About EcoDike

Revetments, sea dikes and estuarine dikes along the German coastline are planned, designed and constructed according to the accepted requirements for a safe protection against storm surges. Ecological aspects are not or only insufficiently and inadequately considered in this process. The overall objective of this research project is to systematically consider and possibly enhance the ecosystem services of dikes and revetments while preserving or possibly enhancing the existing safety standards. Therefore, it is essential to understand the ecological function of dikes and revetments and the interactions between a „green dike“ and the sea on the basis of theoretical approaches, laboratory investigations, small and large scale model tests as well as field measurements. As these interactions and residual safety levels may substantially change over the intended lifetime of the structure, it is moreover required to develop a risk-based monitoring and maintenance strategy, including intelligent and innovative monitoring techniques as well as efficient maintenance methods to maintain or even increase the safety levels of dikes and revetments. As a result, a unique scientific / technical basis for green and innovative coastal infrastructures for the North Sea as well as the Baltic Sea coast is developed based on a new trans-disciplinary approach taking into account consistently the increasing pressure on coastal zones as well as the possible impact of climate change and the functions of coastal ecosystem. The organisation structure and sub-projects of the project EcoDike are illustrated in the following figure.

Organisation structure and work programme Organisation structure and work programme

The research project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and German Coastal Engineering Research Council (KFKI) and runs for a total of 36 months. Within the six work-packages the following research groups are involved:

  • Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, RWTH Aachen University (IWW) [Project coordination]
  • Research Institute for Water and Environment, University of Siegen (fwu)
  • Grassland and Fodder Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock (UR)
  • Leichtweiß-Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources, TU Braunschweig (LWI)
  • Institute for Environmental Research (Biology V), Department of Ecosystem Analysis, RWTH Aachen University (IUF)
  • Ludwig-Franzius-Institute for Hydraulic, Estuarine and Coastal Engineering, Leibniz Universität Hannover (LuFI)
  • Institute of River and Coastal Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)

Furthermore, the Institute for Hydraulic Engineering of Technische Hochschule Nürnberg under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Carstensen provides valuable contributions to the project. Moreover, partners from industry and administration are incorporated into the project to allow for successful knowledge transfer and implementation of research results in practice.

Last updated on 01.08.2017