Ecological restoration of coastal dunes and rewilding of the Vinhas river 


The NBS case in Cascais is implemented in coastal, urban, and fluvial areas. In Invest4Nature we will focus on two sub-cases in particular: 

  • The Guincho-Cresmina coastal dune system restoration and rehabilitation 

  • Naturalization of the banks and riverbeds of Vinhas stream into green corridors 

The challenge 

As a coastal city, Cascais is vulnerable to high precipitation events.The Guincho-Cresmina coastal dune system, typically a first line of defence against flooding and erosion in coastal regions has been degraded due to anthropogenic activities.

The Ribeira das Vinhas stream, a heavily exploited body of water n the past decades have been a contributor of floods in downtown Cascais during high precipitation events, yet experienced severe periods of drought.  

 The nature-based solution 

Dune system restoration 

The main objectives of the dune restoration were mitigation of coastal erosion, coastal dune ecosystem restoration and biodiversity enhancement. The ecological restoration project started with the eradication of invasive species, followed by the planting of native perennial herbaceous species whose branching root systems help with sediment retention. Facilitated with general maintenance measures, the natural regenaration of the system is guaranteed. 

Vinhas stream rewilding 

A rewilding project was carried out with the objective of flood mitigation, soil erosion control and biodiversity conservation. By creating sites where could pass through with obstacles and turns, the speed of the water was reduced to create calm waters. Ponds created with soil and loose stone were wee additionally created to serve as biodiversity hotspots in the ecosystem. 

Role of living lab in Invest4Nature 

This Living Lab serves as a case for the employment of nature-based solutions used for flood regulation and coastal protection in Invest4Nature. We provide data on already established and implemented solutions while enabling the integration of local actors in the development of the project. The ambition as partner in the project is to contribute to improving the global literacy and dissemination of nature-based solutions to ensure the wider application of ecosystem services in an integrated approach.  

Nuno Cunha Lopes

Empresa Municipal de Ambiente de Cascais, E.M., S.A. (EMAC)
– Cascais Municipal Environment Company

nuno.cunhalopes (at) cascaisambiente.pt