Coastbusters Day

Climate change is having severe impacts on coastal areas due to sea level rise, storms and storm surges. Nature-based solutions are increasingly coming to the fore to address these challenges. Join the Coastbusters Day on 16 October and weigh in on the debate.
Activity for members and non-members, Public activity
InnovOcean Campus, Jacobsenstraat 1, 8400 Oostende

The Coastbusters are entering a new phase, as our coastal zones are increasingly affected by climate change, inducing sea level rise and more frequent weather extremes such as storms and floods. In addition, intensified human activity is heavily reducing the resilience of our coastal ecosystems.

The urge and appetite for nature inspired solutions is growing. A more sustainable coastal zone management seems to be the way forward.

Taking inspiration from healthy and dynamic ecosystems, the Coastbusters have researched and tested key biobuilder species to enhance coastal stabilisation using a multidisciplinary design, sustainable materials, an operational monitoring programme and an ecosystem-based management approach.  

Having a successful pilot off the Belgian Coast, the Coastbusters' design constitutes a fundamental kick-off to bring this nature based solution to the market.


The Coastbusters invite you on Monday 16 October to join the debate in the afternoon. We welcome several inspiring speakers from the government, the scientific community and the business world, including:

  • Vincent Van Quickenborne (Belgian Minister of Justice and the North Sea)
  • Patrick Meire (Professor at University of Antwerp); 
  • Stefan Aarninckhof (Director at Ecoshape);
  • Kristof Eggermont (Senior Consultant at Econopolis); and
  • Margriet Drouillon (Senior Business Developer at Ghent University).

Check out the detailed programme

12:30 Admission and registration
13:00 The story of the Coastbusters
Tomas Sterckx (DEME)
13:10 Diving into the complex challenges of our world
Fabiano D’Amato (documentary maker)
13:30 Coastbusters Reef design
Ruben Geldhof (Jan De Nul)
13:45 Development of tunable marine biodegradable textiles
Bert Groenendaal (Sioen)
14:00 State of the art and innovative observations... 
Kobus Langedock (Flanders Marine Institute)
14:15 ...  towards better understanding the reef development and dynamics
Alexia Semeraro (Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
14:30 Dune before dyke
Stijn Gussé (Municipality of Middelkerke)
14:45 Interview: Living together with the sea
Piet Haerens (Haedes), Hannelore Malfait (Province of West Flanders) and Stijn Gussé (Municipality of Middelkerke)
15:00 Break
15:30 Ecosystem solutions and its added value
Patrick Meire (University of Antwerpen)
15:50 Make it happen
Stefan Aarninckhof (TU Delft, Ecoshape)
16:10 Interview: How to mobilize funding to upscale nature-based solutions
Margriet Drouillon (Ghent University) and Kristof Eggermont (Econopolis)
16:30 Closing video message
Vincent Van Quickenborne, Minister of Justice and the North Sea
16:40 Closing remarks
Piet Opstaele (Blue Cluster)
16:50 Wrap-up
Jan Seys (VLIZ)
17:00 Reception
Coastbusters beach

Practical information

What?           Event for anyone interested in nature-based solutions (NBS).
Where?       InnovOcean Campus, Jacobsenstraat 1, 8400 Oostende, Belgium
When? Monday 16 October 2023 (afternoon)


Participation is free but prior registration is required. Do you want to attend this event? Please complete the registration form below. Registration is possible until 13 October.

Register for the Coastbusters Day

Always stay informed! Subscribe to our newsletter: 

Please note that our newsletter is in Dutch only.