River regulation and increased shipping have resulted in serious erosion problems on the banks of the River Rhine. As an alternative for hard material or suppletion of sand, the Institute of Water Management and Waste Water Treatment is considering the use of willows for riverbank protection. Floodplain forests in The Netherlands are almost absent, mainly due to intensive cattle grazing. Various willow species were planted on sandy beaches at five locations along the River Rhine in 1990. After 2 growing seasons Common Osier (Salix viminalis) had the highest percentage survival and Grey Willow (S. cinerea) the lowest. Additionally, a survey has been planned to calculate roughness changes in the riverbed and wave extinction caused by the vegetation. Another goal of the project is to investigate the possibilities of establishment and development of a natural riverbank forest after excluding cattle.