The Coastal Division regularly conducts beach nourishments in order to increase the safety against flooding from the sea. On the one hand, these nourishments are carried out within the framework of the Master Plan for Coastal Safety and on the other hand, as maintenance to continue to guarantee the level of safety. Because of the natural dynamics of the coastal system our beaches are subject to erosion and sedimentation. Maintenance of risk zones is usually done through a beach replenishment, by providing the sand directly on the beach.
An alternative is the foreshore replenishment. In this process, the sand is supplied under the low water line, to the foreshore. Because of the natural dynamics, the sand can then move to the beach above the low-water line and as such feed the beach in a natural way.
The advantage of a foreshore nourishment is that its implementation causes fewer nuisance on the beach. In addition, it is also cheaper than the ordinary beach replenishment. Foreshore nourishments on the Flemish coast are less known. To determine whether this method is suitable as an alternative replenishing method for the beaches on our coast, the Coastal Division has made a foreshore replenishment in 2014 in Mariakerke (Ostend). Along with Hydraulics Research, this zone is being regularly monitored until the end of 2018. In the spring of 2019, we expect the results of this research. Based on these results the impact of the foreshore nourishment and the adjacent beach in Mariakerke will be assessed. Because the movement of the sand on the foreshore can differ from area to area along the coastline, the Coastal Division monitors and evaluates also the foreshore nourishment that was laid out in 2017 in Nieuwpoort.