A cross-border project to predict coastal risks in the Basque Country

April 2018

MAREA ("Modélisation et Aide à la décision face aux Risques côtiers en Euskal Atlantique" – Modelling and Assistance with Decision-Making faced with Coastal Risks in Atlantic Euskal) is a cross-border research project aimed at gaining a better understanding of storm episodes on the Basque coast, in order to predict risks of coastal flooding and erosion.

Thus, alongside the Basque Government's meteorological agency – Euskalmet, the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, the Basque technological centre AZTI and the Suez Eau France's coastal R&D centre Rivages Pro Tech, the Basque Country Agglomeration Community, via the Basque Coastal Scientific Interest Grouping, is leading the development of high-resolution modelling capable of predicting locally the energy and water levels reached by extreme waves, as well as the volumes of sediment displaced by storms. These tools, which complement prefectural alerts, will make it possible to anticipate risks at the ultra-local level of individual beaches. This new knowledge will facilitate better coordination of actions to prevent and manage coastal risks. Lastly, the project will improve the way that "risk culture" is taken into account in public policy.

Over three years, the project has a budget of €1.5, with 65% of the funding provided within the framework of the France-Spain-Andorra territorial cooperation programme POCTEFA.

The project received the EU's 2017 Atlantic Project Award in the category "Creating a sustainable regional development model conducive to social integration" for being exemplary, innovative and reproducible in other European coastal territories.

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