In performing all of these duties, communication with the local authorities and the citizens is a key component of the approach taken by the department COAST. The citizen, the customers but also the numerous coast holiday-makers are informed in the best possible way about our duties, achievements and projects.
Besides the means of involvement required by law, the department, for the purposes of disseminating information and creating awareness, uses open meetings, exhibitions, information boards, information booths, statements in the media and in publications. Through our educational projects we try to rouse the interest of young people.
In addition, the department frequently participates in large coast and art exhibitions as well as coast- and sea-related events in the region.
The department COAST aims to provide high-quality service. Therefore, an adequate quality policy should not be overlooked. The cornerstone of this quality policy is the development of an environmental and quality management system in accordance with the ISO standards.
On 2 January 2014 the certificate for ISO 9001:2008 was granted to the department COAST. This ISO standard puts high demands on an organisation’s quality management system.
Already in 2014, the department COAST launched the implementation process of the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems. This is an internationally recognised standard relating to the environmental management of organisations. Through this environmental management system, the department aims to study, keep under control and limit its impact on the environment, as well as ensuring that it conforms to environmental legislation. As a government agency, the department COAST also seeks to fulfil an exemplary role as regards the environment. Indeed, by implementing this environmental management system, it sends a clear signal to contractors, service providers and suppliers.
The quality policy is complemented by the use of an automated Project Management Tool for the monitoring of the infrastructure projects and the rollout of business continuity planning.
Knowledge Enhancement and Anchoring
In view of the specific nature of the duties of the department COAST the anchoring and expanding of the available knowledge, both national and international, is of paramount importance. The department has extensive technical knowledge and experience with respect to hydraulic engineering, both along the coast and in marinas and fishing ports. There is also specific know-how about coast erosion, tides, wave dynamics, management of dune areas, hydrography and hydrometeorology.
Additionally, exchange of knowledge with neighbouring countries is stimulated to continue to view the issue of sea defence works in a wider European context. The department COAST makes valued contributions to national and international conferences, workshops and training programmes, and also acts as a partner in numerous European projects. Through structural cooperation with the Maritime Academy to offer and take training courses, the department COAST guarantees that it has qualified hydrographic personnel.
In the interest of knowledge exchange and enhancement, the department COAST is represented in the North Sea Coastal Management Group, PIANC, NOOS, GOOS, … Through international cooperation, they seek to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their duties as well as to render them sustainable in the long run.