Officials to study the effects of sand mining in the North Sea

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Worldwide, sand reserves are dwindling, while more and more sand is needed to protect coastlines from rising sea levels.

As part of the national scientific agenda, a study will be launched on the ecological optimization of sand extraction in the North Sea.

In this project, government authorities, fishermen, dredgers, nature organizations and researchers will collaborate in the ecological optimization of sand extraction.

Sand extraction is expected to increase significantly for the purpose of natural protection of sandy shores against flooding and for major infrastructure projects.

The large-scale extraction of marine sand causes considerable effects on the ecosystem due to changes in currents and sediment transport, as well as physical disturbance of benthic habitats.

Sand supply is, and will remain, an important component of the Dutch coastal management strategy. The Netherlands extracts relatively large quantities of sand and the country is faced with the challenge of making the optimal decisions to minimize the ecological impact, while meeting the national demand for sand.

Consortium partners for the project include Deltares, Wageningen University & Research (consortium leader), Delft University of Technology, NIOZ, University of Twente, North Sea Foundation, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Breda University of Applied Sciences , Rijkswaterstaat Sea and Delta , Boskalis and Van Oord.

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