Welcome to the Beach and Dune Network

Why a coastal dune network?

Coastal dunes are one of the most threatened habitats in Europe. They offer habitats for various, often specialised animals and plants; and the unique landscape constitute an important service for human well-being. Human pressure, landscape use and the nature values result in conflicts of interests.

Aims of the Coastal network, to

- conserve sand dunes, shingle and sand beaches as dynamic landscapes with unique nature values
- promote the sustainable use and management
- support  policies and actions that maintain the intrinsic natural values
- develop a vibrant European network of communities concerned with coastal dunes and their management
- support the knowledge and understanding of coastal dunes, and
- to provide an international platform dedicated to coastal dunes

We set out to achieve this by

- enthusing and encouraging people to value and understand the habitats more thoroughly
- championing the habitats and support their nature value
- facilitating an exchange of knowledge and support actions that are good for the habitats
- making the Network an active community of participants and a recognised source of expertise and authority at a global level

Who is involved?

The Network includes, amongst others, site managers, national policy makers, students, researchers, ecologists, geomorphologists, hydrologists, foresters, coastal engineers, tourism managers.... . Events always involve a cross-section of interests to bridge the gap between disciplines and to encourage lively debate.

There are a number of national and regional dune networks already formed in several countries, e.g.

Europe; FrancePoland, UK

Join the Network

Participation in the network is free. Network members will receive updates via email several times a year and have the opportunity for the input of information to the network.
To join the network, please fill out the application form and send it to us. Your data from the application will be entered in an internal, non-public accessible database. This allows us to connect interdisciplinary members if the need should arise. We welcome members from outside the Federal Republic of Germany, as one of the goals of our network is to promote cooperation in Germany, Europe, and worldwide. If you are interested in European or international cooperation, you can get in touch with the European Dune Network.


The Beach and Dune Network is currently honorary operated.


Do you have hints or ideas for improving our network or holding events, or do you know people who could support the Beach and Dune Network? If so, please send us an email at dunes-d (at)



New publication: LIFE and coastal habitats-2017-

'This LIFE Nature publication highlights the issues threatening Europe’s coastal habitats and how the LIFE programme has addressed them.
Coastal regions generate 40% of our GDP, but development must be sustainable and must recognise the natural value of our varied coastlines. Only 13% of coastal species are in a 'favourable' conservation status, while 73% of coastal habitats are assessed as being 'bad' or 'inadequate'.
It is in the interests of all business sectors, from tourism to shipping and fisheries, to safeguard and improve the health of our coastal ecosystems. Adopting an ecosystem approach to their management fosters, rather than hinders, growth and jobs.
The publication, LIFE and coastal habitats, outlines the scope of innovative and best practices measures carried out by LIFE projects to improve the status of Europe’s coastal habitats and management of Natura 2000 network sites – from dune habitat conservation in the Baltic to coastal lagoon protection in the Black Sea. It features sections on all the different types of habitats targeted by the programme and concludes with a focus on the cross-cutting management issues facing coastal regions.' (LIFE News Juni 2017)

download pdf: LIFE and coastal habitats


Alien Species in Dunes and Dune Slacks-2017-

Many non-native species (species, brought after 1492 with direct or indirect human help into a region) occur in dunes and dune slacks. Only few of these species are invasive, are a threat to the biodiversity of genes, species, communities, ecosystems or landscapes. Nevertheless, there are species known to be invasive in dunes and dune slacks in Germany and neighbouring countries since few years or since decades, respectively. At this page we will bring together recent activities and knowledge…

Publications dealing with coastal dunes and invasive species-2017-

In the web of science since 1987 publications dealing with coastal dunes and invasive species are noticed. Since about 2000, the number of publications studied IAS in coastal dunes increased.

tl_files/eucc/Netzwerke/Duenennetzwerk/IAS pub.jpg

Publications dealing with invasive plant species in dunes along the coasts of Europe (web of science, google scholar, 2017) consider various aspects, which can be summed-up to mapping and monitoring, species traits, environmental conditions, invasion success and management.

tl_files/eucc/Netzwerke/Duenennetzwerk/IAS Tortendiagram.jpg

New Records

Aronia prunifolia on Wangerooge in an acid dune heathland.

