Success and Lessons Associated with Project Implementation – Beach Restoration to Protect NC Highway 12 at Buxton, Dare County, North Carolina
Haiqing Kaczkowski, Coastal Science & Engineering Inc
Co-Authors: Tim Kana, Steven Traynum, Patrick Barrineau
After over 8 months of construction by 3 successive dredges, beach restoration at Buxton, NC was completed 27 February 2018, almost 5 months beyond the Contractor’s original timetable. Approximately 2.6 million cubic yards (cy) of beach-quality sand was dredged from an offshore borrow area and placed along the ~2.9 mile oceanfront of Buxton and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The largest beach nourishment project ever completed near Cape Hatteras, its main purpose was to protect NC Highway 12, a National Scenic Byway through the Outer Banks.
Summer dredging was permitted, due to the high incidence of dangerous wave conditions in that setting in fall and winter months. Also, the borrow area was positioned to allow sand pumping via cutterhead dredge or hopper dredge, which could operate in somewhat higher wave conditions. To start the nourishment 21 June 2017, the Contractor (Weeks Marine) chose a cutterhead dredge (CR McCaskill). Rough sea conditions curtailed operations and led to mechanical breakdowns. As of 22 August 2017, only ~1.1 million cy of sand (~42 percent of the total contract volume) had been placed on the beach.
In September 2017, four named hurricanes (Irma, Jose, Katia, and Maria) caused excessive wave heights that further obstructed dredging. Construction ceased for over 50 days. In October, the Contractor mobilized the hopper dredge, RN Weeks, which operated during high frequency, northerly winds in the borrow area. Despite the challenges, nourishment in front of the narrow isthmus of NC Highway 12 was completed and this highly vulnerable section was protected by 22 December 2017.
Weeks Marine’s newly constructed hopper dredge, Magdalen obtained an operation certificate January 2018 when the Buxton project was ~80 percent completed. The Buxton Project was Magdelen’s maiden assignment. With double the capacity of RN Weeks, the Magdalen finished the last ~0.5 million cy of work and delivered her final load 27 February 2018.
The Buxton project was completed with no sea-turtle takes or environmental incidents. Coordination remained excellent among the Owner (Dare County), regulatory agencies (USACE, NPS, NCDEQ), and Contractor. The newly nourished beach withstood a series of major nor’easters March 2018 without impact to Highway 12 or any damage to oceanfront properties.
The Buxton project holds implications for other Outer Banks work. High wave conditions at the outset prolonged the time for mobilization of the necessary underwater pipe. This pushed the schedule into the height of hurricane season, making timely completion impossible. As mitigation, bids are now being written for the preferred year and the following year to give dredging companies more lead time to mobilize and start under favorable wave conditions in the Outer Banks.
Bio: Dr. Kaczkowski has over 20 years of experience in coastal erosion assessment, beach restoration, and numerical modeling. She has used state-of-the-art modeling tools in conjunction with engineering experience to design successful coastal development projects in North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Asia. Dr. Kaczkowski currently serves as the principal engineer of Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc. (CSE), a consulting company based in Columbia (SC). She has developed plans for and has supervised construction of several beach nourishment and coastal structure projects along the East Coast, including the 2011 Nags Head nourishment project.
Caillou Lake Headlands Restoration (aka Whiskey Island)
Steve Dartez, Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Co-Authors: Steve Dartez, Brad Miller
Caillou Lake Headlands, known locally as Whiskey Island, is centrally located in the Isle Dernieres Barrier Island chain along Louisiana’s central Gulf Coast. The restoration is being conducted by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana under the project name Caillou Lake Headlands Restoration (TE-100) and is a Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) project.
The Project includes restoring the beach and dune along approximately 4.3 miles with approximately 9.4 million cubic yards (myd3) of sand. The Project will also create a marsh platform averaging 1,000 feet (ft) in width along approximately 5,500 ft using over 1.0 myd3 of sediment. Once completed, approximately 903 acres of beach/dune and marsh habitat will have been created. This Project is currently the largest single restoration project, as measured by volume, undertaken by the State of Louisiana.
The beach and dune features span the entire gulf face of Whiskey Island and will create approximately 740 acres of beach and dune habitat. The marsh component will create approximately 162 acres of marsh habitat. The design for Whiskey Island’s restoration template a gulf-side beach width ranging from 460 ft to 710 ft and a bay-side beach width of approximately 100 ft at an elevation of +4.2 ft NAVD88; a dune crest width of approximately 100 ft at an elevation of +6.4 ft NAVD88; and a marsh platform with an average width of approximately 1,000 ft at an elevation of +2.4 ft NAVD88.
The borrow area lies within Ship Shoal Lease Block 88 located on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) approximately 8.2 nautical miles from Whiskey Island and contains over 15.7 myd3 of sand with design cut elevations ranging from -27 ft NAVD88 to -34 ft NAVD88. The borrow area resides in an area of Ship Shoal where seafloor elevations range from -16 ft NAVD88 to -37 ft NAVD88 and encompasses approximately 800 acres. Sediment analyses indicated the borrow area contains over 96% fine sand per the Wentworth Scale and has an average grain size of 0.19 mm.
The sediment conveyance corridor is 500 ft in width and extends approximately 10.2 miles from the borrow area to Whiskey Island with water depths varying from -32 ft NAVD88 to 0 ft NAVD88 and is aligned to avoid buffered areas identified as potential cultural resources or abandoned oil/gas wells.
Project construction was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC. (GLDD) in the amount of $103,176,805.00 US. Construction mobilization began in October 2016 with the installation of the sediment delivery pipeline. Excavation in the borrow area for fill placement commenced in December 2016. The borrow area was excavated utilizing the GLDD cutterhead dredge Alaska with sediment transported to the fill templates via a submerged sediment pipeline with assistance of three (3) booster pumps (10,742 kW total). Sand fencing is erected as the dune was constructed to capture wind-blown sand and retain it within the Project. The fill placement for the beach, dune, and marsh on Whiskey Island was completed in the Spring of 2018.
Bio: Mr. Dartez currently holds a position of Managing Engineer with the Coastal Division of Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His engineering responsibilities include participation in coastal restoration planning, design, surveying, and construction administration. He has experience in restoration fill template design, borrow area delineation, quantities calculations, and cost estimating. Mr. Dartez’s responsibilities for construction administration include providing oversight to unsure adherence to the construction document; coordination with the project owner and contractor; management of inspectors; survey data reviews; pay request recommendations; development of change and field orders; and development the project completion report and as-built drawings.
Ibaka Beach Restoration Design Project
Ephraim Paul, Akwa Ibom State University
Co-Authors: Ephraim Paul
Ecotourism has been given increased attention in the last decade in Nigeria. Government at all levels are developing strategies to diversify and transform the economy from the present oil-dependent economy. Ecotourism has been identified as a valuable component of the process and is among the five pillars of the economic transformation framework. Sectorial reforms in policies, laws and regulations have boosted investors’ confidence and encouraged them to invest in tourism industry in Nigeria. The location and features of Ibaka Beach provide competitive and comparable advantages for the transformative economic concept. The Beach, with medium- and coarse-grained sand, is sited near a natural deep harbor and closed to major industrial and commercial centers.
This project was designed to assess the current state of the Beach and develop strategies and action plans to restore the Beach to international standards. This work documents the design aspect of the project. The project components are dredging, placement of dredged materials, widening the berm, raising the dune, and tree planting. The beach berm will be widened from 180 meters to 200 meters, using sand from dredged navigation channels, while maintaining the natural slope between the dune and depth of closure. Numerical model was applied to analyze the performance of alternative design concepts using the following metrics: erosion rates, quantity of sand required, shoreline retreat, longshore transport, and channel in-filling. Alternatives that passed the metrics benchmark were further subjected to environmental, economic, and technical feasibility tests. The design shown in this paper got the highest performance score and had been recommended to the project sponsor.
Bio: Ephraim Paul is an assistant professor and coastal engineer who combines laboratory and field observations with numerical-based methods to provide solutions to dredging and coastal engineering challenges in the society. His work encompasses hydro-graphic and geophysical surveys, navigation channel design, beach nourishment, dredging and beneficial uses of dredged materials, characterization of marine renewable energy resources for electric power generation, and coastal resources preservation and conservation. His papers have been published by professional societies, such as WEDA. His professional affiliations include: SNAME, WEDA, AGU, ASBPA, IEEE, ASCE, and ASME. He lives in Richmond, Texas with his wife, Mfon and children.
Sediment quality and berm design considerations in a beach nourishment project with large fill densities – Isle of Palms, SC.
Steven Traynum, Coastal Science & Engineering
Co-Authors: Tim Kana Andrew Giles
Sediment quality, berm elevations and berm slopes are fundamental design parameters of all beach nourishment projects, and are critical to the performance and aesthetics of a completed project. When fill densities are extremely large, additional considerations need to be addressed due to the large berm width. A recently completed project at Isle of Palms, SC involved placement of 1.67 million cubic yards (cy) of sand over 8,800 lf of beach with an average fill density of 190 cy/ft and areas with a constructed berm width of over 600 ft. The high fill density was required to withstand rapid shoreline fluctuations associated with periodic shoal bypass events that affect the project area on average every 6-7 years. These events may add 100,000-500,000 cy of sand during a single event; however, also create areas of extreme erosion during the attachment process. The project area (at the east end of the island) serves as a feeder beach for the remainder of the island. The berm elevation was designed to allow infrequent washover to improve the natural aesthetic of the project and reduce the likelihood of severe escarpments following the project. While escarpment formation has been negligible following the project, washover of the berm during storm events or extreme tides has resulted in temporary ponding on the berm or areas with soft sand due to US Fish and Wildlife Service required beach tilling. While the effects of these overwash events is temporary (on the order of 2-3 days), they are significant to the public use of the beach. The authors discuss the rationale for high fill densities in some areas of the project due to effects of the adjacent inlet delta and the design elements including the berm elevation and beach slope. While quality beach compatible material existed in the project vicinity, concerns over historical resources required the borrow areas to avoid the areas containing the most compatible sand. The alternate source material for the nourishment contained minor areas of stiff clay and higher shell content. The mixture of sediment quality in the borrow area may also be contributing to water being retained on the berm during washover events. The authors will discuss design criteria which may be adjusted for future projects, or additional construction methods (such as limited tilling) which may improve both the aesthetics and usability of the nourished beach.
Bio: Mr. Traynum is a coastal scientist with Coastal Science & Engineering with 11 years experience in the design, construction and monitoring of beach restoration projects. He has a MS in Marine Science from University of South Carolina and a Coastal Engineering Certificate from Old Dominion.
Wave Attenuation Services of Nature Based Features
Maura Boswell, Old Dominion University
Co-Authors: Navid Tahvildari
Living shorelines integrate structural and natural features to stabilize the shoreline, through reduction of erosion from the wave climate, while keeping the connectivity between land and aquatic ecosystems. Field study was conducted at two types of living shoreline projects, a marsh sill and an oyster reef, to quantify and compare their wave attenuation services. These data were used to calibrate and validate a nonhydrostatic phase-resolving numerical model, NHWAVE, to provide physics-based guidance for the design of living shoreline systems that are efficient in wave attenuation yet maximize land-water connectivity.
The research study utilizes field observations to determine the hydrodynamics of wave interaction with structures along two different types of living shoreline projects. The first site includes a marsh-sill located in the Severn River sub-estuary of Virginia. This project was constructed in 2016 and consists of four rock sills, sand fill, and vegetation adjacent to an eroding marsh. The second site is the Bayford Oyster Castle Project in the Nassawadox Creek on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This project was also constructed in 2016 and consists of two separate lines of bio-engineered oyster reefs with the intent of restoring oyster reef habitat and providing shoreline erosion protection.
At each site, an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) was deployed offshore to capture the localized wave climate and pressure transducers were located along four profiles to capture wave attenuation around structures. The data reveal spatial variability of water levels across living shoreline profiles (around structures, in the gaps between structure, and over planted marshes) to measure wave attenuation rates by structures. Data from the gauges were processed using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis and energy dissipation in different frequencies of the wave spectrum was quantified. Collecting data from two different types of living shorelines enabled analyses to be conducted to examine the dependency of wave attenuation on structure dimensions, and to determine ways for maximizing land-water connectivity.
The NHWAVE model is employed to investigate the dependency of wave attenuation on important parameters associated with structures in living shorelines. NHWAVE is a three-dimensional model that has been used, among many other applications, to simulate the interactions between coastal waves and porous structures. In order to predict wave attenuation, the model is calibrated for parameters that represent attenuation due to structure and bottom friction. The data on wave attenuation for each site is used for this purpose and site-specific parameters are obtained. The rock sill structures in this study are typically emergent features, whereas the oyster reefs are lower profile structures. While the typical marsh sill living shoreline has a single structure with the crest height determined based on the design wave height, this study examined how having multiple parallel lower profile structures affects wave attenuation in the system. Additionally, the array of oyster reefs provides valuable data regarding water level variability and current patterns with parallel, overlapping structures that are incorporated into the numerical analyses.
Bio: Maura K. Boswell, P.E. is a Coastal Engineer with a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering from the University of Florida. Currently, she is a Doctoral Candidate at Old Dominion University. She has previously worked in the private sector as a Project Manager and Project Engineer on a wide range of projects involving coastal processes, shore protection, and marina design. Ms. Boswell also serves as the president of the Central East Coast Chapter of ASBPA.
Nueces County-Owned Kleberg Tract Habitat and Land Use Management Tract.
Harrison McNeil, Hanson Professional Services Inc.
Co-Authors: Mary Ellen Vega Harrison McNeil Kara Thompson
Hanson Professional Services, Inc. was retained by Nueces County to develop a Habitat and Land Use Management Plan (HLMP) for an approximate 3,700 acre tract in Kleberg County. The recently acquired tract of land is located on North Padre Island immediately north of the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS). The purpose of the HLMP is to provide Nueces County with critical information for managing the acquired tract in a way that provides quality public recreational opportunities while protecting ecologically important natural resources. The HLMP will also serve as a baseline document for future development of adaptive management plans and decision-making strategies for the tract.
Preliminary management objectives were developed through coordination with Nueces County, federal and state resource agencies, conservation groups, recreational user groups, and the public. These objectives included but were not limited to maintaining controlled access to the beaches and bays as well as protecting sensitive wildlife and habitats from degradation through unrestricted illegal activities. A thorough literature search was conducted and technical information relative to the site’s natural resources, historic land use, areas of legal authority and jurisdiction, and potential legal and/or land use constraints were also included in the HLMP.
A baseline habitat characterization was accomplished using existing and readily available data that was incorporated into GIS format. Unmanned aerial system (UAS) Color-Near Infrared imaging was acquired for two 100-acre test plots to evaluate its potential use as a management tool. Additional public outreach was pursued through online surveys and showed a recurrent trend to maintain the HLMP project site in its natural state with low-impact recreational activities. The HLMP project site is owned by Nueces County, but is physically located in Kleberg County. It is also located within the City of Corpus Christi’s extra-territorial jurisdiction. A number of issues involving municipal authority, jurisdictional rights and their enforcement, planning, development, and law enforcement were identified as potential legal issues. The current (2014) property deed was found to contain several important land use purpose statements and legal constraints, including a formerly used defense site (FUDS) from World War II known as Bombing Target B-2.
The HLMP was a multifaceted project that involved in depth research, government coordination at the local, state and federal levels, public outreach and incorporation of emerging technologies all centered around the coastal system that is North Padre Island. Our team of scientists through literature analysis, desktop review, public involvement, and field-reconnaissance were able to successfully develop a management plan for an approximate 3,700-acre tract of undeveloped Texas barrier island.
Bio: Mr. McNeil obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2014 from Texas A&M University at Galveston in Ocean and Coastal Resources. In 2015, Mr. McNeil completed his master’s degree in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M Galveston as well, with a focus on coastal wetlands and global information systems (GIS). Currently a Biologist for Hanson Professional Services Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas, Mr. McNeil is involved with many aspects of environmental science but primarily focuses on wetland delineations and GIS analysis throughout the Texas coast. Mr. McNeil is also studying for his FAA Part 107 certification to become a licensed drone pilot.
Raise Taxes: A Case for Public Investment in Coastal Infrastructure
Michael Walther, G.E.C., Inc.
Raise Taxes: A Case for Public Investment in Coastal Infrastructure
The U.S. economy relies on a vast network of man-made infrastructure from roads and bridges to railroads and ports. But the U.S. economy also relies on nature based coastal infrastructure including beaches, wetlands and estuaries. This nature based infrastructure is inherent to the existence of our coastal communities where about half of the U.S. populations resides. Nature-based infrastructure is under attack by man-made effects including climate change and sea level rise.
Increased public spending is necessary to meet the country’s growing needs and ensure that responsible coastal development occurs in the public interest. In the face rising seas and catastrophic storm events, inadequately maintained coastal infrastructure (a) threatens human safety, and (b) imposes large costs on the federal budget with increases damages and post-storm recovery costs.
State and local governments might wait for a promised federal plan – as more federal help would be welcome, but State and local governments should take the lead in this area because the type and amount of assistance they’d receive under any new federal initiative remains unclear. President Trump’s infrastructure proposal mostly consists of private-sector investors to boost investment in projects that will generate revenue but leaves out maintenance of existing and other infrastructure that cannot directly produce revenue as a return on private investment. A comparison of U.S. public funding and tax structures to other countries will be presented to demonstrate potential U.S. funding sources.
A case is made that all levels of government should reject the flawed economic growth strategy of cutting taxes, and instead make investments in infrastructure that has a significant economic “multiplier effect” and provides the foundation for a strong economy. Public investment will improve economic activity and productivity by increasing long-term economic growth and wages. In the short term, even though employment is recovering, millions of Americans are working less than they would like and making less than it takes to get by. Key infrastructure investments would provide immediate job opportunities.
In summary, this presentation addresses the importance of nature based coastal infrastructure, the drivers adversely affecting this infrastructure, and the need to raise taxes for public investment – on the national, state and local levels – to restore and maintain nature based coastal infrastructure.
Bio: Michael P. Walther, P.E., D.CE.: Vice-President of Coastal Tech – G.E.C., Inc, based in “mostly beautiful” Vero Beach Florida. Walther has over 40 years of practical experience in the national arena of beach and inlet management from planning to design, permitting and construction. As a professional engineer, avid surfer, beach user, and volunteer activist, Walther is familiar with coastal resources and policy throughout the nation.
Shoreline Restoration and Habitat Longevity in the Face of Sea Level Rise
Nicholas Cox, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Eldon C. (Don) Blancher II
As large investments are made in living shoreline projects, increasing the longevity of those projects in the face of sea level rise and storm volatility has become an important factor to consider in site design and long-term maintenance. Working with The Nature Conservancy, Moffatt & Nichol is completing ecologically based engineering and design of a 1.5 mile long living shoreline and marsh creation project in Bayou La Batre, AL.
The main objective of the Lightning Point project is to restore habitat and resources that were lost during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Ecological design aspects of the project consider a diversity of habitat types for subtidal, intertidal, (frequently and infrequently flooded) and higher scrub-shrub (Iva/Baccharis) habitats. In addition, coastal beach features will be constructed to prioritize establishment of locally threatened species such as diamondback terrapin. Ecological services produced for the lifetime of the project will be calculated and monitored to ensure long-term sustainability of habitat and resource services.
Design features for the Lightning Point Restoration including 28 acres of marsh restoration and high marsh/scrub shrub with material from a nearby borrow area and previous dredge disposal areas. Additionally, living shoreline concepts will be implemented including breakwaters to reduce the high erosion rates experienced at the sites, extending the life of the restored habitats. Functional tidal creeks will be built between the breakwaters and the existing shoreline mimicking the natural tidal marshes in the area.
Both resilience and sustainability concepts are key goals and were integrated early in the engineering and design phase in several ways. In order to stabilize the shoreline and marsh habitats after restoration, the shoreline protection measures were designed to reduce the risk of marsh erosion during future high energy events by designing around specific marsh erosion thresholds. For the breakwaters to continue to function as shoreline protection well into the future, the impacts of storm energy and relative sea level rise were another main consideration in the design of the living shoreline features. A thorough statistical evaluation of extreme water levels and operational and extreme wave heights was completed to determine the necessary elevation of the living shoreline to increase the resiliency of the marsh platform. Segmented, overlapping, curvilinear living shoreline and breakwater features were designed to protect against the dominant wind direction and maximize sediment accretion and retention between the shoreline and the breakwaters. Further, the living shoreline features will be constructed using materials that can be easily built upon later to increase the elevation as needed due to sea level rise.
Following construction of the Lightning Point Restoration Project, The Nature Conservancy will develop and implement a comprehensive and site-specific long-term maintenance plan which will increase project resiliency and extend the viable life of the project. By considering site-specific long-term maintenance early in the engineering and design process, the lifespan of this living shoreline project can potentially be doubled.
Bio: Nicholas Cox has an M.S. in Coastal Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is currently a Coastal Engineer with over seven years of coastal design experience working on a wide variety of coastal restoration projects throughout the Gulf Coast. He has served as Project Engineer and Project Manager during design and construction of past and present projects totaling over 2500 acres of marsh restoration in coastal Louisiana with total construction costs of over $250M.
United States Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District: An Overview of the Navigation, Ecosystem Restoration and Flood Risk Management (Inland and Coastal Storm) Programs along the Texas Coast.
Sharon Tirpak, USACE Galveston District
The Galveston District was established in 1880 and is considered one of the oldest in the Corps. The area of responsibility encompasses the entire Texas Coast from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande and about 150 miles inland, an area of approximately 50,000 square miles. It includes 48 Texas Counties, two Louisiana Parishes and 400 miles of coastline. In an average year the District executes a $300M program, including shallow and deep draft navigation, flood risk management (inland and coastal storm), ecosystem restoration, regulatory and disaster response and recovery missions.
The presentation will provide an overview of the District’s current civil works missions of navigation, flood risk management and ecosystem restoration and how they can be intertwined to complement each other and be beneficial to the region. The presentation will also include information on the expected growth of the District’s program due to probable funding from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which will provide funds to areas affected by Hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Bio: Ms. Tirpak, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, attended college in southern Maine and graduated with a BS in Marine Biology. She began her career as a Fishery Biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service conducting research on fish, dolphin and sea turtles. In 1994 Ms. Tirpak transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District where she worked in the Regulatory evaluating Department of Army Permits; in Planning developing feasibility studies; and since 2008 in Project Management leading multi-disciplinary teams through the planning, design and construction of federally funded civil works projects concerning flood risk management (inland and coastal storm), navigation and ecosystem restoration. She currently serves as a Deputy Chief of the Project Management Branch.
Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study – An Overview
Kelly Burks-Copes, US Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District
Co-Authors: Kelly Burks-Copes
The Texas coast serves as a powerful economic engine for the nation by supporting several densely populated areas built around trillions of dollars of largely fixed public, private, and commercial investments. Unfortunately, Hurricanes Ike (2008) and Harvey (2017) clearly demonstrated the area’s vulnerability to coastal storm forcings (e.g., winds, waves, and surge). Given the current and projected sea level and climate change trends for the region, much of the built environment in the region could be rendered unsustainable. These communities now face tough choices as they contemplate adapting local land use patterns while striving to preserve community values and economic vitality. Absent improvements to critical infrastructure that adapt with changing future conditions, the next devastating storm event will likely result in similar or worse impacts. Without added protection, this may mean that communities will have to retreat in order to sustain their economic viability and social resilience. Clearly, there is an urgent need to consider preparations, adaptations, and innovations to protect the resilience of the Texas coastal system to ensure the nation’s economic security and assist local communities in their own short- and long-term planning initiatives. In 2014, the US Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with the Texas General Land Office, kicked off a $19.8 million study to design potential protection and restoration solutions that would promote long-term resilience for the entire coast of Texas. By constructing a series of large-scale coastal storm risk management features in combination with landscape-level coastal ecosystem restoration initiatives, the study team offers a comprehensive recommendation to prepare, resist, protect, and adapt the Coastal Texas system for generations to come. Here we describe the study’s findings-to-date, and lay out the team’s path forward to develop a systems-based plan for the entire Texas Coast.
Bio: Dr. Burks-Copes is the project manager for the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration study. She has been working for the US Army Corps of Engineers for more than 25 years.
Gulf Coast Community Protection & Reccovery District Study: Economic Analysis
Chris Sallese, Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation
The Gulf Coast Community Protection & Recovery District (GCCPRD) study region consisted of coastal areas that could be impacted by storm surges in the Texas counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, and Orange. The study investigated long-term plans and strategies to reduce the risk of storm damages to coastal communities.
The focus of the economic analysis was the quantification of storm damages and storm damage reduction for each of the investigated project alternatives. The reduction of potential damages due to inundation was the basis for the primary benefits that were estimated for each project alternative. The difference in damages with and without a project alternative in place was the measure of the benefit. Measured inundation reduction included the reduction of physical damages to residential and commercial structures, contents of residential and commercial structures, and vehicles. In addition to the physical damages described above, benefits in the form of reduced debris removal and cleanup costs were also evaluated.
The US Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center Flood Damage Analysis (HEC-FDA) model was used to calculate storm damages. HEC-FDA is a risk-based model that incorporates Monte Carlo simulation to capture the variability of possible results by specifying key input variables as probability distributions. The economic and engineering inputs necessary for the model to calculate damages included structure values, content to-structure value ratios, first floor elevations, ground elevations, depth-damage relationships, and stage-probability relationships. For each evaluated alternative, damages prevented were estimated for existing conditions and several future points in time. The evaluation of future points incorporated the effects of forecasted future development and sea level rise. The generated damage estimates were converted to an equivalent annual value reflective of an assumed 50-year project life by means of standard present value techniques and paired with annualized project alternative costs to produce a benefit-to-cost ratio.
Bio: Chris Sallese has over 30 years of program and project management experience associated with planning, designing, permitting, constructing, operating, and maintaining water resource, facilities and intermodal transportation infrastructure. He served as the District Engineer and Deputy District Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District for over 5 years where he developed, managed and executed a Civil Works program in excess of $250 million per year. He is currently the Project Manager for the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District’s Storm Surge Suppression Study. (www.gccprd.com)
Storm Surge and Wave Impacts from a Proposed Coastal Storm Risk Management Measure for the Galveston Bay Area
Margaret Owensby, US Army Corps of Eng. – Engineer Research & Development Center – Coastal & Hydraulics Lab
Co-Authors: Thomas C. Massey, Yan Ding, Himangshu Das
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center’s Coastal Storm Modeling System (CSTORM-MS) was applied along the Texas coast to study the impacts to storm surge and waves due to proposed coastal storm risk management measures. These proposed protection measures were comprised primarily of a system of levees and navigation gates along the Galveston Bay area of the open coast. This talk will present comparisons of the impacts to surge and wave under with and without project conditions. In particular changes in surge and wave conditions are heavily dependent on the angle of approach and the landfall location of storms in relation to the protection system. Storm size, intensity and forward speed also play significant roles. Several results from representative storm scenarios will be presented under a present day sea level and two sea level rise conditions. For a selected few storm conditions, impacts on surge and waves from a single alteration to the with-project condition will be shown. The inherent complexity of the storm protection system’s impacts to surge and waves will be illustrated from these example results. Furthermore the results suggest operational procedures for the protection system will be equally complex.
Bio: Ms. Margaret Owensby is a research hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Since joining the Corps of Engineers in 2016, she has specialized in coastal modeling and data analysis, and has worked on a variety of projects to aid decision-making for both government and military agencies. She is a member of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory’s Coastal Storm (CSTORM) Modeling System team, which uses a coupled numerical model to simulate both historical and hypothetical hurricane conditions in coastal regions.
Introduction to Engineering With Nature
Todd Bridges, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
Co-Authors: Jeffrey King
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)’s Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) Initiative enables more sustainable delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with water resources infrastructure. EWN® is the intentional alignment of natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental and social benefits through collaborative processes. In turn, sustainable development of water resources infrastructure is supported by solutions that beneficially integrate engineering and natural systems. With recent advances in the fields of engineering and ecology, there is an opportunity to combine these fields of practice into a single collaborative and cost-effective approach for infrastructure development and environmental management. The EWN Initiative is a cross-cutting program of activities resulting from collaborations among multiple Civil Works Research, Development and Technology programs that also include non-USACE partners.
This initial presentation will provide attendees with an overview of the EWN Initiative and the growing number of applications occurring in coastal settings. This initial EWN presentation will also offer attendees additional insight into the structure and content of three EWN sessions planned during the ASBPA Conference.
Bio: Dr. Todd Bridges is the U.S. Army’s Senior Research Scientist for Environmental Science. His responsibilities include leading research, development and environmental initiatives for the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Dr. Bridges is the National Lead for USACE’s Engineering With Nature® initiative, which includes a network of research projects, field demonstrations, and communication activities to promote sustainable, resilient infrastructure systems. Primary areas of research include: 1) science/engineering of sustainable infrastructure development, 2) developing risk and decision analysis methods applied to water resources infrastructure and environmental systems, and 3) assessing and managing environmental contaminants.
Constructing Islands with Dredged Sediment
Danielle Szimanski, USACE-Baltimore District
In the past decade, the Baltimore District Army Corps of Engineers has completed several island construction projects with dredged material. These islands were created for nesting habitat restoration of migratory birds, creation of shallow water habitat and natural breakwaters. Islands were created using hydraulic pipeline dredging. Specific planting and containment plans were designed for each islands location and environment.
Bio: Danielle Szimanski has been working with the Baltimore District Corps of Engineers in the Navigation Section for 7+ years. She received her undergrad degree from Washington College (MD) and Master’s from Towson University (MD). She specifically works in shallow draft dredging and beneficial use of dredged material.
Engineering with Nature to Support System Resilience: Examples of Innovative Channel Dredging and Placement in Coastal New Jersey
Monica Chasten, US Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District
Co-Authors: Candice Piercy, Tim Welp
The US Army Corps of Engineers, through its Engineering with Nature (EWN) program, is combining the use of research and development, collaboration and partnering, and demonstration projects and technology transfer in order to support sustainable infrastructure development. The Philadelphia District, an EWN Proving Ground, has partnered with the Engineering Research and Development Center and other project stakeholders to construct innovative ecosystem and shore protection projects using material dredged from federal channels in a triple-win approach.
Traditional operational practices have sought to clear shoals from smaller federal channels such as the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway as quickly as possible, usually by placing material into Confined Disposal Facilities (CDF). A typical CDF is limited in capacity and is usually shared by federal, state and local entities, making dredged material management a challenge. Use of such CDF placement alternatives actually removes sediment out of a natural system, which limits an impacted area’s ability to recover and rebuild naturally. Present and future Regional Sediment Management and EWN strategies are seeking to utilize dredged material as a resource by taking actions to keep sediment in the system. Natural forces are evaluated to optimize placement design and increase system resilience where possible.
As part of Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, the US Army Corps of Engineers participated in the construction of several projects that demonstrated innovative dredging and placement methods to restore marsh in New Jersey. These placement methods included a spraying technique to spread sediment in a relatively thin layer on a degraded wetland, placement of material on a marsh area to create nesting bird habitat, and innovative placement of material to repair a breach and stabilize an island while also creating habitat. Along with several project partners, the USACE is continuing to monitor these sites and develop lessons learned to enhance future restoration activities. Details on the design, construction and monitoring of example projects at Mordecai Island, Ring Island and Avalon, NJ will be presented.
Bio: Ms. Monica Chasten is a Project Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Operations Division. She has over 33 years of experience with hydraulic and coastal engineering projects specializing in dredging, beach nourishment, tidal inlets, regional sediment management and coastal structures. Ms. Chasten’s current responsibilities include serving as the Project Manager for Coastal Navigation projects in NJ and DE and for the District’s five dams located in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Chasten received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University and an M.S. in Hydraulic and Coastal Engineering from Lehigh University.
Tapping the Ingenuity of Students to Design a Resilient Texas Coast
Kelly Burks-Copes, US Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District
Co-Authors: Sharon Tirpak
In 2015, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in cooperation with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), initiated a $19.8 million feasibility study to develop coastal storm protection and ecosystem restoration solutions to promote long-term resilience for the entire coast of Texas. In 2018, an opportunity arose for the USACE study managers to collaborate with the ERDC’s Engineering with Nature (EWN) Program to sponsor an advanced architectural design class at both Cornell and Auburn Universities. Offered in the Spring Semester of 2018, five graduate students from Cornell and 10 undergraduate students from Auburn signed up to take the class. On the first day, the students were presented with the Coastal Texas study, and their instructors charged them with learning everything they could about the baseline conditions of the area. They were then tasked with exploring opportunities to expand upon the USACE’s protection and restoration solutions by considering EWN principles and utilizing Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) to maximize social and ecological benefits, while maintaining engineering performance. The class began with a week-long field trip to the Houston-Galveston area, where the students were given a chance to see in the problems the USACE and GLO are facing in the study. When they returned to their campuses, each student undertook a research project to meet the EWN challenge. At the end of the semester, the students had to present their innovations back to the USACE and GLO study managers for feedback and direction – all within in a virtual classroom setting. Here we describe the studio class activities and highlight some of the innovative solutions the students developed to enhance the study’s plans.
Bio: Dr. Kelly Burks-Copes works for the US Army Corps of Engineers and is the Project Manager of the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study
Quantifying Sediment Transport and Improving RSM Strategies for USACE Projects along the Delaware and Maryland Coasts
Eve Eisemann, USACE ERDC
Co-Authors: Jeffrey Gebert, Jesse Hayden, Monica Chasten
The 25 mile-long Atlantic Coast of Delaware includes one Federal navigation project (Indian River Inlet (IRI) and Bay) and four Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) projects: Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach (RD), Bethany Beach-South Bethany (BSB), Fenwick Island (FI), and the IRI sand bypassing project. Each of these projects has been studied, authorized, constructed, and maintained independently over a period of decades, but no systematic sediment budget has ever been developed to identify sediment pathways and fluxes within and between these projects. A better understanding of the sediment transport dynamics of this coastal system will assist in optimizing the sediment management and economic efficiency of the projects.
