Over the past decades, there has been a growing interest in exploring innovative ways to minimise the environmental footprint of coastal developments and in nature-based approaches for shoreline protection. At Mubarraz Island near Abu Dhabi (UAE), an international oil company beneficially reused ~12 million m³ of dredged material to protect pipelines, construct a causeway and create mangrove habitat to manage coastal erosion. This ‘Working with Nature’ approach has provided a cost-effective nature-based solution for shoreline protection, with added benefits for biodiversity conservation.
In June 2019, the research team of the LIFE MARINAPLAN PLUS project began operating the first-of-a-kind demonstration plant installation at the harbour entrance of Marina di Cervia (Italy). Fulfilling the project’s objective to apply at industrial scale a reliable technology for the sustainable management of sediment in marine infrastructures, this technology prevents harbour silting through the use of submerged devices called ‘ejectors’ installed on the seabed.
Managing sediments, especially from dredging, is important for the management of estuaries and coastal areas. When implemented in the right way, a sediment management strategy can be qualified as a nature-based solution as it uses the physical processes of erosion and sedimentation to create added value. There is a need for an evaluation of sediment strategies and the habitats that are created for a wider range of objectives than only biodiversity and nature conservation. The concept of ecosystem services provides this broader framework.
Can nature-based solutions be mainstream solutions? Nature-based solutions have obvious advantages but have not been embraced at wider scale. The barriers which can hinder wide-scale application and the topic’s relevance to the dredging community are discussed.
The Bacton Sandscaping scheme is a large-scale beach nourishment designed to protect the Bacton Gas Terminal from cliff and beach erosion while also reducing flood and erosion risk to the communities of Bacton and Walcott, buying the time they need for adaptation to coastal change.
This study examines which and, if possible, how much more ecosystem services are provided by the most recent nature inspired coastal protection project Prins Hendrik Zanddijk, in comparison with a traditional concrete and asphalt construction.
CEDA’s Working Group on Beneficial Use aims to inspire sediment stakeholders and practitioners by describing the importance of sediments in the context of sustainable development and sharing a curated selection of case studies.