Case studies: Dutch Coastal Laboratories

Effectiveness of nourishments

The coastal laboratories consist mostly of shoreface or beach nourishments that will be assessed regarding climate change adaptation. Three laboratories are located in The Netherlands: Domburg, Zandvoort and Bergen-Egmond. These coastal towns are nourished frequently. The experience of the behaviour of these nourishments will contribute to the evidence base of the effectiveness of nourishments in the NSR.


The nourishments in the laboratories are investigated in a similar way by the use of Coastal State Indicators, volume calculations and the shoreface breaker bar systems (if present).


The results show that, depending on your strategic goals and local situation, slightly different Nature-Based solutions should be applied.

For each lab, the research shows a different solution which mitigated the problems that are present locally. The rate and/or extent of which the solutions are effective, varies because of local conditions. To ensure the overall regional/national BwN strategy being effective and efficient, local dedicated methods are recommended.


Domburg is protected by a sandy shoreface in front of a narrow dune ridge. The beach is intensively used for recreation. The beach width is naturally small because of a nearby (nautical) gully. Beach nourishments are regularly applied to keep the coastline at its current position to ensure protection against flooding and recreational purposes.


Zandvoort is a well-known holiday destination for many Dutch and German citizens. A visit to this beach in summer is popular and can therefore it be very crowded. The shoreface of Zandvoort has been nourished multiple times. These shoreface nourishments counteract the ongoing natural beach erosion by influencing the underwater sandy breaker bars and keep the coastline at its desired position.


Another frequently nourished location along the Dutch coast is the Bergen-Egmond stretch. At this location, a beach and shoreface nourishment combination is often applied to keep the coastline at its current position and protect the natural dune areas

Future research directions

  • Performance of these strategies and solutions under extreme sea level rise scenario's.


All documents of the BwN project can be found at publications, below you find the documents belonging to this specific case study: