Sand and gravel extraction | Compendium Coast and Sea

Sand and gravel extraction

Between 75 and 95 million m³ of marine sediment is extracted annually in the OSPAR-region (North-East Atlantic and North Sea). These are mainly sand and gravel for the construction industry and beach nourishments. Furthermore, marl is extracted to improve farmland and to filter water. In the Belgian part of the North Sea (BNS), most of the extracted sediment is sand with an annual volume that fluctuated between 2 and 4 million m³ in the last ten years and amounted to nearly 6 million m³ in 2014. Due to very low quantities in extraction areas, gravel is not extracted. In the ‘Thematic chapter’, an overview is given of the scientific knowledge, socioeconomic data and legal aspects of the user function ‘Sand and gravel extraction’ for the BNS. The federal legislation applicable to this activity is discussed in more detail under ‘Legislation’, while the figures and background data can be consulted in an interactive way by clicking ‘Coastal portal’. More information about the available expertise regarding sand and gravel extraction within the Belgian marine research groups and their relevant research infrastructure can be consulted by clicking ‘Research groups’ and ‘Infrastructure’, respectively.