an environmental operative with Royal HaskoningDHV, a consultancy formed in Amersfoort, a Netherlands.

“That’s because we motionless to try a Sand Motor,” he says.

The thought came from Marcel Stive, a highbrow of coastal engineering during a Delft University of Technology. Fiselier worked with a group of scientists who put a thought into practice. The Sand Motor cost about $81 million and used roughly 28 million cubic yards of silt dredged from a North Sea. Over a subsequent 20 years, waves will brush a silt into protecting barriers stretching during slightest 6 miles along a coast.

“It creates wider beaches, wider beaches kindle healthy arrangement of dunes, and a dunes will get bigger,” Fiselier says. “That will give some-more reserve in a end.”

The Duin (“Dune”) growth circuitously Amsterdam is contrast either homes can be towering by silt dunes.

Joanna Kakissis for NPR


hide caption

toggle caption

Joanna Kakissis for NPR

The Duin (“Dune”) growth circuitously Amsterdam is contrast either homes can be towering by silt dunes.

Joanna Kakissis for NPR

5 Years After Sandy, New York Rebuilds With The Next Flood In Mind

The Sand Motor is partial of Building With Nature, a public-private partnership in that researchers from a Netherlands and other countries investigate how to use healthy processes to forestall flooding. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a identical module called Engineering With Nature.

Dutch scientists are experimenting with stretchable materials for dikes and planting foliage on a sea-facing side of dikes to locate a sea’s initial blows.

The idea, Fiselier says, is to make something that can be simply practiced to a conditions of a changing climate.

“We have a lot of believe on how to build dikes,” he says. “Dikes are built to final 50 years. But we don’t know what a conditions will be like in 50 years. We need something we can adjust as we acquire some-more believe on traffic with sea-level arise and charge intensity.”

Urban planners, architects and developers in a Netherlands are also operative with inlet as they devise housing developments that comment for meridian change.

“It’s roughly a normal thing now to do,” says Marnix De Vos, an civic operative during BVR, a landscape design organisation in Rotterdam, where rising seas are a consistent concern. “Like before, it was normal to put in a street. Well, now it’s also normal to make a tolerable vital area that does something with a insurance opposite [rising] H2O levels.”

At a unclothed minimum, that means building with distant reduction petrify and asphalt, so a earth can concede rainwater to soak through, says developer Maarten Janssen.

It’s a truth American cities can also use, he says. In Kansas City, Missouri, for example, environmentalists have pushed a 10,000 Rain Gardens project, that uses internal plants in lowlands to locate and reason rainwater.

“Like in Houston, apparently a fast-growing city, though there we have lots of asphalt, lots of concrete, lots of people paving their backyards,” he says. “All these things count. Obviously, there are some impassioned continue events, like [Hurricane] Harvey, that we can’t wholly operative for. But in obtuse storms, we consider preserving healthy areas would unequivocally assistance with flooding.”

Janssen also says elevating low-lying areas competence also be a solution. That’s where silt comes in again.

“In a Middle Ages, before we had these large systems of sea defenses, Dutch villages in a north were assembled on mounds packaged with peat, soil, even animal excrement,” he says. “Today, we can rouse low-lying areas with sand.”

Janssen and De Vos teamed adult with a Rotterdam design organisation ZUS to test-build a area towering by synthetic silt dunes.

The outcome is Duin (Dutch for “dune”), a new area circuitously Almere, a suburb of Amsterdam and about an hour’s expostulate easterly of a Sand Motor.

Almere is in Flevoland, a range reclaimed in a 1960s after construction of a sea wall. The land used to be submerged underneath an internal sea, a Zuiderzee, which, after land reclamation, has shrunk to a lake.

“It was kind of a large plantation margin of Holland,” says Jos Hartmann, a ZUS architect. “You had super-nutrient-rich rural land. You had a lot of space.”

The Duin area is tighten to a internal dike. Hartmann gives me a tour. We travel on paths done of seashells, past sandstone-colored homes with wooden breeze chimes.

We’re surrounded by sandy hills dappled with sprouts of sea grass. These dunes were combined with 3.3 million cubic yards of silt dredged from a circuitously lake — a stays of a Zuiderzee.

Jos Hartman, an designer during a Duin growth circuitously Amsterdam, says Duin is “a commander plan contrast if people like vital on synthetic dunes that rouse a land,” he says. “So far, it’s a success.”

Joanna Kakissis for NPR


hide caption

toggle caption

Joanna Kakissis for NPR

Jos Hartman, an designer during a Duin growth circuitously Amsterdam, says Duin is “a commander plan contrast if people like vital on synthetic dunes that rouse a land,” he says. “So far, it’s a success.”

Joanna Kakissis for NPR

The dunes rouse a homes by adult to 30 feet, that means Marion Voigt, a Fed Ex manager who lives here with her dual kids, can see over a barrier and suffer views of a lake.

“It looks like you’re in a vacation resort,” she says, laughing. “My kids, they’re 7 and 12, and they play football in a sand. When there’s a rainstorm, a silt absorbs a water, so no flooding in a streets.”

The silt has an combined benefit. It not usually absorbs rainwater. It can also freshen it.

Hartman, a ZUS architect, points out that half a Dutch H2O supply is already filtered by silt dunes.

“We are always meditative of new ways to keep the feet dry,” he says. “The best solutions are ones that have many uses and benefits.”