The case study is located in the southern North Sea, in the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea. The total Wadden Sea area is 14.700 km2 , the Dutch part is around 4.000 km2 .The main hazards in the region are climate change impact, sea level rise, storm surge, erosion and coastal flood.
The risk for this area in also cause by high exposure including a high density of people and infrastructures. Moreover the Dutch Wadden sea cost is characterized by a great presence of industry and in general production capacities located in the flood-prone areas. Despite this situation the Dutch people have implemented robust hydraulic structures and high capacities to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from hazard impact. However uncertainty about some of the impacts of climate change call for renewed efforts and investment in innovative solutions through the implementation of green infrastructures. Therefore the main objective is to assess the flood risk reduction performance and co-benefits of GI measures in the Dutch Wadden Sea.
Green infrastructure measures in the area mainly consist of sand engines and artificial beach nourishment (sandy coasts, muddy coasts); sand dunes; vegetated foreshores: wetlands (e.g. salt marshes); mussel beds / shellfish reefs. The Netherlands has adopted the “building with nature” approach which is reflected in the policy documents such as the National Programme for Spatial Adaptation to Climate Change and Delta Programme. The Delta Programme has sufficient long-term funding secured by the Dutch Government and Delta Commissioner.
Sand engines and artificial beach nourishment, vegetated foreshores and mussel beds were implemented in the Wadden Sea at several locations both in small and large scale. The GI solutions have been extensively monitored over the past years and replicated in different sites. Moreover, the project financing schemes used in previous cases could be adopted for future studies. Therefore, the upscaling and replicability potential of the coastal GI solutions in the Dutch Wadden Sea is high.