A regional sediment budget is developed for this project, encompassing the 25 miles of Atlantic Ocean coast in Delaware. The Delaware coast sediment budget will ultimately be integrated with the existing sediment budget for the 31 miles of coast in Maryland managed by Baltimore District (NAB). This will advance a quantitative understanding of sediment transport along the DE-MD portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and enable improved management strategies for USACE navigation and CSRM projects in NAP and NAB.
Development of the sediment budget begins with aggregating coastal project data within Delaware, including previous sediment budgets, navigation project dredging data, beach profiles, shoreline mapping, project monitoring reports, wave and water level climatologies, and beachfill placement records. These data are synthesized using the Sediment Budget Analysis System (SBAS), an ArcGIS tool for visualizing sediment budget cells and associated fluxes. Additionally, this work will be integrated with efforts ongoing for over a decade at the University of Delaware (UD) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), which have focused on the vicinity of the IRI, located midway along the coast of Delaware.
Upon completion of this preliminary sediment budget, this project aims to further refine and quantify sediment transport pathways and fluxes for the combined coastal region of Delaware and Maryland. With a refined and integrated sediment budget for the two states, specific recommendations for improvement in the management of sediment at CSRM and navigation projects in the region can be defined.
Bio: Ms. Eve Eisemann is a Research Physical Scientist in the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). She works from the Joint Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) in Kiln, Mississippi. Ms. Eisemann has contributed to research addressing barrier island systems and their geomorphology, coastal storm impacts, submerged aquatic vegetation habitats, Holocene sea-level rise and paleo-environmental indicators. She is currently working on projects employing Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data to calculate beach volumes, shoreline changes, and coastal resilience.
Simulation of Shoreline Changes around the Indian River Inlet in the Delaware coast
Yan Ding, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
Co-Authors: Sung-Chan Kim, Rusty Permenter
In a relatively short and straight Delaware’s Atlantic Coast, shoreline configurations are largely determined by antecedent geology and inlet morphology, and variations of shoreline are influenced by episodic events (e.g. coastal storms) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. beach nourishment). These conditions play an important role in shoreline stability as well as evolution of shoreline/beach positions and shapes. Studies of the Delaware’s shoreline evolution in the past have revealed that even though the long-term trend of the shoreline is erosional the shoreline has gone through fluctuating erosional/accretional stages with changes in environmental parameters. The present study focuses on modeling shoreline changes in the Delaware coast around the Indian River inlet by using the GenCade shoreline evolution model. Major purpose of the study is to reproduce the historical shoreline evolutions driven by these environmental factors such as inlet sediment transport, offshore waves, longshore and cross-shore sediment transport, beach nourishment, and sand bypassing process.
GenCade is a USACE general engineering application tool to simulate long-term shoreline changes on coasts with structures, beach fills, inlets, and various boundary conditions. It has been widely used in coastal engineering projects for shoreline erosion protection, coastal sediment management, and coastal hazard management. Recent development and validation of the model has provided more simulation capabilities including cross-shore sediment transport processes, sea level rise, and subsidence. This presentation is to report preliminary validation results of GenCade by simulating shoreline changes in the Delaware coast around Indiana Inlet. The inlet reservoir model in GenCade is particularly validated in simulation of sediment transport processes through the Indiana River inlet. Model simulation skill will be evaluated by comparing simulated shoreline changes with observation data.
Bio: Yan Ding is Research Civil Engineer in the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. His expertise lies on hydraulics and river dynamics, wave dynamics, sediment transport, integrated coastal process modeling, dam-break flow modeling, and storm-surge modeling.
Thin Layer Placement: The State of the Science and Practice
Brandon Boyd, USACE Engineer Research and Development Center
The recognition of dredged sediment as a resource has led to an increase in beneficial use projects around the US and abroad. One mechanism of beneficial use is thin layer placement (TLP) whereby sediment is placed above or below water in an environmental acceptable manner to achieve a target elevation or thickness. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regional Sediment Management and Engineering With Nature programs support research and collaborative opportunities to increase both the acceptance and success of TLP projects. We provide a brief history of thin layer placement, an overview of current projects, and the state of the science. The importance of stakeholder partnerships to ensuring project success is discussed. Results and conclusions from ongoing USACE research and their implications for best practices are also presented.
Bio: Dr. Brandon Boyd’s research is focused on better describing wetland and estuarine processes and the feedbacks between those processes and navigation and restoration efforts. Dr. Boyd is part of a large team of researchers at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center studying the mechanisms, effects, and resiliency of thin layer placement that includes Mr. Tim Welp, Dr. Damarys Acevedo-Mackey, Dr. Candice Piercy, and Dr. Christine VanZomeren.
Recent Nearshore Placement and Case Studies
Katherine Brutsche, USACE-ERDC
Co-Authors: Brian McFall
Beneficial use of dredged material is an important practice for Regional Sediment Management in order to keep valuable sediment within the littoral zone and system. There are many ways to beneficially use dredged material, but an increasingly utilized method is to place sediment in the nearshore zone in the form of a berm or mound. The goals of this method are to place sediments as a feeder berm which supplies sediment to the beach profile and shoreline or place sediments as a stable berm to add protection to the shoreline through the dissipation of wave energy by breaking over the nearshore berm. However, little is known about the transport and dispersion of the sediment after it is placed in the nearshore. To that end, several research programs within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), including the Regional Sediment Management (RSM) program, Coastal Inlets Research Program (CIRP), and the Dredging Operations and Environmental Research (DOER) program are working collaboratively to advance the science and our understanding of nearshore placement of sediment.
Several tools are available through the CIRP and RSM programs to determine whether sediment placed in the nearshore will move including the Sediment Mobility Tool (SMT; McFall and Brutsché, submitted), the Coastal Modeling System, and the Depth of Closure database. Updates to these tools as well as new research regarding morphological evolution of nearshore placement will be discussed. Three case studies that illustrate the use of these tools and other advancement in nearshore placement will be presented. Case studies include the 2015 Vilano Beach, Florida project, the 2016 Lake Michigan project, and the 2009 and 2017 Fort Myers Beach projects. Techniques on evaluating performance of each project differed and will be summarized and compared. Lessons learned from each project will also shared.
Bio: Dr. Katherine Brutsché is a Research Physical Scientist at the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, M.S. She received her Masters and Ph.D. at the University of South Florida in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Her Bachelor of Science degree in Geosciences was completed at Virginia Tech in 2007. Her dissertation research focused on the sediment characteristics and morphological impacts of the nearshore placement of dredged material in Fort Myers Beach, Florida and Perdido Key, Florida. Currently, she is continuing her research on nearshore berms and is the Deputy Program Manager for the Regional Sediment Management Program.
The Combination of far field dredge plume modeling and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology: A Case Study in the Double Creek Channel, NJ
Yi-Cheng Teng, Michael Baker International
Co-Authors: Daniel Barone
Quantifying the transport of sediments released during dredging operations is essential to predicting the environmental impact of adjacent waters and coastal developments. It has long been recognized that numerical modeling can be a vital tool for predicting potential environment impacts of dredging activities. However, temporal and spatial coverage of the model calibration and validation is often limited due to the lack of suitable in-situ data. It is time-consuming and costly to collect a sufficiently large quantity of in-situ data using traditional ways to robustly calibrate/validate models. To address this data gap, the implementation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology provides us an alternative way to establish baseline water visibility/turbidity during a variety of sea state conditions. It has proved that UAS technology can be a fast and reliable source of data for turbidity monitoring (e.g. UAS monitoring project led by Michael Baker International). Here we presented a novel solution to calibrate/validate dredge plume model with high-resolution still images collected by the UAS in the absence of water sampling. In this work, a three-dimensional unstructured-grid model coupled with a sediment transport model developed in-house is applied to provide a detailed hindcast of sediment plume generated from dredging operation at the Double Creek Channel located in Barnegat Township, NJ. The preliminary results show that the extent of sediment plume simulated by model is comparable with the ones obtained from the high-resolution images collected by the UAS at different time periods. We demonstrate that in the absence of water sampling, the baseline water turbidity established by the UAS can be used to calibrate/validate the modeled plume extent. The validated model then can be used to predict the likely extent, severity, and persistence of environmental impacts by proposed dredging activity in a scientifically sound way. We conclude that the combination of numerical modeling and UAS technology can significantly reduce environmental monitoring costs, and has the potential to improve model’s predictive capacity in an efficient and effective manner.
Bio: Dr. Teng joins the Michael Baker International Department of Environmental and Water Resources as a coastal scientist and focuses on coastal numerical modeling and GIS, and other coastal related projects. His expertise includes physical and biogeochemical oceanography, development of numerical models, and data assimilation. He has more than 10 years of experience as an ocean modeler. Before joining MBI, he has been a professor and a principal investigator for multiple projects supported by the NSF, DOE and NOAA. Additionally, Dr. Teng has published his works in prestigious journals such as Nature-Geoscience, Journal of Geophysical Research-Ocean, Ocean Engineering, and Ocean Modeling.
The Influence of Vertical Structure on Surges at the Open Coast
Amanda Tritinger, University of North Florida
Co-Authors: Amanda Tritinger, Don Resio
The state of the art of coastal modeling for design and insurances purposes in the United States typically mandates the use of two-dimensional depth-integrated (2DDI) surge models. Although researchers have shown that there can be significant local differences between 2D and 3D model results in specific locations, no studies have previously investigated general differences and consequences between physical representations of wind and wave driven circulation in depth integrated and depth resolved models in open-coast areas. An examination of the general differences between 2DDI and depth resolving storm surge models, suggests that two important differences exist in these formulations: misspecification of the direction and magnitude of the bottom friction vector, which affects surge levels at the coast, and the inability to resolve near-surface velocities that are critical to the transport of near-surface materials.
The hybrid analytical approach introduced in this work allows straightforward evaluations of the expected differences in all three of these problem areas under idealized conditions. Although such an idealization may not provide an exact replication of any given storm, problems revealed in this study are not expected to become less significant simply due to natural variations. This work provides a comprehensive understanding of inaccuracy in storm surge estimation caused by 2DDI model limitations. A computationally feasible alternative for overcoming these limitations has been developed in this research as well. The results from this study can lead to more resilient coastal design, communication of risk to the public, and a better understanding of near-shore sediment movement, and transport of materials towards the coast.
Bio: Amanda Tritinger is a doctoral candidate in a joint Coastal Engineering program between the University of North Florida (UNF) and the University of Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida, where she stumbled into the world coastal engineering through undergraduate research; and so it began. Her education continued at UNF, where she received her master’s degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in Coastal Modeling. Amanda is the professor of record for the Introduction to Environmental Engineering course at UNF and is currently in her last semester of her doctoral candidacy.
Submarine groundwater discharge as a likely driver of coastal inlet sediment dynamics at a Central Gulf lagoon
Bryan Groza, ORISE
Co-Authors: Bret Webb
While measuring and modeling the dynamics of Little Lagoon, in Gulf Shores, AL, we noted multiple indicators that submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) into the lagoon was of such a great magnitude that it was likely having a substantial effect on the deposition rates and patterns within the inlet. Sediment management at this inlet has been costly and ongoing, and attempts to model and predict the inlet behavior have failed to capture some aspects of the system’s complexity. Long-term SGD has been studied at this site as a driver of algal blooms, but no assessment of the contribution of groundwater to the pass morphology has been conducted. Furthermore, we could not locate any documentation in the published literature of a coastal lagoon system where a relationship between groundwater and inlet morphology was established, short-term or otherwise.
