Construction of a barrier reef as a nature-based solution to coastal protection and biodiversity conservation (BARREEF) (39875)

Project Details


Climate change is causing rising sea levels and powerful storms. This is a significant problem for Denmark, which is a lowland country with a long coastline. Moreover, environmental conditions in most Danish coastal areas are strongly degraded. Coastal protection is mainly carried out as beach nourishment where sand is extracted from offshore areas and added to eroding coastlines. The added sand restores the coastline, but the approach severely
disrupts benthic ecosystems, both in the offshore area and along the eroding coastline.

The BARREEF project examines the use of a barrier reef as a nature-based solution to coastal protection, as an alternative to beach nourishment. Integrating input from stakeholders, managers, authorities and researchers, the project will deploy a barrier reef and examine how it enhances both coastal protection and biodiversity conservation. Using a real world implementation of a nature-based solution, the goal of the project is to illustrate how a barrier reef may be used for coastal protection, and thereby reduce the need for destructive beach nourishment methods. Collaborating with a range of partners, including stakeholders and authorities, the BARREEF project is expected to make both coastlines and marine biodiversity more resilient to future climate change.

DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (coordinator)
Havnatur, Denmark
Aalborg University, Denmark
Local Government Denmark

The project is funded by The Velux Foundation.

Research area: Coastal Ecology
Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
Effective start/end date01/07/202131/07/2026


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