The Sand Motor

Building with Nature

Posted on 2 March 2011


In 2011, the coastline to the south of The Hague acquired a hookshaped peninsula made of sand: the Sand Motor. Wind, waves and currents are spreading the sand from the Sand Motor gradually along the coast in both directions, preserving the coastline, and creating new nature and a dynamic recreational area. This is Building with Nature. Since the Sand Motor was established, there has been extensive research into how this innovation is working.

The Sand Motor is the first experiment of its kind. With this pilot project, the Netherlands is continuing to set the standard in water management. We are doing this by actually working with water, instead of against it. If the Sand Motor works as we expect, the concept can be rolled out to other places in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.


- Better flood protection for the province of South Holland
- An attractive recreational and nature area
- Knowledge development and innovation


Scientists are studying how the Sand Motor develops to see whether this innovative method for coastal protection does indeed work. Measurement data are also needed to manage the Sand Motor properly. One example is mapping out new currents so we know where it is safe to bathe. But we also want to see which animals visit the Sand Motor, and how visitors spend their leisure time on the Sand Motor.



The Sand Motor has been eroded on the western side, with the sand being depositedto the north and south. As a whole, it has become narrower and longer. On the basis of the initial observations, the researchers involved notice that more habitats have been created for flora and fauna as a result of the arrival of theSand Motor. The Sand Motor has proven appealing for arange of outdoor activities, especially kitesurfing.

Project location

Project partners

  • Province of Zuid-Holland
  • Rijkswaterstaat Water, Verkeer en Leefomgeving