Mangagement von Vaccinium macrocarpon auf Sylt, 2017

In dune slacks of Hörnum on the island of Sylt Vaccinium macrocarpon removal is organised since 2015 by the Schutzstation Wattenmeer. 
Contact: hoernum(at)
Telefon 04651/881093


Occurrence of Crassula helmsii on the Eastfrisian Islands: 2003 Norderney, 2017 Wangerooge

First record of Crassula helmsii was 2003 on Norderney. Since than, the species has increased its distribution. It occurs mainly in still waters, e.g. in lifestock watering places and man-made waters developed by soil removal. In the water and along the shore the species builds dense carpets and outcompetes all other plant species. Nowadays, Crassula already occurs in dune slacks, valuable under nature conservation aspects. Here it occurs on open, wet sands. First management actions have started during the last years.

More Information (German)

Factsheet on (German)

Markus Prinz studied during his master thesis 2016 at the University Oldenburg habitat requirements and dispersal possibilities of Crassula helmsii, and considered sediments, hydro-chemical parameters, and modelled habitat conditions.

Non-native Species in the Dutch Wadden Sea Region

Van der Have, T.M., Van den Boogaard, B., Lensink, R,Poszig, D.,Philippart, C.J.M. (2015):Alien species in the Dutch Wadden Sea: policies and management. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. Report 15-126. pdf

A similar report for the entire Wadden Sea Area is recently in work on behalf of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat.

TMAP-Parameter Group: Beaches and Dunes

Invasive and potential invasive non-native species are shortly considered in the recent TMAP-Quality Status Report “Beaches and Dunes”, which will be available in spring. Furthermore, some invasive species of the neighbouring regions are mentioned.
More information Non-native and invasive species in Germany

Extensive information dealing with non-native and invasive species in Germany are offered by the Bundesamt für Naturschutz, the Governmental Agency for Nature Conservation,  e.g. species information sheets, management methods as well as the EU list are available…
More information

Portugal: Project LIFE Biodiscoveries (LIFE 13 BIO/PT/000386)

Project LIFE Biodiscoveries has the goal of promoting public participation in the control and eradication of invasive species at the Local Natural Reserve of Mata da Machada and Sapal do Rio Coina. Through public participation, we aim to encourage the control of these species, creating long-lasting bonds between the volunteers and the protected area, which is a welcoming help to our natural ecosystem and its great biodiversity.  In the Machada Woods there is a strong presence of 6 species of acacia (Acacia sp), as well as ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis), which can also be found in Coina Marshes, causing a threat to the equilibrium of these habitats. The Project is receptive in receiving also international volunteers and international students as well that are willing to do an intership related to the invasive species.
To obtain more information, check their website:

Do you have any suggestions ???

Mail to Maike Isermann dunes-d (at)

GEO-Nature Day on the island Norderney-2018-

This event will be in 2018 on the island of Norderney.


Natterjack Toads on the island of Sylt- 2016 -

Natterjack Toads are threatened on the island of Sylt and their population declines. Possible reasons are the low dynamic of the dunes; the dominance of old fixed dunes which is related to a decline of open and wet sandy stand. on the island of Sylt, on the entire island management measure will be done, supporting in the short as well as in the long term the environmental conditions to maintain the Natterjack population. 
Extensive information (in German)


Dynamic Dunes -2016-

An international conference on the rejuvenation of dynamic dunes and restoration of dune habitats. The conference presented the successful and innovative results of EU Life-projects Dutch Dune Revival (LIFE 09 NAT/NL/418) and Amsterdam Dunes, Source for Nature (LIFE 11 NAT/NL/776). The event was organised by PWN, Natuurmonumenten and Waternet. During the conference key topics for dune and coastal management were addressed during keynote presentations, workshops and eld visits.



Location: Friedrichsgroden 16, 26409 Carolinensiel
Landscape: North Sea, salt marshes
Facilities: 5 shared-rooms (4-5 persons), 2 double-rooms, kitchen self-catering, seminar room, 2 labs (dry and wet with sea water access) and standard lab equipment, separate room with microscopes/binoculars, yearlong available
Contact: Dr. Hans-Ulrich Steeger, steeger (at), phone: +49-251-8323868, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Institut für Zoophysiologie, Hindenburgplatz 55, 48143 Münster
Further Information


