AbstractThe growing pressure on the coastal ecosystem, e.g. through fisheries, tourism or maritime traffic demands the careful balancing of activities and developments in the coastal zone. Strategies and planning tools like Integrated Coastal Zone Management (UNEP/MAP/PAP, 2008) or the ecosystem approach (which is planned to be implemented in the EU through the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, European Commission, 2008) aim at a holistic, environmentally friendly and sustainable development of the world's coastlines. Especially in view of rising sea levels, coastal protection becomes crucial for many densely populated coastlines. For the past few decades beach nourishments have been carried out in many coastal regions as "environmentally friendly† alternative to hard coastal protection structures, such as groins, revetments or breakwaters (Hamm et al, 2002). However, the extraction, transport and deposition of sediment can have (long-term) impacts on the environment, which are often not completely understood. Subsequently, these impacts cannot be fully taken into account in national and local nourishment practice, leading to an insufficient implementation of the ecosystem approach.
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