Between Camperduin and Petten on the coast of North Holland, there is an iconic piece of water architecture. More than 35 million cubic metres of sand have been poured in front of the existing stone dike, moving the coastline 300 metres towards the sea and creating a completely new area of sand dunes.
Raising the current dike was not an option as that would have required relocating parts of the village of Petten. Instead, the Hollands Noorderkwartier Water Authority chose to pour sand. The advantage of this method is that the dunes can grow along with rising sea levels.
Using new models, scientists calculated what would happen to the dune in the event of a superstorm, and how much of the sand poured into the sea would wash away over the coming years. This resulted in a design in which the contracting consortium
Van Oord/Boskalis are so confident that they are willing to provide all of the maintenance for the next 20 years.
The contractor succeeded in depositing the sand at exactly the right position in less than one year. It spanned a length of 8 km and a width of 1 km, extending from 300 metres above the water line to 700 metres below the water line; a gigantic task that was carried out with precision.
A unique aspect of this coastal defence is the way in which it combines safety, nature and recreation with a beautiful design. The wishes of the residents and other stakeholders were honoured for the most part, including the construction of a lagoon for bathers,
the establishment of a nature preserve and the construction of a 24 metre high lookout tower at Petten.
In North Holland, the Flood Protection Programme has created an area of new land larger than over 400 football pitches, in which flood defence, nature and recreation are rolled into one.