Implementation of coastal erosion management in the Netherlands

J.P.M. P.M. Mulder, Saskia Hommes, Erik Horstman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The Netherlands is a low-lying country, in which 9 million people are living below sea level and 70% of the gross domestic product is being earned in areas below sea level. Therefore, protection against flooding is traditionally the primary focus of coastal policy in the Netherlands. Analysis shows that characteristics of Dutch coastal management very well comply with the recommendations and key concepts to support sustainable coastal management as issued by the EU in 2004 (EUROSION). Sediment management represents the core of erosion management in the Netherlands; key concepts like resilience, coastal sediment cells, favorable sediment status and strategic sediment reservoirs, are important building stones. Development and implementation of coastal erosion management in the Netherlands, has implicitly been guided by a systematic Frame-of-Reference. Characteristics of this approach are the definition of clear objectives at different levels (i.e. strategic, tactical and operational) and an operational decision recipe related to policy development and implementation. Application of the Frame-of-Reference to current problems and challenges in Dutch coastal management indicates its ability to reveal shortcomings of the existing approach, and to explore potential solutions. Where EUROSION offers important concepts to define coastal erosion management, the Frame-of-Reference offers a tool to discern different objectives and responsibilities. The combination of both strongly supports implementation of coastal erosion management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-897
JournalOcean & coastal management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • METIS-268129
  • IR-86389


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