The Vetiver Network International

Coastal Protection

The Vetiver System for Coastal Protection

Introductory Photo Essay – Coastal protection VS_Coastal_Erosion_control.pdf (

Introductory Photo Essay: Levee Bank and Sea Dyke Protection  VS_Flood_lowland.pdf (

Vetiver’s ability to tolerate high levels of salinity makes it a useful plant for coastal protection at the interface of land and sea shore. Often as in the case of Brazil (see picture below) there is brackish water table that the vetiver roots can tap and thrive.

Photo 1 2km of shore front stabilized with vetiver. Very effective but costly involving quite complex and intense bioengineering. It is still functioning well after 12 years of storms and high tide events (Deflor)
Photo 2 Right saltwater fishpond on the China Sea protected with vetiver. Vetiver survives salt spray, hightides and overtopping. In this case the part of the bund that was not protected by vetiver was washed out by a major typhoon (Pintang Island ,Fujian)

Photos 3 and 4 Coastal protection and “natural” barrier on cliff tops in Left Hawaii, and Right – California
Photo 5 . Vietnam -This sea dyke was protected by vetiver planted on the inside. Inside protection prevents inside bank erosion (eventually leading to a breach). All dykes protected by vetiver survived some major typhoon events
Photo 6 Vietnam – inland coastal levees and waterways have been successfully stabilized with vetiver

When properly implemented and maintained, the Vetiver System is effective in stabilizing and protecting estuarine dikes from the adverse elements commonly experienced in coastal zone. Participation of local population is the key element to its success. This involves education, providing guidelines, instructions and support to the local people. Last, but not least, the enforcement of a firm regulatory program by the local authority

Coral reef protection using VS. Don Miller of New Zealand has been working in Vanuatu (South Pacific island) for some years and demonstrates in this slide show how vetiver hedgerows can be used as an essential part of reforesting badly eroding landscapes to prevent sediment reaching the sea and destroying coastal coral reefs and fisheries. Don’s work can be replicated throughout most island ecologies where eroding sediment flows are effecting coastal habitats in the tropics