Measurements of water level, flow, and bed depth were collected to develop and validate a hindcast model of the lagoon and nearshore system using the Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Modeling System (CMS). Geospatial analysis, observed water levels, and model experimentation were all employed to produce estimations of SGD rates in the lagoon system at various times over the hindcast and monitoring period. During brief periods of increased groundwater seepage, volumetric SGD rates over 1/6th of the modeled peak discharge through the inlet on a spring tide were calculated. While these high rates of SGD contributed to scour of the inlet, additional simulations of lower flows resulted in enhanced deposition within the inlet.
Due to the highly hydrologically conductive aquifers of the coastal plain along the Gulf of Mexico, high annual rainfall in the region, and difficulty of ascertaining SGD rates, we believe that better understanding of these effects could better inform coastal inlet management in this area. As localized SGD rates can increase independently of local rainfall events, this aspect of inlet dynamics may be commonly overlooked.
Bio: Bryan completed his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama in 2016, in the Coastal Engineering and Water Resources Program. He is currently a research fellow through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, working with the EPA in Durham, North Carolina.
Enhanced Tide Model: Improving Tidal Predictions with Integration of Wind Data
Thomas Huff, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Rusty Feagin, Jens Figlus
High temporal resolution, publicly-available, tidal predictions for coastal areas are predominantly based on astronomical predictions. In shallow water basins, however, water level can deviate from astronomical predictions by over a factor of two due to wind-induced tidal fluctuations. To model and correct these wind-induced tidal deviations, a two-stage empirical model was created: the Enhanced Tidal Model (ETM). For any NOAA tide gauge location with appropriate data, this model first measures the wind-induced deviation from astronomical predictions based on a compiled dataset, and then adjusts the astronomical predictions into the future to create a 144 hour forecast. The ETM, when incorporating wind data, reduced the error of NOAA astronomical tide predictions by up to 25% on average (e.g., if NOAA had 1.0 ft. of error, ETM had only 0.75 ft. error from observed water level). For several locations the reduction in prediction error was close to 50% compared to NOAA. The ETM can enhance navigation in shallow tidal waters and improve warnings for potential flooding.
Bio: Dr. Thomas Huff is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Texas A&M University in the Coastal Management Lab run by Dr. Rusty Feagin. He received his PhD. In Ecosystem Sciences in August of 2017 from Texas A&M. During his doctorate, his work ranged from marsh restoration to tide modeling. Currently his work is focused toward marsh resilience, sea level rise’s effects on coastal ecosystems, and improving wind tide flood predictions.
Parking is Part of Beach Access
Luke LeBas, Atkins
Co-Authors: Rhonda Gregg-Hirsch, Justin Bartusek, Paul Jensen
Stewart Beach and East Beach are parks owned by the city of Galveston and operated by the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees (GPB). These two parks are located on the northeastern side of Galveston Island. Stewart Beach is approximately 50 acres, and East Beach is approximately 70 acres. These two parks are very important to the GPB as they provide recreational opportunities to the citizens of Galveston, visitors, and serves as an important source of revenue.
The parking areas at both Stewart and East Beach Parks experience flooding even during light storm events. Daily use, driving and parking, and harvesting sand at these two parks have compacted and removed enough sand to create low areas that easily become saturated and can result in flooding and ponding water. These parking areas are at a lower elevation than the adjacent beach, thereby creating a bowl-like condition. At Stewart Beach, maintenance crews have had to constantly manage this flooding condition by cutting trenches and pumping rain water to drain the parking lot.
The GPB hired Atkins to analyze and model existing conditions and to provide alternatives to solve the flooding problems at these two beach parking areas. The scope of work includes a topographical survey, a geotechnical report, an environmental investigation to identify potential environmental constraints at both parks, and a design to resolve the flooding problems.
The ultimate solution involves a combination of features. A key factor in the design process is the availability and cost of sand to raise the elevation of the low areas and reduce the frequency of flooding. The presentation will address the current situation with the design and construction process.
Bio: Luke LeBas is Division Manager, Port and Coastal Sector, Atkins- Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group.
Cameron County Coastal Park Improvements: Challenges & Partnerships
Paolina Vega, Cameron County
Co-Authors: Joe Vega
Cameron County Coastal Parks serve approximately one million visitors per year. Cameron County’s beach amenities were constructed in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The facilities were showing signs of weathering and lacked appeal. In 2017, the Cameron County Commissioners Court approved $17 million to invest in coastal park improvements.
The County committed to make the necessary improvements to E.K. Atwood Park (Beach Access No.5) and Isla Blanca Park. The improvements at E.K. Atwood Park were completed on February 27, 2018. The improvements included an elevated plaza structure with five pavilions and picnic tables, restrooms, community rinse stations, two new dune walkover structures, four designated parking areas for food truck concessions and other associated improvements. The parking area has Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking and is constructed using a pervious paving system that is environmentally friendly. The parking lots unique construction will reduce storm water run-off by allowing rain water to infiltrate through the pavement and subsoil beneath, resulting in much cleaner run-off water making its way back into our water ways and groundwater.
The Improvements at Isla Blanca Park started on April 12, 2018. The improvements include reconstruction of two existing pavilions the DJ Lerma Pavilion and Sandpiper Pavilion. The pavilions will be constructed 200 ft. landward from their original site with a conservation dune system seawards of the pavilions to protect the structures. The pavilions will include picnic tables, rinse stations, restrooms, concession areas, bbq areas, and new dune walkovers. Other new features include the development of a 2,500 l.f x 20 feet wide lighted boardwalk with shaded structures that will connect the DJ Lerma and Sandpiper pavilions, parking improvements that include ADA parking accessibility with an additional 280 parking spaces, and improvements to the gulfside trails and roads. The parking areas, boardwalk, and roads will be equipped with environmental sensitive LED lighting to protect the environment. Weather permitting; the construction for all gulfside improvements should be completed by Spring 2019.
Permitting process required coordination with the General Land Office. Two large scale dune construction permits were obtained. The County was required to mitigate approximately 19,000 CY of sand dunes in order to accommodate the new improvements. In order to lower dune mitigation costs, the County partnered with Texas A & M Kingsville and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. TAMUK was tasked with extraction, propagation and replanting of native vegetation. UTRGV provided construction oversight and surveying support. Conflicts with construction required for offsite storage of sand until the County was cleared to shape the new dunes. Sand loss was limited by the use of coconut fibermesh until shaping of new dunes could occur.
The new improvements will enhance visitor’s experience, be able to accommodate many more visitors, and provide many amenities not currently offered. The new dunes will be able to protect the County’s investment in the park infrastructure and strengthen existing ecosystems.
Bio: Paolina Vega is the Cameron County Engineer. She graduated from Texas A & M University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and obtained a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2007.
Joe Eliseo Vega was born in Brownsville, Texas and raised in Port Isabel, Texas. He is married to Lucila Cardenas and they have two children: Isabella Breana and Jude Eliseo. He served as a City Commissioner for the City of Port Isabel from 2000-2008 and served as the Mayor for the City of Port Isabel from 2008-2016. He has been employed with Cameron County for over 16 years. He currently serves as the Cameron County Parks Director. He oversees five Coastal Parks, four Public Beach Access Areas, nine Community Parks and two Social Service Centers. He also serves in the capacity of Airport Manager for the Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport.
Stewart Beach Pavilion- From Continuing Maintenance Problems to Planning a New Pavilion for the Next Generation
Sheryl Rozier, Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston
The Pavilion at Stewart Beach Park has been a fixture on Galveston Island since 1984. It has survived direct impacts from hurricanes, floods, water spouts, and other weather events. Yet, despite these events the Pavilion remains standing; but, not without a long-term cost. The pavilion has been damaged over a period of time resulting in a dramatic increase in the maintenance expenditures necessary to keep the facility open to the public. Recognizing the future need to replace the Pavilion, in early 2014 the Park Board of Trustees commissioned the creation of a conceptual Beach Park Master Plan with a focus on East Beach Park and Stewart Beach Park. One of the more significant identified projects to come out of the master planning discussion was the need to begin the planning process that would lead to the construction of a new pavilion at Stewart Beach Park. Stewart Beach Park remains the Park Board’s premier facility, generating upwards of $850,000 annually in user fees and $150,000 in concession fees, and is essential to the Park Board’s operational budget; but in its current condition this “premier” facility status is unsustainable.
Over the last four years the Park Board has invested over $219,639.00 for ongoing maintenance & repair and has budgeted $71,000.00 for 2017 alone, and expenditures are increasing.
In seeking a remedy to this situation, the Park Board began a nationwide Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in April of 2016 to provide architectural schematic design documents for a new pavilion. This RFQ included a thorough public input component with the selected firm Rogers Partners. Seeing this project through to fruition is a long-term planning process with timelines extending into 2021.
This presentation will focus on the planning process the Park Board has undertaken to facilitate the design of the new facility, steps taken (or planned) to achieve community buy-in for the project, an Operations, Maintenance & Revenue Study based on the current conceptual design to vet its financial feasibility, ultimate construction of a new Pavilion for Stewart Beach Park, and some of the challenges of the existing pavilion that will continue to be faced while the planning process unfolds.
Bio: Sheryl oversees the planning, implementation and tracking of both short and long term projects for the Park Board; including all FEMA related recovery projects, the East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, implementation of the Beach Parks and Seawolf Park Master Plans and serves as the Park Board’s facilities manager. Ms. Rozier received a degree in Architecture from the University of Houston, and furthered her studies at Honors Studio, in Saintes, France. Prior to the Park Board she was Operations Manager/Lead Project Manager for Structural Consulting Co., Inc. in Houston. Her current volunteerism activities include being the Clean Galveston coordinator for the Texas General Land Office Adopt-a-Beach Clean-Up program and is a national and local chapter member of the Project Management Institute. She is also a Certified Tourism Ambassador.
Rebranding Public Beaches
Bryan Frazier, Director, Brazoria County Parks Dept.
Managing miles of Gulf of Mexico shoreline that features public beach access for pedestrians and vehicles alike presents numerous challenges to local agencies. Counties, cities, and other entities are entrusted with steward responsibilities of not only providing safe public access, but also resource protection, conservation of wildlife and plant species, and development and maintenance of infrastructure, park, recreation and camping amenities—all while working in concert with state and federal governments to ensure overall ecosystem, dune and water quality. Is there a way to manage the diverse interests of thousands of tourists (who are visiting during precious and limited leisure time) with expectations of local residents, discourage illegal dumping and littering, and preserve invaluable resources for future generations? Maybe rebranding our beaches can be a good start.
Bio: As the director of Parks for Brazoria County, Bryan manages a staff of several dozen park superintendents, rangers, maintenance staff and other employees, and oversees all aspects of a diverse, 11-park system. Brazoria Parks offer RV and tent camping, cabin and group facility rentals, trails, 22 boat ramps and some 14 miles of public beach access along the Gulf of Mexico. This region represents multiple eco-regions in Southeast Texas, including bottomland hardwood, pine tree forests, bayous, bays, estuaries, and great beaches. Often called the Cradle of Texas, Brazoria County is home to one of Texas’ most renowned historical figures, Stephen F. Austin, who colonized the origins of the Republic of Texas with 300 Spanish Land Grants. Honoring this, Brazoria County Parks also operates the Stephen F. Austin-Munson Historical County Park, statue and visitor center.
