Churchill Fellowship Part 2: The European Leg
The European part of Alessio’s fellowship has started with the first stop in Spain to attend the International Conference on Coastal Engineering. The next stop was France, where several innovative coastal stabilisation techniques have been implemented in the last decade. Alessio visited the commercial beach drainage installation located in Les Sables-d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast where a dewatering system to lower the beach groundwater has been operating since 1999.
Alessio visiting Ecoplage® beach drainage system in Sables-d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast with Ecoplage CEO Jean-Yves Audrain. Several hundred metres of drain pipes are buried in the sand and connected to a pumping station.
After France, Alessio headed to the Dutch research institute Deltares in Delft. The Netherlands, with only about 450 kilometres of coastline, is world-leading in the fields of coastal engineering and coastal management. This is due to the ongoing fight Dutch people have been conducting against rising sea levels on subsiding land. Presently in the Netherlands, 9 million people are living below mean sea level and 70% of the gross domestic product is being earned from these areas (Mulder et al., 2011).
Alessio presented WRL activities to Deltares researchers and discussed the Dutch experience in coastal protection and management with Dr Jan Mulder and Dr Leo Van Rijn of the Morphology and Sediment Dynamics Department. Alessio also visited several stretches along the Holland coast where storm surge barriers, dune reconstruction and mega-nourishment are implemented.
Alessio standing on the 20 Million cubic metre sand renourishment of the Sand Motor on the Zuid-Holland coast. The Sand Motor is an innovative way of coastal protection and expansion.
Mulder, J.P.M., Hommesa, S. and Horstman, E.M. (2011) “Implementation of Coastal Erosion Management in the Netherlands”, Ocean & Coastal Management 54, 888-897