Natural processes can strengthen flood defences in our delta. For instance, spacious and vegetated foreshores located in front of dikes absorb wave energy and reduce wave-battering during storm conditions. In addition, foreshores will be built up by trapping sediment and accordingly keep pace with rising sea level. Not only do foreshores in combination with dikes provide improved protection against flooding, nature and recreation also benefit from a restored coastal ecosystem. Vegetated foreshores enhance biodiversity and offer excellent breeding conditions for fish, and space for the Dunlin, Sea Lavender and Samphire. At the same time, humans can enjoy a wonderful environment. The research project ‘Be Safe’ investigates this innovative approach, which combines nature, flood protection and recreation.
To allow growth of the Dutch delta and keep pace with rising sea level, vegetated foreshores play a critical role. Be Safe examines the functioning of foreshores in the field, the laboratory and with computer models. Successful implementation requires innovative cooperation and sharing responsibilities across stakeholders. In Be Safe universities cooperate with governments, water boards, companies and NGO’s to establish a direct link between research and practice.