Coastal management

The coast is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean. It is constantly changing, due to the dynamics of waves and currents, while human interventions and activities interrupt this natural process.In general, coastal zone management aims at maintaining a fixed coastline, hence, compensating for natural induced erosion and sedimentation. Interventions in the coastal area, such as the construction of flood protection or maritime infrastructure can have widespread and long-term effects.

Understanding coastal systems is essential to develop, protect, and restore coastal communities, economic activities, and nature. A detailed prediction of the effect of land reclamations, nearshore wind farms, and coastal protection infrastructure is indispensable for a solid and optimal design. Inland planning requires reliable coastal flood risk assessments.

Royal HaskoningDHV has many years of experience and extensive expertise in all components of coastal management. We are a leading service provider with a large team of experts in coastal morphology, metocean conditions, ecology, flood resilience, social impacts, transport and economy. With our dedicated modelling tools, we provide added value for the management of coastal systems.

More information and example projects on different aspects of coastal management can be found below.

Analysis of processes shaping the coast

Coastline evolution is the result of a complex interaction between natural processes and human activities. Understanding, predicting and managing morphological development of coastlines is one of many challenges for coastal areas worldwide, either in a sandy or muddy coastal environment. At Royal HaskoningDHV we solve coastal problems using a combination of (remote sensing) data analysis and state-of-the-art numerical modelling.

Coastal flooding and erosion Banjul
Bonny Island erosion mitigation
Mississippi barrier island restoration

Coastal protection solutions

Protection of the coastal area is vital for maintaining livelihood, nature and economic activities. Solutions protecting coastal areas from erosion can comprise of structural and/or nature-based measures. Royal HaskoningDHV has applied numerical modelling for the assessment and improvement of coastal protection solutions along many beaches worldwide. With a profound understanding of the relevant physical processes we add value to sustainable design and optimization of coastal protection solutions.

Master plan Colombia
Maiyegun Beach Estate Protection
Beach protection solutions at Saint Martin

Land reclamations design

Although the global coastline is 620.000 km long, livable coastal areas are scarce. Approximately 45% of the world population lives within 150 km of the coast. Growing population and economy, puts the coastline under pressure. In many countries, new land is reclaimed from the sea.  Reclaimed land changes the coastline and affects sediment transport patterns downdrift.

Design of land reclamations is Royal HaskoningDHV’s core expertise. . Over a hundred years of experience in metocean conditions, coastal morphology, ecology, social impacts, transport and economy, enables us to add value to the design of land reclamation. Optimization is realized by determining accurate hydraulic design conditions, based on numerical models and decades of hands-on experience, reducing the adverse impact on the coast.

Land reclamation design in Manila Bay
Land reclamation design in Indonesia

Nature-based solutions for coastal management

The majority of the world’s coast is subject to erosion as a result of climate change and human activities. Hydropower dams and sand mining in rivers reduce sediment supply to the deltas and coasts. Maritime infrastructure, i.e. ports, interrupt longshore sediment transport.

Coastal erosion can be effectively combatted by Nature-based solutions such as beach nourishments, mangrove rehabilitation and sediment trapping. Royal HaskoningDHV is at the forefront of investigating (and implementing) soft coastal protection measures, developing guidelines and knowledge for (and with) governments, EU, and the World Bank. We support and optimize the design of Nature-based solutions for public and private clients.

More information can be found here.

Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme
Enhanced mud sedimentation to reduce turbidity and grow with sea-level rise

Integrated flood risk assessment

Coastal inundation is one of the natural risks in coastal areas, where densely populated areas are threatened by rising sea levels and increasingly frequent extreme storm events. Royal HaskoningDHV is contracted globally by governments, private investors, and multilateral institutions to advise in integrated flood risk adaptation and mitigation. We use advanced models for predicting design conditions related to hydrodynamics, waves and (tropical) storms.

Coastal hazards in Vietnam
Surge modelling for flood risk Miami
Erosion protection at Saint Barth