Sand from the sea

25 juli 2023

Millions of cubic metres of sand are extracted from the North Sea every year. Among other things, to keep our coastline intact and protect the Netherlands from the sea, but also for use in building and infrastructure construction.

Van Oord

Rijkswaterstaat and commercial sand extractors, united in La MER Foundation, are collaborating on research into the ecological impact of sand extraction and transport from the North Sea. Want to know more about it? Visit the website This contains information on sand extraction and ecology, the status of ongoing research and a library full of interesting publications.

Since 2006, La MER Foundation and Rijkswaterstaat have been jointly initiating and funding research projects. On their website, they share all available information on the results of their research into ecologically sound sand extraction. For example, how much sludge is released from the bottom of the North Sea? And what about the recovery of soil life after sand extraction? Research on shell banks is also under way. Or are you curious if black sea ducks are also found far offshore in sand extraction areas?
You can find all this information at