• News

State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean (SoED)

In 2020, Plan Bleu published a comprehensive report on the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean (SoED).

This is a sneak peek into the coastal erosion subchapter (

Land use changes, including abandonment of traditional villages and activities on the slopes, followed by reforestation, combined with reducing soil erosion are the main driving factors triggering coastal erosion in the last century on the northern shore. In addition, infrastructure, in particular roads and highways, commonly built along the coastline often prevent sediment material from reaching the shores. Additional factors on the north and predominant on the south are dam construction, river bed quarrying and land reclamation. Coastal erosion is mostly addressed via hard shore protection structures. Although these structures are quite recent elements of the Mediterranean coastal landscape, in some areas of the northern side, they are now an almost dominant feature. Seawalls, revetments, or refilling are used to stabilize the shoreline with poor results in maintaining beaches. Series of groynes and detached breakwaters are present along the coast of many countries facing the Mediterranean Sea, ranging from some 15 km in Egypt and in Lebanon, up to over 200 elements for several tens of kilometers in European countries. Both cause rip currents to form with strong risks for bathers. Updated and reliable data on coastal erosion phenomenon only cover a few areas, but this process needs to be better understood and monitored with shared methodologies to allow comparative studies among riparian countries.

Read the full report at: