Shoreline Management Guide

  A European initiative for sustainable
coastal erosion management


This Shoreline Management Guide (SMG) aims to provide coastal managers at the European, national and - most of all - regional and municipal levels with a state-of-the-art of coastal erosion management solutions in Europe. It is based on the review of 60 case studies, deemed to be representative of the European coastal diversity.

By tapping into a wide range of European experiences, it is hoped that the coastal manager - specialist or not of coastal engineering - will be in a position to understand the major obstacles he/she may encounter in deciding which coastal erosion management design fits the best his/her area. In that perspective, the reader will probably be surprised to realize that few of the 60 case studies have clearly defined objectives for coastal erosion management.

Readers in a hurry may find it convenient to access only the complete “lessons learned”, which are part of the full report. The full report (4,4 MB) includes:

a general introduction to the SMG
an introduction to the 60 case studies selected
the lessons learned from the case studies (Section 1)
a detailed analysis of the case studies (Section 2) organised by the different assessment levels ( and presented on the level of the regional seas (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea)

Access to the case studies can be either through the complete table or by search through the database.

The SMG is not a “manual” of coastal erosion management. Such manuals already exist, like The Code of Practice Environmentally Friendly Coastal Protection (1996) or the Coastal Engineering Manual (2001) of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Furthermore, a manual cannot reflect the specific local conditions (e.g. local expectation and social acceptability of solutions) which influence management decisions and therefore disregards the important role of coastal engineers in the “design of tailor-made coastal erosion management solutions”.