The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard

FAQ & Links

  • Is there a weather forecast specifically for the coast?

    The Belgian coast has a so-called microclimate.  This means that the weather on the coast differs from the weather in the rest of the country. The sun shines more often and globally speaking, it rains less. On the other hand, in the summer temperatures are less high and there is more wind.  The agency for Maritime Services and Coast  (MDK) makes a special weather forecast for the coast. It is updated four times a day and split between the westcoast (De Panne to Oostende) and the eastcoast (Oostende to Knokke-Heist). You can also see webcam images of several coastal municipalities. Curious about the weater at sea? Surf to or check the coastal weather forecast on your smartphone.

  • What is a 1000-year storm?

    This is a very severe storm which, statistically, can occur once every millenium. By comparison: the storm of 1953 (in Belgium) was a 250-year storm. A millenial-scale storm may cause extremely high waves and a spectacular sea level rise. When exactly this storm will hit our shores is impossible to predict. It may be as soon as tomorrow, but it may as well be twenty or a hundred years from now.

    Coastal Division, part of the agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK) is working very hard to protect the Belgian coast against such storms.
    A study was carried out to pinpoint the weak spots along the coast. These are the main harbours and also the coastal line between the municipalities of Wenduine and Blankenberge and between Middelkerke and Ostend. In 2011 a masterplan Coastal Safety was approved, which incorporates all the improvements to strenghten our defense against the sea. These include raised and broadened beaches, higher quay walls and the construction of storm walls.