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Coastal Protection in Denmark

Coastal protection has been carried out in Denmark for centuries.

The history of dike construction in the Wadden Sea dates back to around 1000 A.D., when farmers built the first large banks of soil, protecting the farmland against sea flooding. Protection against erosion in terms of constructions such as groynes, rubble mound breakwaters and revetments was introduced in Denmark with the construction of the first test groynes on the west coast of Jutland in 1876-83, while nourishment with sand was introduced in 1974.

In Denmark, generally the landowners are responsible for protecting their land against the sea. Consequently, the owner of the property, must request permission to establish coastal protection and pay the costs construction, operation and maintenance.

Permission for coastal protection is applied for in the local municipality, which is the authority for coastal protection.

However, there are a few places in Denmark, where the protection of the coast is considered to be of national importance, and where the government will participate in the construction and operation of coastal protection.

Photo: Rubble mound breakwaters at Tisvilde, north coast of Zealand. Notice the characteristic shape of the coastline caused by the presence of the breakwaters.