Operational Recommendations for Ecosystem-based Large-scale sand Extraction

Project: Research

Project Details


Governments, fishermen, dredgers, nature organizations and researchers see that sand stocks are dwindling worldwide, while more and more sand from the North Sea will be needed to protect our coast against rising sea levels. We also extract a lot of sand in the Netherlands, especially from the North Sea. Every year we extract about 12 to 15 million cubic meters to protect our coast and about 15 million cubic meters as filling sand for roads and residential areas and for concrete and masonry sand. Every year we excavate a piece of seabed with the surface of the Schiermonnikoog island at a depth of about eighty centimeters. But our sand requirement continues to rise. Not only because we want to build more roads, homes and residential areas, but also because rising sea levels mean we need more and more sand for coastal protection. In this project a consortium of 21 partners and stakeholders will develop new knowledge and tools about the effects of sand extraction, with the goal to understand how it may be done sustainably despite the rising need for it. The project is led by Wageningen Marine Research and has been awarded funding under the ‘Onderzoek op Routes door Consortia’ (NWA ORC-call 2020/2021) scheme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Breda University of Applied Sciences will contribute with its MSP Challenge Simulation Platform, thereby developing and applying a bespoke sand extraction oriented North Sea edition, in close collaboration with data and simulation providing partners in the project.
AcronymOR ELSE
Effective start/end date1/09/221/09/27


  • Rijkswaterstaat Water, Verkeer en Leefomgeving


  • simulation gaming
  • serious gaming
  • maritime spatial planning
  • marine spatial planning
  • planning support systems
  • digital twins
  • complexty


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