COWI Working on Major Coastal Protection Study

COWI – in cooperation with NIRAS, DHI, and Hasløv & Kjærsgaard – is working on a feasibility study that will analyze the best solutions for the protection of the Denmark’s North Coast.

The study is focusing on beach nourishment along half of the coastline combined with individual coastal structures covering the rest of the coast. When finished, the study will determine the type of coastal protection to be employed and will prioritize sections of the coast.

According to COWI’s coast specialist, Christian Helledie, severe storm from December 6th 2013, the Bodil, caused major damage and coastal erosion along the North Coast.

Bodil caused a deterioration in conditions along the North Coast and acted as a wake-up call. The damage was so great because structures intended to protect the coast are in many cases worn down and poorly maintained,” said Helledie.

The storm emphasized the need for maintaining beaches and coastal protection measures in order to protect the North Coast against future storms and sea level rise,” added Helledie.

Due to erosion, several beaches have already disappeared along the North Coast. The erosion takes place not only at cliff slopes and beaches but also below the water on the foreshore. Water depths gradually increase in front of existing coastal protection structures, leading to extensive coastal damage during violent storms such as Bodil.

The clients who ordered the study for the future coastal protection between Hundested and Helsingør are the North Coast local authorities of Halsnæs, Gribskov and Helsingør.

Beach nourishment for the North Coast has been discussed for decades. It is a positive development, that after so many years, active cooperation is now in place to determine the best solution for coastal protection.” said Christian Helledie. “This study will conclude in a report that gives councilors of the three authorities a basis on how the regional coastal protection, with beach nourishment as an essential element, can be achieved.

Beach nourishment on this scale has never been carried out before in Denmark, except on the West Coast for which the Danish Coastal Authority and the Government are responsible.