Coastal erosion

What is coastal erosion and when is it a problem?
What can be done?
Key concepts
Indicators and monitoring
Potential interventions
Setback lines
Use of models
EU policies and Directives
The way forward
How to do it?
Systematic approach
Decision loop
Relevant Web links


  The way forward


Here we have presented the Frame of Reference as a method for streamlining coastal erosion management. We have also seen that the Frame of Reference can be used as a guidance for applying the EUROSION concepts for making erosion management more sustainable.

  1. Recommendations

1. Recommendations
Although the steps in this Frame are logical and rational, the practice of erosion management shows that many of them are omitted or remain implicit. Often measures are taken without an explicit strategic objective. Coastal state indicators are often not monitored regularly and evaluations are seldom performed. This hampers an effective and sustainable solution to the problem. It also makes erosion control practices less transparent and thus difficult to engage stakeholders in the decision-making process. We have also concluded that the EUROSION recommendations have not yet been implemented at EU and National levels.

We have formulated recommendations for end users at three different levels: the policy makers at EU level, decision makers at national (Member State) level and coastal practitioners at local and regional level. At the EU level there are many potential policy areas where the EUROSION concepts can be taken forward and made more operational. Member States on their turn should set clear objectives for coastal erosion management if not done yet and provide sufficient budget for monitoring and interventions. And coastal practitioners at local level have a task in implementing the EUROSION concepts, monitoring and taking actions if necessary.

At EU level we propose the following recommendations:

  • Promoting the use of the Inspire Directive to support the standardized delineation of coastal sediment cells by incorporating key input datasets required for such delineation into Spatial Data Infrastructure standards being established under the terms of the Directive.
  • Promoting the designation of strategic sediment reservoirs in marine planning by Member States under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and in the spirit of the Soil Strategy.
  • Promoting the use of setback lines in urban areas by Member States under the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment.
  • Promoting a consistent approach to the monitoring of coastal erosion, which will require cooperation between adjoining coastal Member States.


At national Member States level we recommend that:

  • Coastal erosion policies be formulated at national level, both for the short (event) and long (climate change) time scale.
  • Member States use the four basic steps of the Frame of Reference (defining the quantitative state, benchmarking, intervention and evaluation) for implementing the policy at regional or local level.
  • Member States should make effective arrangements with respect to the budgetary requirements of coastal erosion management. Accountability of actions that are detrimental to the favourable sediment status should be part of such arrangements. The effectiveness of public private partnerships under service level agreements should be explored.


For the coastal practitioner we recommend to:

  • Formulate CSIs in order to enable benchmarking and monitoring.
  • Use the EUROSION concepts as guidance for making the steps of the Frame of Reference operational.


A specific targeted research project under the
EU’s 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP6)