Why Numerical Models are Required to Design Offshore Breakwaters
Lee Weishar, Woods Hole Group
Co-Authors: Kirk Bosma
The United States and Canada are rapidly losing the ability to design large offshore structures. Most of the coastal engineers that have had this experience either have or will be retiring in the very near future. Additionally, almost all of the university professors in the coastal engineering field have not had the opportunity to design a large offshore structure. This has led to the lack of firsthand knowledge of the design process and has reduced the design of large offshore structures to an academic exercise where a design flaw or outright mistake results in not in the loss of millions of dollars but simply a bad grade. The small village of North Perry, Ohio is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The Village wanted a harbor of refuge for it residents and for the greater Great Lakes boating community. They put the design out to bid and selected an engineering firm to design and build the harbor which consisted of two detached breakwaters, and two groins locate at the updrift and downdrift ends of the breakwaters. The design was accomplished through the use of a hydraulic model which was used to size the rock, determine how far offshore the structures should be placed, and the amount of sand that would be trapped by the structures. The structures were built and during construction the updrift end of the structure completely closed off with trapped sand. After the structure was completed and the entrance dredged, it immediately filled in again requiring dredging of the updrift entrance. The Woods Hole Group was hired to review the project design and determine if the structure could be modified to reduce the dredging while maintaining the harbor of refuge. We used a 2-dimension hydrodynamic numerical model to evaluate the existing design and then altered the model grid to evaluate if modifying or removing some of the structures could eliminate and/or minimize the shoaling while providing a harbor of refuge for the Village. This talk will discuss the design process that was used and the steps recommended to modify the structure to accomplish the goals of the Village.
Bio: Dr. Lee Weishar has more than 40 years of experience in the fields of oceanography, coastal engineering, sediment transport, and nearshore processes. For the past 30 years he has focused on coastal engineering, living shorelines, and wetland/marsh restoration. Dr. Weishar specializes in designing and implementing large scale coastal engineering projects. The design process includes evaluating the impacts of structure both to the downdrift shoreline and the benthic biological communities.
Factors Surrounding Terminal Groin Reconstruction, Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Kimberly McKenna, Coastal Research Center, Stockton University
Co-Authors: David Kriebel
The Coastal Research Center (CRC) at Stockton University evaluated shoreline and nearshore conditions to determine the effectiveness of the Holgate timber-pile-rock terminal groin and make recommendations for designs that could retain, as well as bypass sufficient sand quantities. Located in the Township of Long Beach on southern Long Beach Island (LBI) in Ocean County, New Jersey, the terminal groin is near the boundary between municipal land and the Holgate Unit sand spit in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge that supports nesting populations of threatened or endangered species. Conflicting shoreline management styles result from the juxtaposition, pitting dense human development and safety against mandated “let nature take its course” priorities. Previous investigations determined that this section of LBI suffers from long-term erosion that justifies federal involvement in shore protection. Impacted by Little Egg Inlet and ephemeral Beach Haven Inlet, historic shoreline changes along southern LBI show the migration of both inlets prior to substantial human settlement (1836-1936). Long periods of shoreline stability in the Township were brought on during initial construction of the groins (1930s-1950s) with no apparent spit or inlet migration, however since that time, the spit migrated landward and elongated south into Little Egg Inlet. Following a beach nourishment project in 2016, the CRC monitored local wave climate and topographic/bathymetric changes within the groin field and downdrift of the terminal groin into the refuge. Holgate is the southern terminus of the LBI federal beach fill project where 2.6 million cubic yards of sand were placed in the area north of the terminal groin. Due to limitations imposed by the refuge, the fill design ends abruptly a few hundred yards south of the terminal groin. In addition, shoreline orientation rotates south of the groin field and these influences produce a sharp gradient in localized sediment transport resulting in accelerated sediment losses of the federal beach fill updrift of the groin. In early spring 2017, erosion of the fill was exacerbated by the passage of nine moderate storms that generated up to eight-foot waves and current magnitudes to the southwest exceeding 1.2 ft/sec. Shoreline and volume losses were documented at all Township sites with the greatest losses occurring immediately north and south of the terminal groin. At the same time, the shoreline prograded seaward, and there were overall volume gains along the profile sites in the refuge. Most of the sediment was captured in the berm, shown by the increased elevations throughout the six-month study period, expanding sandy beach nesting habitat. The team evaluated short and long permeable, traditional, and notched groin designs to retain sand fill and bypass approximately 95,000 cy/yr. A short, traditional groin was selected by the project team based on cost and reduced disruption to the beach profile.
Bio: Kimberly McKenna is Director of Sponsored Programs at the Stockton University Coastal Research Center in Port Republic, New Jersey. She received a BS degree in Geology from Stockton University and a MS degree in Geology from the University of South Florida. Kim is a licensed professional geologist in Delaware and Texas and served as Vice President and Secretary of the
Delaware State Board of Geologists. She has authored/co-authored many publications related to shoreline change, storm assessments, and tidal inlet, beach/dune, and dredged material management.
Hybrid Coastal Structures as Storm Surge Barriers – A 3D Wave Basin Physical Model Experiment
Altaf Taqi, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Jens Figlus
Sandy Beaches and dunes are major part of the world’s coastline. They have been considered as natural coastal protectors to coastal communities against extreme events. However, dune resistance to extreme events could fail by frequent erosional cycles due to storm impact as a result of storm driven surges, wind and waves. Such events resulted in large morphological changes, damages to infrastructure and loss of human lives. Thus, a growing research interest to enhance coastal resilience by re-enforcing dunes with hard structures or using a combination of natural ecosystems and built infrastructure, or ‘hybrid systems’. These systems can capitalize on the strength of “hard” and “soft” approaches while aiming to minimize the weaknesses of each. Coastal communities may adopt hybrid approaches for flood risk protection in area where space is limited compared to natural infrastructure approaches. Designing such hybrid systems is a challenging task due to the lack of design formulae related to wave run-up and wave overtopping in addition to limited data on the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic performance of such systems in response to waves and surge. A three-dimensional physical model study was carried out in a wave basin for a hybrid system consisting of a rubble mound hard (d50 = 13.2 cm for armor layer and 6.1 cm for filter layer) structure covered by a layer of sand (d50 = 0.275 mm). The experimental setup consisted of a 15.2 m beach divided into two sections with seaward slope configurations of 1:3 and 1:2, respectively. Shore-normal and oblique wave forcing with a JONSWAP spectral shape was utilized to generate model conditions producing severe erosion of the sediment layer as well as overtopping and overwash. The setup included an array of wave gauges, run-up gauges, acoustic Doppler velocity (ADV) profilers, a 3D LiDAR scanner for high-resolution beach surface scanning, as well as overtopping and overwash collection channels and basins. During testing water levels were progressively increased to simulate storm surge events. The tests showed that both wave directionality and storm surge progression strongly affected the erosion process and the associated coastal profile evolution in both the cross-shore and along-shore directions. The initial hybrid structure profile for both configurations was altered in light of dune scarping and scarp retreat due to wave impact. Eroded sediment moved offshore creating a submerged bar during the collision regime during the early stages of the storm simulation. This newly developed profile was efficient in dissipating the wave energy of incoming waves. During maximum surge levels dune crest lowering and overtopping/overwash was observed. The data collected from this experimental study is being used to assess the viability of such hybrid for storm surge suppression and to improve numerical modeling capabilities for hybrid coastal structures where soft and hard coastal engineering concepts are blended into a single system.
Bio: Altaf Taqi obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University. She received a scholarship from Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) to pursue a doctoral degree in Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is pursuing her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Jens Figlus (Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering). Her research focuses on wave-sediment-structure problems. Altaf is currently working on innovative storm surge barrier systems referred to as hybrid coastal structures.
Effect of Groin Notch on the Shoreline Change using Even Odd analysis and Empirical orthogonal function analysis at the New Jersey Coast
Pranav Sharma, Stevens Institute of Technolog
Co-Authors: Jon Miller, Matthew Janssen
The coastal erosion has become a critical problem for states which are facing acute shortage of land due to high density of population and narrow width available for the state. With this in mind, different protection methods have been used over time, most on the basis of the artificial nourishment of beaches and building coastal structures such as groins. The decision to build a coastal structure should be based on a thorough analysis of the shoreline developments in the past and estimated developments in the future. In this paper an attempt is made towards the evaluation of effects on the shorelines by the construction Groins with notches and without notches using the Even Odd analysis and Empirical orthogonal function analysis at the New Jersey Coast.
Bio: Pranav Sharma is pursuing his Masters in Ocean Engineering at the Department of Civil, Environmental & Ocean Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology. He is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with Coastal Research Group at Davidson Laboratory. His research interests are in coastal engineering.
Adapting Yesterday’s Policies to Tomorrow’s Realities in Coastal Communities
Douglas Plasencia, Moffatt & Nichol
Adaptation to flood risk has been central to our nation’s approach to floodplain management, both riverine and coastal for nearly 100-years. The methods used have ranged from flood control structures to multi-objective projects. As times change the adaptation tool box has grown to reflect a growing set of risk mitigation approaches tailored to meet social, economic, environmental, and policy objectives.
As we look to the next century we are entering uncharted territory of adapting to a risk that is no longer considered stationary but one that in many cases will become worse with time and that will grow in areal extent. In many cases escalating flooding will correspond to an escalating erosion further exacerbating the risk. The nation’s coastal communities (and much of the US population ) are in this adaptation bulls-eye as sea-level rise meets escalating inland flooding risks.
The raises the question as to whether the nation’s policies crafted in a time of relative climate stationarity and much less severe coastal flood risk are ready to deal with this escalating risk.
This paper will begin to frame from a policy perspective the challenges the nation will face as a result of sea level rise and urban flooding and is intended to be the start of a discussion and dialog on this emerging topic.
Bio: Doug Plasencia is a Vice President with Moffatt & Nichol and is the Director of the Water Practice (Coastal, Water Resources, Environmental, and Water Front Destinations). He has been a leading voice in national flood policy for nearly 30-years and is currently the President of the ASFPM (Association of State Floodplain Managers) Foundation who will be hosting a national policy dialog on these issues in 2019.
Will Sound Engineering Prevail over Outdated and Antiquated Coastal Regulations in MA
Tara Marden, Woods Hole Group
Co-Authors: Tara Marden
In 2011, Woods Hole Group was contracted to design, permit and oversee construction of a 250′ bio-engineered coastal bank stabilization project in the ocean front community of New Seabury, Mashpee, MA. Erosion rates on the subject property, which at the time was undeveloped, were 3-5′ annually and property owners had been placing upwards of 25,000 cy annually along the 250′ shoreline to protect the valuable oceanfront lot. The nourishment effort, which was futile, became cost prohibitive and there was an obvious need for a more sustainable and cost-effective solution.
Due to strict regulatory restrictions prohibiting traditional “hard” structures on post-1978 developed lots, an innovative bio-engineered solution was required to protect the property. A fairly robust solution, which included terraced biodegradable sand-filled coir envelopes at the toe of the bank, stabilized by 250 12-inch piles, annual beach nourishment, and high-density beach grass plantings was designed. The project design was approved by the Town and MADEP as an appropriate “soft” solution design under State and Local Wetland Regulations. The project was successfully constructed in 2011, and at the time, was the largest project of its kind on Cape Cod.
Subsequently, neighboring homeowners filed suit against the Conservation Commission for allowing what they considered to be a “hard solution” on a non-qualifying lot. The project stakeholders were tasked with proving the existing project was not functioning as a hard solution and the project was meeting the performance standards of State and local regulations. Following a yearlong review, it was determined the project, as designed and constructed would remain in place. Since that time, numerous projects having almost the identical design have been permitted and constructed on Cape Cod, including a 950’ project to stabilize the coastal bank along the 2nd fairway of the New Seabury Golf Course just a few hundred yards down the beach from the original New Seabury project and happened to be located within mapped habitat for endangered shorebirds.
