As part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea, the sandy coast of St. Peter-Ording is characterized by a unique habitat diversity and has an outstanding ecological significance. The coastal landscape, consisting of the typical mudflats, dunes, salt marshes and beaches, not only attracts about one million tourists annually, but also protects the hinterland against flooding. However, both the loss of habitat and the long-term consequences of climate change pose a massive threat to this region and will pose major challenges for human and nature in the future. The research collaboration Sandküste St. Peter-Ording has set itself the overriding aim of facing these challenges and developing and implementing a long-term, nature-compatible coastal protection.
Various measures are intended to preserve or enhance the biological naturalness and biodiversity of the valuable habitats. At the same time, there is a need to develop a sustainable concept to protect the sandy coast from the consequences of an accelerated sea level rise. The aim is to address the issues of nature conservation and coastal protection in order to develop effective synergies.
The development of a nature-compatible storm surge protection is a complex challenge and focuses on several work packages. In addition to the study of the geomorphological evolution of the outer sand, adaption strategies for a coastal section without a dike are also to be developed. In this area the function of flood protection is fulfilled exclusively by the dune "Maleens Knoll". With the help of experimental laboratory tests, it is being investigated how the level of protection of this almost unique natural area must be adapted to the accelerated sea level rise. Furthermore, various nature-compatible measures for the stabilization of the dune system will be designed and discussed.