Coastal Protection in the Past Coastal Zone Management in the Future? Case Study for the Ems—Weser Area, Germany

by H. Kunz, Niedersachsisches Landesamt fur, Okologie, Nordemey, Germany,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastlines of the Southern North Sea


The mainland along the German North Sea coast is low lying land; parts are sheltered by islands. History of coastal protection started about one thousand years ago; in the 13th century the embanking of the whole coast was largely completed; in the second half of the 19th century all exposed dikes were fixed. Eroding parts of the islands have been stabilized by solid constructions since the middle of the last century. After the severe storm floods of 1953 and 1962 the coastal protection line has been intensely strengthened. The basis for the actual coastal protection works are legal plans. They promise security against flooding by a coastal defence line according to fixed design criteria. Coastal protection, stabilization of islands, and land reclamation created static boundary conditions and limited substantially the ability of the Wadden Sea to react dynamically and develop naturally.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Case studies | Seas and oceans | Islands | Floods | Land reclamation | History | Levees and dikes | Germany | Europe | North Sea | Wadden Sea

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