Building with Nature

Sand Motor

In Zeetoren, a visitor center welcomes the public who can find information on the innovative coastal defense project ‘Sand Motor’. In this project, ARK Nature, the province of South-Holland, and hydraulic engineers work together to improve coastal protection through offshore sand supplementation. This extra sand makes the beach and dune area broader and more robust, in order to have more natural and recreational space available in this region.

The Delta Commission in 2008 decided that the huge reservoir of sand under the North Sea should be used to build out the coastline. It is deposited on land, and then ‘left to nature’. This particular project was started in January 2011, with 21.5 million cubic meters of sand mined, transported and deposited to create a 100ha site called ‘sand motor’. It is already deformed into interesting profiles, supporting new species on embryo dunes, and proving to be a windsurfers’ paradise. The project is paid for by the government, and monitored by European Fund for Regulatory Development.

The Sand Motor was built on the coast of South Holland south of Scheveningen. It forms a beach nourishment of about 100 hectares, which has multiple functions:

The project was funded from a Leonardo da Vinci grant.