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.
In a year that has felt like it lasted 1,000 days, ENDURE is thrilled to have completed two outputs, with a third on the cusp of being completed in early 2021.
A sharp refocus away from physical delivery towards remote working to push through our mapping tools was needed in April when we were left with travel restrictions, lockdown and bans on outdoor working on pilot sites.
In Work Package 1, our sand net work moved away from the pilot site and into an indoor facility lab, enabled our work to continue despite the pandemic and produce our report. We managed to press ahead with plans to protect the under pressure dunes at Winterton-on-Sea with rope and posts, and stronger fencing on the dune cliff, protecting 20,000m2 of dunes from human pressure, and visitors from danger at the same time. Little did we know that was to be the last time we could work on site...Still we managed to combine this with installation of people counters to monitor the impact of our rope and post fencing and we'll be able to visualise this as the development of our online data platform continues in 2021.
From April our attention really turned to finalising work on our now finalised two mapping tools:
- Firstly a mapping tool, showing marram health and predicted dune growth/erosion, also showing dune resilience at several sites across the 2 Seas area. The methodology enables site managers and decision makers to reproduce the transect to visualise their dune health/resilience to storms and climate change. A truly unique tool in dune management which we cannot wait to share and promote in 2021.
- Our second tool is a land-use tool, showing how management decisions impact ecosystem services. If a site manager wanted to build a sea wall, how would that effect recreation or wildlife? This tool shows positive and negative impacts of various management methods, and showcases nature based solutions - and dunes - as an essential part of coastal protection.
In this the year to end all years, there had to be one work package negatively impacted, and this was work package 3. Physical outreach events were largely cancelled, and only two guided walks survived the cull, but at reduced capacity. We hope to be able to deliver more in 2021, and if not, we are working on online content to inform and educate about how our wonderful sand dunes work, and how people can help protect them.
We will then share all our outputs at our closing conference, week commencing 20 September 2021, save the date!