Boskalis, as one of the partners in the Ecoshape consortium, has embarked on a five-year Building with Nature project to halt coastal erosion in northeast Java, Indonesia.
More than six thousand villages (thirty million people) on Indonesia’s enormous coastline could be washed away.
Hard defenses in the form of dikes are pointless on muddy coasts like Indonesia’s.
The innovative approach, with dams, land reclamation and new mangrove forests, aims to turn the tide.
Boskalis has just released this very interesting video about the coastal erosion in northeast Java:
Land reclamation, village elders and aquaculture
Erosion cannot be entirely prevented using dams and new mangrove forests.
It is possible to help nature along by using dredging equipment to bring in mud to the coast from the shallow Java Sea close by.
“The coastline can recover considerably within five years in this way,” said Jaap van Thiel de Vries, a program manager with Ecoshape and a Boskalis senior engineer.
“As well as support from national and regional governments, the cooperation of local residents is indispensable.”
In the past, this was a prosperous district but the prawn farms signaled the end for fishing and rice growing; since the collapse of prawn farming, the economy has collapsed.
That is why the program also provides for new socio-economic development.