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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To provide scientifically based tools and guidance for the sustainable management of erosion along the European coastline.”

The problem

Erosion is a threat to coasts around Europe. A common European framework for the sustainable management of coastlines was set out in the Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe strategy (ICZM, 2002). Understanding sediment budgets is central to assessing coastal erosion processes, and to this end the EUROSION project (2002-2004) defined concepts – such as coastal resilience, sediment cells, and favourable sediment status – and recommendations for erosion management. However, there remains a need for scientific input to help implement these recommendations.

CONSCIENCE  Shoring up Europe's coastline


CONSCIENCE will develop tools and guidelines to facilitate the implementation of coastal erosion management recommendations.

The project will:

  • Define a decision-making framework based on concepts formulated by the EUROSION project
  • Provide coherent and operational definitions and indicators of coastal erosion concepts, for evaluation in models and field situations
  • Test the methodology at six pilot sites around Europe with different coastal characteristics
  • Draw up risk maps to highlight areas at greatest risk from coastal erosion
  • Produce guidelines and tools to enable effective implementation of coastal zone management policy

Contribution to policy development:

  • CONSCIENCE will develop tools and guidelines to help decision-makers implement EUROSION recommendations within the framework of the ICZM and the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) initiatives.
  • It will standardise coastal erosion concepts to ensure that they are coherent with other ongoing European legislation and initiatives, including GEO/GMES and the European Maritime Strategy.
  • It will help create flexible tools and guidelines, applicable to diverse coastal systems, to aid decision-making by coastal authorities at local, regional and European levels.

Project deliverables

  • Framework for coastal erosion management – April 2008
  • Improved coastal sediment budget models – September 2009
  • Guidelines on monitoring, and demonstration of dataset inventory for field pilot studies – September 2009
  • Description and final collection of indicators for coastal erosion concepts – April, September 2009
  • Case study reports and guidance for the preparation of coastal erosion management plans – March 2010


  • Project website – June 2007
  • Project brochure and poster – July 2007
  • Demonstration of coastal sediment management tools – September 2009
  • Reports and articles in professional journals – March 2010
  • Final Report and concise report for policy makers – March 2010

Technical information

Project acronym: CONSCIENCE
Project’s official full title: Concepts and Science for Coastal Erosion Management
Research priority: Forecasting and developing innovative policies for sustainability in the medium and long term
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 044122
Start date: 1 March 2007
Kick off meeting: March 2007
Completion date: 28 February 2010
European Commission scientific officer: Vincent Favrel,

Name: Delft Hydraulics
Abbreviated name: DELFT
Address: PO Box 177
2600 MH Delft
Country: the Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)15 285 8585
Fax: +31 (0)15 285 8582


Name: National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management
Abbreviated name: RIKZ
Country: Netherlands

Name: EUCC – Mediterranean Centre
Abbreviated name: EUCC-MC
Country: Spain

Name: National University of Ireland, Cork
Abbreviated name: NUIC
Country: Ireland

Name: International Centre for Coastal Resources Research
Abbreviated name: CIIRC
Country: Spain

Name: HR Wallingford Ltd.
Abbreviated name: HRW
Country: United Kingdom

Abbreviated name: GEO
Country: Romania

Name: Institute of Hydro-engineering
Abbreviated name: IBW-PAN
Country: Poland 

Name: Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre
Abbreviated name: PAP/RAC
Country: Croatia