In 2013, three adjacent abutters to the west of the original New Seabury project sought permission from the Conservation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection to install the same “soft” solution that was permitted and constructed on the adjacent lot and along the shoreline of the New Seabury Golf Course. These three properties suffered dramatic erosion of their coastal banks during Hurricane Sandy where bank recession exceeded 20′ and upland dwellings and other infrastructure were now threatened. The project was approved at both the local and State level, but the same abutters who had appealed the original project, filed an appeal to the State, which prompted a long legal battle that is still pending four years later. As a result, the homeowners have been forced to spend upwards of $500,000 each over the past three years to protect their properties with sand, with no resolution in sight. An adjudicatory hearing was held in August 2016 and a decision, which could ultimately prohibit all soft solutions for post-1978 development in MA and set the precedent for hard vs. soft solutions for coastal bank stabilization, is pending.
The economic implications for private and public coastal properties and projects could be disastrous and property values could suffer dramatically statewide based on an unfavorable decision. The project proponents have garnered support from so many, including State Representatives from all 36 coastal communities in MA. The big question is, will sound engineering will prevail over the regulatory constraints and pitfalls from wetlands regulations that were promulgated almost a half a century ago.
Bio: Ms. Marden has more than 22 years of professional experience in the areas of coastal geology and coastal process evaluation. Her recent focus at WHG has been on managing and implementing regional dredging and beach nourishment programs for local municipalities and private homeowners, often forging effective public-private partnerships. Ms. Marden also specializes in projects related to tidal inlet and sediment transport processes, as well as design, permitting and construction oversight for a myriad of coastal structure and bio-engineered projects. She is experienced with all facets of environmental impact analyses, ranging from the collection of field data to engineering design, alternatives analyses, and design for mitigation.
Local Dredge Ownership Feasibility for Galveston Beach Nourishment
Ray Devlin, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Arturo Jimenez, Jonathan Thomas
The Texas General Land Office, in collaboration with the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers have a long standing responsibility to protect Gulf-facing beaches through beneficial use of dredged material (BUDM). However, beach nourishment can place a large financial burden on the local and state budgets. The effect of BUDM on typical maintenance dredging costs is to impose a premium on typical dredging unit rates of the order of 60%, with rates of upwards of $12/cy being common for Galveston projects. Although successful BUDM programs have been recently implemented on Galveston beaches, the cost of placing sand on the beaches has been such that there has been a drive to determine the feasibility of local dredge ownership and to identify potential cost saving measures.
This study consisted of a comprehensive assessment of costs associated with hydraulic dredging of the sand, and placing it on permitted reaches on the Gulf-facing reaches of Galveston Island. The initial phase of this study identified the maximum annual volume of sand available in the permitted borrow areas. With approximately 600,000 cy of sand available per year over a sustained period, this limited the feasibility of local dredge ownership. The second phase of the study considered the impact of large scale beach nourishment projects along the entire Texas coast, and the utilization rates required to improve the feasibility of local dredge ownership. In this case, approximately 1.5 million to 2 million cy of sand would need to be placed to make a locally owned dredge cost competitive with existing procurement methods
The study also identified the potential to reduce mobilization costs, which had been identified as a significant contributor to overall high unit cost rates, by pooling resources and implementing a programmatic approach to BUDM projects. Establishing such a programmatic approach to beach nourishment could lead to incentives for private dredging contractors to mobilize to the Gulf coast. Tipping points for cost savings would be easier to identify and meet.
The study also recommended that there was potential to reduce costs by increasing the focus on collaborating with the Corps of Engineers maintenance dredging projects to a greater degree than currently observed. Although recent projects have taken advantage of existing dredging contracts, using mainly hopper dredges, there may be additional potential to attract large cutter suction dredges from the Houston Ship Channel to dredge Big Reef (and other shallow aquatic sources), which could reduce mobilization costs. The study found that costs could be further reduced by involving dredging contractors in the planning process; providing the ability for them to drive the dredging program by scheduling dredging when the demand for large dredgers was otherwise low.
Bio: Ray Devlin is a Professional Engineer working with Moffatt & Nichol in Houston, Texas. Mr. Devlin is a 20 year graduate of the University of Glasgow and holds Chartered Engineer registration with the Institution of Civil Engineers. His experience includes the design of waterfront structures in the United Kingdom and the United States, including the New Orleans Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. More recently, Mr. Devlin has been responsible for leading large water resources projects along the Texas coast, including numerous marine structures, storm surge and overtopping, dredging, sedimentation, and hydrodynamic modeling projects.
Evaluation of a Beneficial Use Bank to Promote the Beneficial Use of Federal Dredged Material
Joesph Berlin, AECOM
Co-Authors: Robert Bendick
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) managed a study to test the feasibility of establishing a “beneficial use bank” to promote the beneficial use of dredged material from federal navigation projects. Specifically, the TNC hypothesized that “The cost for the restoration project of the beneficial use of dredged materials will be sufficiently lower than the cost of otherwise obtaining fill material to allow repayment of the loan at 2-3% interest while still accomplishing the restoration at a net savings to the restoration entity.” In brief, this hypothesis states that such an arrangement would result in a net savings to the restoration entity while also providing a reasonable return on investment to another entity loaning the funds required for the restoration activity. The arrangement would also increase the beneficial use of federal dredged material from maintaining navigation channels, which is frequently disposed of in the least cost environmentally acceptable method (Federal Standard).
Hypothesis testing entailed three steps: the identification of three restoration projects of varying geography, scale, and completion where the beneficial use of dredged material may be feasible; a comparison of the cost of restoration (i.e., purchasing and transporting dredged material) with the cost of beneficial use of material from nearby federal dredging projects; and a determination as to whether the cost differential is sufficient to allow repayment of a loan from the beneficial use bank while reducing the net cost of the transaction to the restoration entity. Case studies of projects in Texas (Pierce Marsh), Louisiana (Hopper Dredge Disposal Area), and New York (Jamaica Bay) were selected.
The analysis demonstrated that the beneficial use of federal dredged material provides an economic benefit to the non-federal sponsor managing the environmental restoration project, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The non-federal sponsor benefits from a lower dredged material cost, and USACE benefits by not exhausting the capacity of its authorized disposal areas. The analysis of the three case studies found that that the existence of a beneficial use bank could have merit, in selected instances, in facilitating environmental restoration projects that entail the beneficial use of federal dredged material. However, the analysis found that there are numerous other impediments to the beneficial use of federal dredged material that must first be addressed and resolved before the full potential of a beneficial use bank can be realized. These impediments include project scheduling challenges, the suitability of the dredged material, and the ability of non-federal project sponsors to assume maintenance costs.
The Study found that the formation of a beneficial use bank is not advisable until these impediments are resolved so that the full potential of a bank can be realized. In the interim, the beneficial use of federal dredged material can be promoted by assisting non-federal sponsors with the preparation of Project Cooperation Agreements, feasibility studies, permit applications, and environmental assessments, and advocating for state and federal policy and legislative changes.
Bio: Joseph Berlin is an economist specializing in cost-benefit analyses of environmental restoration projects, and civil works projects. He has developed models and has experience with the standard models used for estimating the benefits of water projects, and environmental restoration projects. He holds an M.A. in Economics from U.N.M.
Ecosystem Restoration (ER) measures for the Texas Coastal Protection and Restoration Feasibility
Dianna Ramierz, Texas General Land Office
Co-Authors: Tom Dixon, Lisa Vitale, Jan Stokes
The Texas coast is a complex and dynamic system that provides a wide variety of ecological process and functions – including those that benefit the public. Through years of anthropogenic alterations along the coast (including industrial uses, residential development, erosion processes, RSLR, etc.), these coastal systems and functions are degrading. The Coastal Texas Restoration and Protection Feasibility is intended to identify Ecosystem Restoration (ER) and Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) measures to ameliorate degrading coastal resources, and reduce storm damage risk, respectively. Initially in 2012, USACE held a series of meetings to gather ideas for ER measures for the Upper Texas Coast. In 2014, additional meetings to collect similar information for remaining portions of the Texas Coast. This first effort to capture stakeholder ideas for ER resulted in the identification of approximately 55 potential ER measures. Beginning in 2016, GLO and USACE initiated interagency meetings to further evaluate potential ER measures. During these efforts we developed evaluation criteria to determine which of the initial 55 measures should be carried forward. We also used collective interagency knowledge to identify which of those proposed ER measures may be executed through other funding and entities (in which case the ER measure was eliminated). After considering the most critical ER measures of the Texas Coast, eliminating ER measures to be executed by others, combining some ER measures, and applying evaluation criteria, we were left with 9 ER measures. These remaining 9 ER measures were organized into different combinations to result in 6 alternatives for ER. These 6 alternatives were analyzed with Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and Wetland Value Assessment (WVA) to determine the most cost-effective alternatives for further consideration as a preferred alternative.
Bio: Dianna Ramirez is the Senior Coastal Biologist at the Upper Coast Field Office of the Texas General Land Office (GLO). She is the GLO’s Environmental Lead for the Coastal Texas Study. Dianna has diverse experience in field studies, compliance, and environmental science. She also has over 8 years of experience teaching multiple subjects in a variety of settings. Dianna earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology & Marine Fisheries from Texas A&M University at Galveston and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Biology from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
Ecological Assessment Applications through Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) for the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study
Kelsey Calvez, Freese and Nichols
Co-Authors: Dianna Ramirez, Thomas Dixon, Kelly Burkes-Copes
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and its non-Federal sponsor the Texas General Land Office entered into a cost share agreement in November 2015 to begin studying the feasibility of constructing projects for coastal storm risk management (CSRM) and ecosystem restoration (ER) along the Texas Coast. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) was employed to evaluate the ecological impacts of the proposed ER and CSRM measures and to assess the feasibility of proposed mitigation plans formulated to offset the potential impacts from the CSRM measures. This presentation will describe the process of using HEP to evaluate potential changes to the complex ecosystem processes and patterns operating at the local, regional, and landscape levels across the Texas Coast, and more specifically, the use of Habitat Evaluation and Assessment Tools software and Wetland Value Assessment (WVA) as tools to conduct HEP. Additionally, this presentation will describe the assumptions and methodologies that were used to establish baseline and future conditions of the project sites, evaluate and select Habitat Suitability Index and WVA models, and conduct HEP forecasting and model evaluations for the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study.
Bio: Kelsey Calvez is an ecologist and geoscientist with diverse interests. She has supported several state or federal coastal studies, mostly pertaining to regional sediment management, sediment source investigations, beneficial use, and coastal restoration. Currently she is involved with two high-profile projects where she is leading efforts to evaluate proposed anthropogenic changes to aquatic habitats using HEP and Wetland Value Assessments (WVA). Kelsey’s project approaches incorporate GIS applications and geodatabase development and management.
Coastal Science and Engineering Collaborative: Purpose and the Path Ahead
Robert Thomas, US Army Corps of Engineers
Co-Authors: Coraggio Maglio, Edmond Russo
USACE, Texas General Land Office, Texas A&M and other governmental and academic organizations have come together to develop a Coastal Science and Engineering Collaborative (CSEC). The CSEC is intended to perform at the intersection of practice, academics, and research and development (R&D) for timely production and infusion of innovative technical products to support lifecycle coastal infrastructure systems management decisions.
For the purpose of team visioning and innovative solutions in support of Sustainable and Resilient Regionally Integrated Infrastructure (SRRII) systems and lifecycle management, the CSEC is helping to integrate capabilities and products for use on the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) coast and similar coastal settings. This initiative is driving research with the Texas coast serving as a proving ground. It is envisioned that CSEC team learning will occur and technical requirements will be established in the process for transferring CSEC technical products and capabilities for USACE, other government agencies, industry, and other technology users where applicable. CSEC goals and objectives include:
This presentation will outline the impetus for CSEC, explain the living program management plan, describe recent activities, and provide more information for organizations that want to participate and help lead the Texas Coast.
