Flemish government aims to protect coast against 3m rise in sea levels
The Flemish government has granted initial approval to the Coastal Vision strategic policy plan to safeguard Belgium's coast against a potential 3m rise in sea levels. Despite the increasing threat of rising sea levels, the government is planning to adapt each coastal zone gradually over the next century, the Mobility & Public Works department said in a recent press release.
With Coastal Vision, the Flemish government is investigating how to protect the coast against further sea level rise in the long term. The strategic policy builds on the Coastal Safety Master Plan, which contains a series of measures to protect the coast against heavy storm surges and a 1,000-year storm until 2050. That plan still adheres to a rise in sea levels of up to 30 cm.
The overarching goal is to shift the coastline an average of 100 m seaward in the long to very long term by elevating and expanding beaches. "Optimal timing and phasing will be further developed in the coming years in the first action plan 2024-2034. We also leave freedom of choice to future generations," says Edward Van Keer, Coastal Vision project leader.
Flemish Minister of Public Works Lydia Peeters reports that the proposed interventions are feasible and "offer every opportunity to keep our coast attractive for everyone in the long term".
The plan anticipates the need for additional coastal protection measures in the ports of Ostend, Blankenberge and Zeebrugge over the coming decades. For instance, Zeebrugge's outer port will require elevation in numerous locations within the next 35 years.
#FlandersNewsService |© BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE