Most companies are cowering in fear at the thought of unpredictable global-warming-related weather events, but the dredging industry, at least, is set to benefit from rising seas. The Flemish newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen reports that European dredging companies Deme and De Nul have presented plans to raise submerged sandbags off the Flemish coast. The decades-long project will raise sandbags that will soon no longer be effective at slowing down storm surges due to increased water levels.
There’s another benefit to the dredging work: new islands off the Flemish coast. The islands, poised to provide new sources of work and recreation, will be like “Dubai on the North Sea”, according to Flanders Today. Incidentally, Deme and De Nul have conducted similar dredging projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Not everyone is in favor of dredging projects. A group of surfers recently managed to block a beach dredging project in Palm Beach, Florida on environmental grounds. The real reason, though, is that the surfers fear the loss of their superior breaks. Concerns about the effects of dredging on coastal ecology are not unheard of, but they won’t be enough to stop municipalities from hiring dredging companies to stem the tide of swelling sea levels.