Project budget2 116 635 €
ERDF amount1 269 981 €
Climate change causes sea level rise across the 2 Seas area by 2-4mm each year. This increases risk of coastal flooding x100 in some areas, impacting people, communities & infrastructure. Many traditional defences are old, failing & expensive to replace. A 9km sea wall costs >€88 million but does not provide a permanent, economically sustainable sea defence. Natural ecosystems provide better resilience - dunes naturally flex & evolve to provide a self-replenishing barrier, but this adaptive ability is often negatively affected by poor/reactive management aimed at mitigating erosion/flooding events rather than enhancing dune function. Sand dunes protect 420km of our shared coastline, yet they do not receive the same attention given to more traditional hard interventions. Joint working & crossborder collaboration is poor, lacking input & learning from high quality cutting-edge science, research & design expertise.
ENDURE aims to improve adaptation capacity to climate change by focusing on 2 Seas coastal sand dunes. We will increase the capacity of 2 Seas stakeholders to apply ecosystem-based management approaches, decreasing reliance on hard engineering interventions. We will draw from crossborder expertise to inform & supply new purpose-developed solutions to answer real world dune management problems occurring now under climate change. Our Partnership has been carefully constructed to include the national/regional/local partners needed to really drive through change into clear improvements in dune management across the 2 Seas. We will collaborate to capitalise on the best knowledge & expertise available across the Member States. We will work to improve & restore the ecosystem ability of dunes to act as adaptive, living sea defences for a coastline which is more naturally resilient to erosion, flooding & sea level rise.
We focus on tangible benefits to 110km/25% of 2 Seas coastline & 3302ha dunes via 6 new ecosystem-based solutions. These intelligent & inspiring outputs will increase dune resilience & reduce damage caused by coastal flooding & erosion, saving €314 million compared to hard engineering solutions & offering sustainable protection to people & assets on the 2 Seas coast.
- Sand trapping nets to nourish dunes
- Mussel farming posts to reduce erosion/increase nourishment
- Proactive & strategic approach to access control to prevent erosion damage
- Mapping tool to visualise benefits of different dune management approaches (hard engineering vs. ecosystem-based)
- Early warning system to ID dunes most vulnerable to climate change effects before large scale damage occurs
- Tool to assess if buildings on dunes have positive or negative impacts
- Support stakeholder capacity building via peer-led active learning, training & mentoring, embedding new knowledge & confidence to apply project outputs
Cross border approach
The 2 Seas area has the most extensively dune-protected coast in Europe. Coastal dunes behave as a single natural system & are indifferent to political borders. Climate change operates on a global scale & its impacts do not stop at national borders. Poor dune management or climate change adaptations in one country will negatively impact on the adjacent country. Despite clear need for cooperation, dune management usually occurs in isolation at an ad-hoc local level & does not cross borders. We do not currently make best use of existing high concentration of dune management & scientific expertise within the 2 Seas. We do not effectively share assets/ideas & transnational scientific expertise is not reaching dune managers on the ground. A collaborative approach is crucial to combat the current system of isolated working. Our coastlines are shared & this must be reflected in our ways of working to secure dune adaptive capacity & ensure resilience to climate change impacts into the future.
During the first year of the ENDURE Project, ensuring the resilience of sand dunes against climate change, has seen all partners meet their targets. The next two years will also be full of activities and deliverables.
One goal of the project was to produce a mapping tool to help both dune site owners and managers but also help inform a wider range of organisations. Building this tool required working with a contractor S.Deltares; the partners are working hard to make first drafts available in the second quarter of 2019.
The mapping tool will also be accompanied by examples of land use management. These scenario-based images will show what happens to fictional sites when applying various planning decisions. This will become a great tool for raising awareness at policy level!
Another essential component of the work is looking at soft methods for dune management. The contract for making the sand net, which will be used to capture sand and help reduce erosion in the Baie de l'Authie in France, was signed and installation will happen early 2019. This was accompanied by drone footage to map the situation pre-installation. Drone monitoring will help create visual results. The drones also monitored the situation of sand movements around mussel posts and the project will monitor their impact on wave action. This may even prove that mussel posts also act as a cost-effective solution to harsh erosion of the dunes.
Working with stakeholders has been the backbone of 2018 and has helped the work around the strategy to control access to dune sites. Interesting ideas are emerging at 4 sites in the UK and this will be accompanied by an innovative awareness raising campaign to ensure effectiveness.
Raising awareness is also a major priority and all partners have begun working with stakeholders and observer partners to look at solutions to increase knowledge amongst the general public, but also increase site managers' capacity for ensuring better dune resilience. A full campaign will be launched in 2019.
The project has also created a series of social media profiles to run alongside the website and there has been good engagement with the page so far, this will play an important part in future dissemination and engagement.
Through all these activities, interactions with experts from the 4 countries, not only within the partnership, but also the observers/stakeholders, has helped shape the work, methods and monitoring. We are very much looking forward to 2019!