Ecosystem Services Assessment of the Prins Hendrik Zanddijk

The International Association of Dredging Companies’ (IADC) latest edition of their Terra et Aqua magazine featured a very interesting article named ‘Ecosystem services assessment of the Prins Hendrik Zanddijk’.

Image source: IADC

This study examines which and, if possible, how much more ecosystem services are provided by the most recent nature inspired coastal protection project Prins Hendrik Zanddijk, in comparison with a traditional concrete and asphalt construction.

During the last decade, reclamation of a sandbody as a coastal protection measure has evolved into a viable and attractive alternative to handbook-engineering using concrete and asphalt.

The latter, considered traditional coastal protection methods, offers the reassurance of multiple generations of engineering experience and reliability.

Nature based solutions (NBS) are defined as ‘solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously providing environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience’ (European Commission 2019).

NBS such as sandbody designs must cope with dynamic behaviour and variability of the building material as well as with uncertainty of maintenance costs. The quantification of the cost-effective part of this definition remains a difficult task.


Jan Fordeyn (Jan De Nul Group) | Katrien Van der Biest (University of Antwerp) | Emile Lemey  (Jan De Nul Group) | Annelies Boerema (University of Antwerp) | Patrick Meire (University of Antwerp)