Dredging Induced Coastal Erosion

Our extract from the European EUROSION Project of 29th October 2005 “…a project contracted by the European Commission to a consortium led by the Dutch National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management (RIKZ) for the period 2002-2004” failed transportation to our new website, and the original paper too from Internet access.

As it is still topical, here again is the main extract on the link between offshore aggregate dredging and loss of the coastline, as direct quotations:

2.2.2. Human structures and activities have exacerbated coastal erosion

To a lesser extent, coastal erosion is also exacerbated by human activities which are implemented in some cases hundreds of kilometres away from their zone of impact. This has proved to be particularly the case for:

(ii) Aggregate extraction. Dredging of river and seabed for navigational purposes (i.e. deepening navigation channels) or constructional purposes (e.g. sand and gravel mining) removes an important amount of sediments. This creates a sediment starvation which is in certain circumstances compensated by (re)activation erosion processes along the shore areas. This has proved to be the case in a significant number of cases including Cove do Vapor (Portugal), the Western Scheldt estuary (Netherlands and Belgium), Donegal (Ireland), Cavado (Portugal), and North Norfolk (UK). In some cases, dredging activities, by modifying the water depth in the near-shore area, induce wave refraction which in turn modify the long-shore and cross-shore sediment transport patterns.

There exist many more Scientific Studies from around the world on the erosion resulting from offshore sand and gravel dredging but based mainly upon computerised assumptive ‘research’ made by those selected, appointed and paid for by the dredgers themselves, the British Government continues to claim that they are unaware of any evidence linking offshore sand and aggregate dredging with the rapidly increasing loss of our shoreline. But well founded evidence of the impact exists from researched empirical findings carried out by independent investigators with a more enlightened understanding.


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