According to the conclusions of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPPC) sea levels are expected to continue to rise in the foreseeable future. That means that protecting coastal communities is a real challenge since half the world’s population lives near vulnerable coastlines. 

A five-page digital brochure Facts About Coastal Protection issued by the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) offers a brief survey of the problems in coastal regions caused by population growth rising sea levels and evidence of an increase in severe weather events. The brochure presents a useful discussion and comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of hard solutions such as sea dykes revetments groynes breakwaters and sea walls as compared to soft solutions such as dune replenishment supratidal beach nourishment mega-nourishments and morphological – or moving sand – reclamations. 

The dredging industry plays an important role as regards research and development of these solutions as well as a primary part in their implementation. From the IADC perspective the more that stakeholders including the public know about these methods the better dredging contractors can execute their work.

The IADC’s Facts About series is a collection of concise easy-to-read publications which provide essential facts about a variety of specific dredging and maritime construction subjects. These guides are published periodically as part of IADC’s on-going effort to help clients consultants and other stakeholders understand the fundamental principles of dredging and maritime construction. The series is inspired by the belief that effective information is an essential element in achieving a successful dredging project. More than 30 such brochures are available digitally free of charge at

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