Ecobeach is a relatively simple, innovative beach drainage system that has been developed with the basic intention to stabilize the sand volume of beaches that are sensitive to erosion. Besides stabilizing the beach, Ecobeach can also lead to sand accretion.
A stable beach and/or accretion of beach has a positive effect on the development of the beach ecosystem. Besides, Ecobeach in combination with a sand nourishment at the foreshore can be more cost-effective compared to a relatively expensive beach nourishment. The CO2 emission will be reduced to zero after installation (operational phase). The drainage tubes are also sustainable, because they can potentially be re-used.
The Ecobeach system causes a transport of sand from the foreshore to higher parts of the beach and prevents the sand from being removed from the beach. The application of Ecobeach in combination with a foreshore nourishment results in a more effective nourishment with a longer lifetime of the nourishment. The combination of Ecobeach and a relatively cheap foreshore nourishment results in an accretion of the beach.
The sand that is deposited on the beach due to Ecobeach can be moved by the wind to the base of the dune. This results in an increase of potential recreational area’s and a strengthening of the dunes and the coast as a whole.
The beach is relatively narrow. During storms the beach erodes and afterwards it slowly recovers.
The Ecobeach passive drainage system is installed in the beach. The geometry of the Ecobeach system is described here.
The beach accretes after the installation of the Ecobeach system. A large buffer of sand is deposited at the base of the dune resulting in a quick recovery of the beach after storm damage. Furthermore, the sand on the beach tends to become coarser after the installation of Ecobeach resulting in a more stable beach. The area which is available for recreation increases due to the deposition of sand at the higher parts of the beach.
The system can be extended if the original Ecobeach system has been in place for some time and the beach has accreted.
The images below show the beach development just before the test, during the test and a few years after the test (2006, 2010, 2013 and 2014). The associated low water levels are measured at Ijmuiden just outside the harbour. The water levels are given relative to NAP. The measured data at this location are approximately 20 minutes earlier compared to Egmond aan Zee. Therefore, the given water levels are 20 minutes earlier than the time in the images.
NAP -49 cm
NAP -52 cm
NAP -62 cm
NAP -32 cm