De Zandmotor (The Sand Motor )
What is the Sand Motor?
Every year, the sea carries sand away from the Dutch coast. Every five years, Rijkswaterstaat supplements this with sand deposits (sand replenishment) on the beach and in front of the coast. Were they not to do so, the sea would threaten the western part of the Netherlands, which lies below sea level. The five-yearly sand replenishment works, but couldn't coastal protection be more sustainable and natural?
The construction of the Sand Motor, a peninsula off the coast of Ter Heijde, explores whether nature can spread the sand along the coast for us. Needless to say, the Netherlands is not experimenting with the safety of its residents; the coastal defences are at full strength at the time the Sand Motor is built.
Building with nature
The Sand Motor is a fine example of building with nature. By depositing a large quantity of sand in one go, we prevent repeated disturbance of the vulnerable seabed. Nature puts the sand in the right place for us.
Unique in the world
An experiment like the Sand Motor has never been carried out before. With this pilot project, the Netherlands continues to set the standard in water management. By working with the water instead of against it.