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Defence of islands and coasts: We build dykes and barrages

Coastal defence in Lower Saxony – there’s more to it than just building dykes along the coast and round islands. Observing and assessing changes in the coastline, updating strategic plans, accompanying research projects and implementing new approaches are an important part of the work of the NLWKN as the coastal defence authority.

Coastal defence is an ongoing task – after all, about 14 percent of the area of Lower Saxony is threatened by storm surges. Coastal defence provides security for the life and livelihood of the population, and thereby safeguards the development of Lower Saxony.

The NLWKN has state-wide responsibility for planning and building coastal defence facilities controlled by the Land of Lower Saxony: Examples include the Ems barrage or the barrages in Cuxhaven.

The representatives of the 22 principal dyke associations value the NLWKN as a fair and competent partner: On request, and once contracts have been signed, the NLWKN also plans and manages coastal defence projects for water and soil associations.

Coastal defence of the seven East Frisian islands is entirely in the hands of the NLWKN: A total of nearly 90 km of protective dunes and 35 km of dykes protect the islands from flooding and erosion – and they have to be maintained and developed.

Coastal defence in Lower Saxony: This is a joint effort by the Land of Lower Saxony, the dyke associations and the NLWKN. The tasks of reinforcing and raising dykes, building dyke defence roads, making basic repairs to sluice structures and procuring clay, and also coastal defence plans and research work, are funded jointly by the German government, the Land of Lower Saxony and the European Union.

Storm surge on Norderney
Surge wall, Norderney

Alter Leuchtturm Memmert


Nds. Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz
Göttinger Chaussee 76a / Am Sportplatz 23
30453 Hannover / 26506 Norden
Tel: +49 (0)511 3034-3322 sowie +49 (0)4931/ 947 -173
Fax: +49 (0)4931/947 - 222

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