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. A potential side effect would be an increase of the amount of sand volume. 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 replenishment 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.
Ecobeach originates from Denmark were it was developed in the nineties using the name “PEM-system”. The developed drainage system has been tested on various beaches all over the word since the invention in the nineties. The vertical drainage system has been installed for the first time in the Netherlands in 2006, using the name Ecobeach
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 what 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 Ecobeach system is installed at the area between high and low water line. The goal is to reduce sand erosion and to promote sand accretion of the beaches in order to stabilize the dunes naturally. The Ecobeach system seems to have a positive effect on the beach development. This effect occurs mainly at locations with strong fluctuating groundwater tables due to tide effects and at locations with considerable sand transport due to currents, waves and wind.
The Ecobeach system is relatively easy to install at the beach. The vertical drainage tubes are placed in rows transverse to the coast with a regular longshore interspacing. The most important properties of the tubes are the diameter of about 6 cm and a length of approximately 2 m.
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