Half of the world’s population lives within 200 km from the sea. Coastal areas are clusters of dense population, valuable assets such as port infrastructure, human activities, commercial and industrial business, fishing and shipping. Tourism adds to the enormous value generated along the coast and the immediate hinterland. It all happens on a small stretch of land, which is home to rich but fragile natural habitats.
Coastal protection provides defense against flooding and erosion, caused by waves and tides, winds, currents and littoral drift. Sea level rising, global climate change and melting of the ice caps will increase the need for coastal defense. DEME has acquired knowledge and experience of various techniques in this field: construction of hard structures such as seawalls; breakwaters to protect exposed harbours; underwater bunds; fixed piers or open-piled jetties; sand traps such as groynes; coastal armouring with revetments, gabions, acropodes as well as soft engineering solutions including sand dune stabilization and beach nourishment.