Location: Hellerpad 2, 26474 Spiekeroog
Landscape: large dune areas with primary dunes, heathlands and dry grasslands without rabbits, more or less no wet slacks, salt marshes grazed and non-grazed
Facilities: 2 shared rooms (4-5 persons), 1 double room, kitchen self-catering, meeting room, lab, equipment particularly for mud and water studies, microscopes and binoculars
Contact: Homepage in German, thus contact them directly: forschung (at)


Location: Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, 27483 Helgoland
Landscape: Northsea, cliff coast with impressing bird breeding area, marine algae and kelp, dune areas and dry grasslands
Facilities: 23 double rooms, 53 single rooms, kitchens for self-catering or catering via youth hostel, seminar room, lab, comprehensive lab equipment including seawater access, microscopes, phase contrast microscopes, binoculars, yearlong available
Contact: Dr. Markus Molis, markus.molis (AT), phone +49-4725-819-3239,  Dr. Nicole Aberle-Malzahn, phone 0049-4725-819-3236, Stiftung Alfred-Wegener-Institut
Further information

ZINGST, Baltic Sea

Location: Mühlenstraße 27, 18374 Ostseeheilbad Zingst
Landscape: Baltic Sea Coast, Inland Coast with salt marshes, meadows and reed beds of the Darß Zingster Bodden, bird protection areas Kirr and Werder islands, large dune areas of the Darßer Ort, old dune forests Darßer Wald.
Facilities: 3 shared rooms (a 5 persons), 2 single rooms, kitchen self-catering, seminar room, boat, 3 labs, water and plankton analysing equipment, microscopes, yearlong available
Contact: PD Dr. Rhena Schumann, rhena.schumann (at), Universität Rostock/Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät/Institut für Biowissenschaften/Angewandte Ökologie & Phykologie
Further Information


Location: Biologenweg 15, 18565 Kloster / Hiddensee
Landscape: Baltic Sea Coast, Inland Coast Bodden, salt marshes, reed beds, dunes with dry grasslands and heathlands, cliff coast
Facilities: 14 double rooms, 3 single rooms, kitchen self-catering, seminar room, 1 lab, some soil and microclimate measuring instruments, microscopes and binoculars, yearlong available
Contact: PD Dr. Irmgard Blindow, blindi (AT), Gerlinde Zenke, phone +49-38300-50251, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
Further Information



Mainly listed are publications with study areas along the German coast.


Costabel, S, Siemon, B, Houben, G & Günther, T (2017). Geophysical investigation of a freshwater lens on the island of Langeoog, Germany - Insights from combined HEM, TEM and MRS data. Journal of Applied Geophysics 135, 231-245.

Blindow, I, Gauger, D & Ahlhaus, MJ (2017). Management regimes in a coastal heathland –effects on vegetation, nutrient balance, biodiversity and gain of bioenergy. Coast. Conserv. doi:10.1007/s11852-017-0499-3

Müller, W (2017). Das einzigartige Wattenmeer und seine Gezeiten. In: Lebenswelt Meer. Springer, Berlin. S. 45-102.



24.-25.04.2018: Workshop/Atelier de Terrain. Pays de Mont (Vendée, France), Communauté de Communes Océan Marais de Monts, Office National des Forêts, EUCC, ARCOS
Si la gestion des systèmes dunaires atlantiques face aux risques naturels vous intéresse, si la sensibilisation des publics à l’intérêt et à la richesse des dunes vous préoccupe, si vous souhaitez partager votre expérience, échanger vos points de vue avec les experts et les gestionnaires qui animeront cet atelier et visiter les magnifiques dunes des Pays de Monts, réservez ces dates sur vos agendas. Cette rencontre constitue l’atelier-retour de l’atelier des 25 et 26 avril 2017, dans les dunes de Cantabrie, organisé par EUCC en coopération avec l’équipe du projet ARCOS Life Arenales Costeros et Ecolgia Litoral.

12.-14.06.2018: Workshop. Coastal dunes and sandy beaches, Dunkerque, F, LIFE+Flandre
International workshop about the management of coastal dunes and sandy beaches that will take place at the Université du Littoral Côte d’ Opale of Dunkirk (France) in the frame of the LIFE+ Nature project “FLANDRE”.
Further information

22.-26.10.2018: Konferenz. LITTORAL2018, Leeuwarden, NL. EUCC.
Further information



Sand Dune and Shingle Network

Grains de Sable

European Dune Network

TMAP Beaches and Dunes



Maike Isermann, mail:  dunes-d (at)  phone: +49-421-218-62916