Coastal Management
Coastal Morphodynamics
Estuarine processes
High-Energy Physics
jobdronkers Advice Coast and Sea

The proceedings book of the 1986 Noordwijkerhout Conference on Physical Processes in Estuaries (Springer-Verlag, 560 pp.) was edited by the conference organisers, Job Dronkers and Wim van Leussen. The book contains review papers of authoritative experts, summarizing the most advanced knowledge of estuarine processes at that time. Many of the insights presented in the book are still valid today and are valuable for students and researchers of environmental problems as well as for consultants and water authorities. 

The objective of the Euroconference on “Prediction of Change in Coastal Seas” held in Port d’Albray (France, 1993), was “to identify grand challenges for European co-operation in coastal marine science, leading to significant progress in predictive modelling of coastal seas”. This objective is situated in the context of the great changes expected to occur over coming decades on the local, regional and global scale. The proceedings (edited by the conference organiser and chairman, Job Dronkers) reflect the views of 60 outstanding European experts.

In 1996 I chaired the 8th International Biennial Conference on Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas. This conference brought together researchers (physicists and coastal engineers) of major coastal and marine institutes in the world. The conference contributions address transport processes in estuaries and coastal seas, with a special emphasis on morphodynamic processes. Several papers have had a high citation impact in the scientific literature.

Europe has experienced a fast degradation of its coastal environments during the past century. One of the reasons is insufficient integration of technical and social aspects in policy making. For this reason, I organised  at the end of 1997 in San Feliu de Guixols (Spain) a transdisciplinary Euroconference on Coastal Management Research, bringing together scientists from natural and social science disciplines. The conference participants discussed major threats to the coastal environment, with the aim to find a scientific framework for constructive interaction between these disciplines.

Dynamics of Coastal Systems is about the dynamic interaction between water motion and seabed topography. This interaction steers the natural response of coastal systems to changing external conditions and to human interventions. The book highlights major concepts developed during the past 50 years for the understanding and description of current-topography, tide-topography and wave-topography interactions. It provides simple analytical tools for the diagnosis and for the qualitative prediction of coastal response to change. These concepts and tools are crucial for sustainable management of beaches, deltas and coastal wetlands. They underlie the 1990 policy revision for coastal management in The Netherlands. A REVISED AND UPDATED EDITION WILL APPEAR IN 2016.   

Throughout Europe there are more than 300 institutes for coastal and marine research, employing over ten thousand scientists. The number of organisations dealing with policy and managerial issues related to the coastal and adjacent seas is even larger. How to take full benefit of this tremendous but fragmented resource? This was the challenge of the ENCORA Conference for a European Action Plan, I organised in Paris in December 2007. The outcome is presented in a booklet, outlining a few major actions for strengthening the European knowledge base of sustainable coastal and marine management.