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.
The past year flew by for ENDURE. It all started with weather finally permitting the installation of the sand-net in the Baie de l'Authie. Our flagship pilot site was finally active! This itself closely followed the partners meeting in Berck-Sur-Mer. This meeting marked a further strengthening of the cross-border working in the project with all partners now not only work partners, but also firm Interreg friends - the beauty of cross-border cooperation!
In the UK, after choosing the 4 ENDURE pilot sites in 2018, 2019 was a year of action. Identifying Horsey to Winterton as a key site for installing rope and post fencing to protect dunes and seals from human activity (100,000 visitors monthly October to February). 2km of said rope and post was installed in October 2019 in partnership with our observer partner the Friends of Horsey Seals.
Another of the ENDURE goals, alongside dune resilience through ecosystem-based approaches, is to increase stakeholder capacity and knowledge, and to create new management tools. In 2019 we agreed as a partnership to work both on land use scenarios but also and above all to work on scenarios of sea level rise, storminess and on dune capacity to deal with these issues. On our beta version of the viewer (https://endure.openearth.eu/endure/index.htm), you can see transects for Belgium and the Netherlands (UK and FR still in development). These transects will show if that site is ready to deal with 2m sea level rise and increased storms. It also shows accretion and erosion patterns in the recent past.
This tool is being developed with stakeholders in mind, so at our meeting in Egmond-aan-Zee in September 2019 we invited them along to test and feedback on the tool. We will continue to do this in 2020.
The third strand of ENDURE is to raise awareness. So we launched a communications campaign to support our work at pilots in the UK, which you may have seen, since our flagship video has reached 50,000 views (as of December 2019). The campaign aims to raise awareness and influence behaviour in dune visitors - respect and protect your dunes!
We held citizen science events in France and Belgium, attended themed events to promote dune protection in France and organised guided dune walks with members of the coastal communities in the UK. Of course, a lot of our outputs and deliverables aren't 100% complete, so the awareness and training campaign will really start hotting up in 2020!