Nature-based solutions in Knokke by Jan De Nul

Using natural elements to protect a vulnerable coastline against heavy storms: Jan De Nul calls it nature-based solutions.

In the Belgian coastal municipality of Knokke, their trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Pedro Álvares Cabral brought about 980,000 m³ of dredged sand to the beaches to raise and protect them from flooding.

During the works, the TSHD runs on 100% sustainable drop-in biofuel. This not only reduces CO₂ emissions, but also releases significantly less fine dust into the air. 

“The project was executed in the most sustainable way, a Code Zero way,” said Jan De Nul.

Jan De Nul photo

Due to its low position and rising sea level – a consequence of global warming – the Belgian coast is very vulnerable.

Beach nourishment remains the most effective measure to protect us from floods from the sea, even though it requires regular maintenance. Moreover, replenishments create a natural environment where not only people but also plants and animals can have their place. These works fit within the framework of Masterplan Kustveiligheid.

Photo: Jan De Nul