Sand, Sea and Safety

Did you know that a large amount of the sand used in the Netherlands - as in many other countries - is sourced from the sea? Learn all about marine sand extraction and its implications.

Organisator Studium Generale

di 28 mei 2019 20:00 tot 22:00

Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

Did you know that a large amount of the sand used in the Netherlands - as in many other countries - is sourced from the sea? Why is this the case? And did you realize that half of the sand 'mined' from Dutch sea areas is used for coastal defence? Time to focus on these important and easily overlooked territories! Learn how marine sand extraction is embedded in large-scale policy considerations on spatial planning, and involves fine-tuning and trade-offs between different interests and marine activities. What do we know about the (ecological) effects of marine sand extraction? And what about the anticipated sea level rise?

About Ad Stolk

Ad Stolk

Ad Stolk is trained as physical geographer, geomorphologist and quaternary geologist and worked mostly in the field of marine geology. He takes part in marine geophysical surveys on the Atlantic Ocean and marine geological and hydrodynamic surveys on the North Sea. He was involved in European research projects on sand banks in the North Sea as researcher at Utrecht University.

Since 1996, he has worked at Rijkswaterstaat Sea and Delta, part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Rijkswaterstaat Sea and Delta is responsible for the managing of the Dutch part of the North Sea. Ad Stolk is mainly involved in sand extraction and monitoring, e.g. the extraction of 200 million m³ marine sand for the enlargement of the port of Rotterdam. The link with the research at universities is maintained by the participation in user groups and in committees for MSc and PhD theses. As chairmen of the ICES expert group on the effects of marine extraction on the ecosystem (WGEXT) and as founder and member of the steering group of the European Marine Sand And Gravel Group (EMSAGG) he is engaged in international collaboration on this topic.

About The World of Sand (21-28 May)

Sand. Ordinary and incredibly diverse. Beautiful. Omnipresent and becoming scarce at the same time. In this theme week, Studium Generale explores the many aspects of this versatile material. What it looks like, how it sounds, how we source it, what you can do with it and, especially, its growing scarcity and the consequences this has.

Did you know that sand is the most consumed raw material on earth after fresh water? And that your smartphone wouldn’t exist without it? It is used for buildings, infrastructure, glass, computers, cosmetics and detergents – omnipresent things in our daily lives. With visions of deserts in your mind it might be hard to imagine, but did you ever realize that sand is a finite source, and actually becoming scarcer? And that the increasing pressure on this resource may have serious implications, ranging from sand conflicts and ecological destruction, to compromised food production and flood protection?

Delve into the everyday and at the same time unknown world of sand, and explore its special nature and role from various angles. Admire its beauty and diversity, and find out why sand has so many different uses. Discover where we get it from and how we extract it. Learn about the social and ecological effects of sand extraction, and discuss what role science and policy could play in promoting sustainable sand use.