VLIZ bundles knowledge relevant to the future development and coastal protection of the Belgian East Coast until 2100 | Compendium Coast and Sea

VLIZ bundles knowledge relevant to the future development and coastal protection of the Belgian East Coast until 2100

Over the past decade, the long-term development of the Flemish Coast has been studied within the Flemish Bays project and the subsequent Complex Project Coastal Vision. Within both projects, a main area of concern was the protection of our coast against the rapidly changing climate.

Global warming initiated a worldwide ever-accelerating sea-level rise, which is also affecting the Belgian coastal waters. It has been observed that the present-day annual sea-level heights are far higher than those measured at the start of the measurement in 1951. Therefore, increasing the coastal protection against this rising sea-level, a changing climate and associated extreme storm surges is of crucial importance.

Since the start of the Flemish Bays – project in 2009, a significant amount of scientific research has already been produced that is directly or indirectly relevant to the protection of the Flemish coast. An important focus area throughout this research is the zone east of the port of Zeebrugge. This area, in between the port and the Dutch border, is reserved for important hydraulic engineering works, which would help facilitate both superior coastal protection as well as opportunities for estuarine traffic between the Belgian coastal ports and the Scheldt estuary. 

This Policy Informing Brief maps out the scientific research conducted on this area, and is relevant for Belgian coastal protection. To this end, 107 publications were compiled and discussed, based on their hydrodynamic, sedimentological, ecological or socio-economical research areas. In addition, publications on the legal framework were added as well as on the nearby ammunition dumpsite of the Paardenmarkt. Lastly, the PIB gives an overview of all research projects and –initiatives that already took place in Flanders in the context of coastal protection of the Belgian coast.

Rondelez, J.; Pirlet, H. (2018). Beleidsinformerende nota: Synthese van het wetenschappelijk onderzoek in de context van Vlaamse Baaien // Complex Project Kustvisie – Met de Belgische Oostkust als focusgebied. VLIZ Beleidsinformerende Nota's, BIN 2018_001. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISBN 9789492043504. vi, 29 pp. The pdf of the document is downloadable on the VLIZ-website: http://www.vliz.be/imisdocs/publications/312235.pdf

(c) cover image: Flemish Government, Department of Mobility and Public Works, Flanders Hydraulics Research