ENDURE is a project co-financed by ERDF through the INTERREG Two Seas Programme 2014-2020 (http://www.endure.eu.com/). The project improves adaptation capacity to climate change by focusing on 2 Seas coastal sand dunes (Netherlands, Belgium, parts of France and UK coasts). The capacity of 2 Seas stakeholders to apply ecosystem-based management approaches, less relying on hard engineering interventions will be increased. The consortium is based on cross-border expertise and aims to inform and supply new purpose-developed solutions to answer real world dune management problems occurring now under climate change. The partners work to improve and restore the ecosystem ability of dunes to act as adaptive, living sea defences for a coastline which is more naturally resilient to erosion, flooding and sea level rise. The most significant involvement for Flanders Hydraulics Research is activity A2.3 Early warning system for dunes: using marram grass as a natural indicator for dune health with heat maps to quickly/easily ID vulnerable areas. Along with the other Belgian partner, Ghent University, Biology, Terrestrial Ecology Unit, FHR is investigating the relationship between coastal dunes morphology and ecology. The Digital Terrain Models built on the detailed maps of the Belgian coastal dunes from the last 10 years will be used in two ways:
- To investigate the general evolution of the coastal dunes at regional level (Flanders) and at decadal time scale. Sediment budget(s) will be constructed and correlation to beach evolution is ongoing.
- Provide support, collaboration and feedback for the ecological models developed by UGent constructed to identify the vulnerability of the coastal dunes. The findings from Belgium will be used to assess the vulnerability of the coastal dunes for the entire 2 Seas area.