Bio: Rob Thomas is Chief of the Engineering and Construction Division for the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has worked for USACE for ten years, seven with the Galveston District. A 2005 graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston, Mr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Systems Engineering. He also received a Master of Science degree in 2007 at Texas A&M University in Ocean Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Texas and Louisiana and currently resides in League City, Texas with his wife and two daughters.
A Retrospective of the 2017 FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team Efforts in Texas and Florida
Frances Bui, CDM Smith
Co-Authors: Brian O’Connor, Manny Perotin, Dan Bass
The unpredictable hurricane season of 2017 impacted millions of people across the U.S. and its’ territories and caused over $260 billion dollars of damage. The one-two-three punch of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria launched a seemingly calm hurricane season into a flurry of disaster response and recovery operations across the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Basin. As part of the response, the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed Mitigation Assessment Teams (MATs) to the field composed of national and regional experts to assess the performance of buildings in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This presentation focuses on the MAT efforts in Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The MATs conducted engineering analyses of buildings and related infrastructure to determine causes of structural failure and success. The MATs blended new techniques by leveraging advances in crowdsourcing and drone aerial photography, with the longstanding, boots-on-the-ground-and-in-the-sand approach of spending valuable time interviewing local officials, engineers, building managers and homeowners, to better gain perspective of what did and did not work.
As in previous post-disaster assessments, the MATs then coalesced the field data collection and interview experiences into a MAT Report to recommend actions that Federal, State and local governments, the construction industry and building code organizations can take to improve resiliency and mitigate damage from future natural hazards. Another noteworthy output of the MATs is a series of Recovery Advisories, which provides guidance and information on topic-specific rebuilding decisions in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes. The dedicated topics for the Texas and Florida Recovery Advisories range from dry floodproofing to soffit installation. Although the MAT Reports and the Recovery Advisories are categorized as a response to a particular storm and/or state, they are useful, cross-cutting resources for future planning, design and construction practices. In brief, the MATs used post-disaster interviews and field data collection to evaluate the performance of buildings from an event, to determine best practices and lessons learned, and to recommend actions that continue to make the floodplains and shorelines of the U.S. more resilient.
Bio: Frances (Frannie) Bui has been with CDM Smith for over 10 years. She specializes in coastal flood risk analysis, hazard mitigation, and water resources engineering. She holds a B.S. and M.S. from Drexel University.
Scientific framework for EWN and Related Research
Rusty Feagin, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Orencio Duran Vinent, Jens Figlus, Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
Engineers and resource managers have increasingly sought solutions that can protect socio-economic interests against natural hazards, while also maintaining a sustainable and dynamic coastal system. A new way of viewing coastal systems is to remove any formal distinction between their natural and artificially-engineered components. The objective of this talk is to stimulate a conversation about isolating the fundamental principles for ‘Engineering With Nature’, or EWN. Some principles that could emerge when fusing engineering with the ecological sciences include the: (1) Manipulation of dynamical equilibrium ‘pressure points’ within the system, (2) Interchangeability of natural versus artificial materials, and (3) Development of unified metrics to assess the economic viability of hybrid engineered-natural solutions. Several research projects are highlighted as they relate to these principles, including work on living shorelines, sand dunes, hydrological restoration of freshwater and salt marshes, and dredge placement areas.
Bio: Dr. Rusty Feagin is a Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and the Department of Ocean Engineering, at Texas A&M University. The central question of study in his lab is how coastal vegetation moderates and responds to erosion. His scientific work is translated into action through restoration and engineering projects, that are focused on the sustainable management of coasts. Lab members often work in sand dunes, salt marshes, and beaches. He has been awarded the highest environmental honor in the State of Texas, and his work has been recognized by proclamation on the floor of the Texas State Senate.
Alternative stable states in coastal ecosystems, tipping points and the cost of doing nothing
Orencio Duran Vinent, Texas A&M University
A central element of Engineering with Nature (EwN) is the fact that some natural systems or natural processes, in particular coastal ones, can have functions equivalent to man-made structures or tools. Thus there is an advantage in coupling man-made and natural systems into an organic whole when solving a particular problem. This ‘engineering’ value of some natural systems makes preserving their ecosystem function an important goal of EwN. However, many coastal ecosystems can have two competing alternative stable states, where usually only one of them has the desired function or value. Even worse, those ecosystems are characterized by tipping points, or critical values for external conditions above which the desired state becomes unstable and a fast irreversible degradation ensues. In this context, ecosystem restoration becomes a crucial component of a successful EwN strategy as the cost of doing nothing can quickly spirals out of control.
Bio: B.S & M.S – Physics, University of Havana, Cuba.
PhD – Applied Physics, University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering, TAMU
Research Interests: Eco-morphodynamics, sediment transport.
Engineering with Nature (EWN) in Action: Application of Vegetation and Natural Materials
Tosin Sekoni, USACE
Co-Authors: Brian Durham
Incorporating vegetation, ecosystems, and natural materials into engineering projects is challenged by lack of practical application. Vegetation on Dredged Material Placement Areas (DMPAs) research project, sponsored by the ERDC-EWN program is expanding the application of vegetation to address this issue. A practical approach of engaging multi-disciplinary groups consisting of ecologists, biologists, engineers, and landscape architect in the use of vegetation and other natural features is being deployed to address the nation’s engineering challenges, ranging from habitat development to structural stability. Specifically, our research project employs state of the art techniques for planting in DMPAs, coastal, and inland areas through workshops combining classroom and field instructions. Demonstrations are conducted on real-life projects.
Applications of EWN include using vegetation and ecosystems to achieve engineering objectives, such as structural stability, wave attenuation, erosion control, and habitat development. Application of vegetation, coir logs, reefballs, and dredged materials have been demonstrated in the Gulf Coasts for structural enhancement and additional reinforcement to containment dikes along DMPAs. In addition, the alignment of vegetative communities, coconut logs, and oyster shells have been demonstrated in the North Atlantic Coast.
Here, we utilize vegetation as engineering elements to address engineering problems while enhancing structural integrity, creating wildlife habitat. Current work in the great lakes include dredge sediment suitability testing for beneficial use purposes. In conclusion, we present an opportunity for widespread application of plant communities and attendant features (artificial reefs, oyster shells, coir logs, coir mattings, and dredged sediment) throughout the nation. A mechanism to expand this application in engineering practices is crucial to achieving coastal engineering objectives nationally.
Bio: Dr. Tosin Sekoni’s research focuses on utilizing vegetation, plant communities, ecosystems, and other natural features, in engineering practices. Based on her interest using plant communities as engineering materials, Dr. Sekoni’s work investigates ways to incorporate vegetation into USACE projects such as dredged material placement areas, parks, reservoirs, and other public and private lands. Her expertise lies in the establishment of ecosystems such as wetlands, dunes, prairies, terrestrial systems, riparian systems, etc., for erosion control, dyke stability, dust control, dewatering, ecosystem development, mitigation, and other engineering purposes, in order to reduce operational cost, promote healthy ecosystem, and to optimize economic, environmental, and engineering benefits.
Strategic Placement of Dredged Sediments to Support EWN Objectives
Joseph Gailani, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Co-Authors: Joseph Gailani, Katherine Brutsche
Material dredged for maintaining navigation channels is typically sediment, which is a combination of sand, silt, clay, and possibly gravel. Sediment as a resource is a critical component to mitigating flood risks and supporting environmental restoration. Beneficial use of dredged material is the intentional placement of dredged sediment to provide economic, environmental, and societal benefits. Direct placement and strategic placement are the most commonly applied options for beneficial use. This presentation offers details regarding the use of dredged sediment to support NNBF through strategic placement. Direct placement is the process of placing dredged sediment at the targeted receptor site. Examples include beach nourishment and wetland construction. The cost of performing direct placement is often high, the sediment may not be appropriate for the area where it is to be placed, or the environmental impacts of placing sediment at such a rapid, high rate are unacceptable. Strategic placement is the process of placing sediment at one location with the expectation that hydrodynamic and possibly aerodynamic forces will transport specified classes of sediment to targeted locations. Strategic placement is a beneficial use option that can often be performed at a reduced cost when compared to direct placement because the placement site is in open water. Cost controls are critical to developing sustainable dredged sediment management plans that address the Federal Standard, which guides the disposal and placement of dredged material. Strategic placement permits natural sorting of sediments (separation of fines and sand). If properly executed, the desired sediments from the sorting are transported toward the receptor site and undesired sediments are moved away from this site. In addition, strategic placement permits introduction of sediment to the receptor site at a rate more representative of natural processes than direct placement. Strategic placement also permits the Army Corps to develop sustainable dredged material management plans because the placement sites are dispersive and capacity is renewed for subsequent dredging cycles. This process also provides a long-term sediment source to the targeted receptor sites. This presentation will outline strategic placement strategies, examine potential expansion of strategic placement options, and provide examples of strategic placement presently practiced by the Army Corps as well as outside the United States.
Bio: Dr. Gailani is a Research Hydraulic Engineer in the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg. He is the manager of the Sediment and Dredging Processes focus area in the Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program. Research interests and expertise include cohesive sediment processes, dredged material management, beneficial use of dredged material, natural and nature-based features, and contaminated sediment remediation. Dr. Gailani received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He represents USACE on the steering committee for the International Conference on Cohesive Sediments.
Regional Sediment Management of Barrier-Inlet Systems
Tanya Beck, USACE
Co-Authors: Ping Wang
Within the United States, barrier-inlet systems comprise much of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coastlines. These interconnected chain of barrier islands, dissected by tidal inlets, exchange sediment between the littoral zone of the open coast and the estuary (Davis, 1994). Regional Sediment Management (Childs 2015, Rosati, et al. 2001, Lillycrop 2011, Kress, et al. 2016) is a management practice within the USACE that coordinates multiple sediment-related engineering projects within a region across multiple business lines in a systems-based approach to achieve greater benefits to the navigation, flood and coastal systems risk management, and ecosystem restoration missions through optimization of the use of sediment resources. Regional sediment management of barrier-inlet systems often employs coordinated dredging and mining of sediment sinks, such as tidal inlet shoals, in to beach replenishment or nourishment (Finkl, Benedet and Campbell 2006, Rosati, et al. 2001). Evaluating sediment bypassing capacity and overall inlet morphodynamics can better inform regional sand sharing along barrier-inlet coastlines, particularly where sediment resources are scarce and a close coupling between inlet dredging and beach placement is vital to long-term sustainable management.
Adopting a regional management framework to inform planning and engineering design requires coordinating the appropriate spatio-temporal scales in scientific exploration and application of tools to fill in gaps in knowledge. Sediment budget analyses should consider the tidal inlet morphological characteristics and sediment dynamics as they can influence longer temporal (decadal) and spatial (10s to 100s of kilometers) domains. Specific characteristics of tidal inlets and their interaction with adjacent beaches are challenging details to include in regional management studies which often focus on sediment budgets over decadal timescales. Processes quantified at the local or project-scale, such as ebb-tidal delta shoal avulsion or barrier breaching processes, may not be easily scaled to regional processes as is necessary to manage coastal sediment resources.
In this study, the inclusion of inlet morphodynamic processes are examined within the context of regional sediment management studies. A conceptual decision tree is presented with discussion illustrating the benefits of regional analyses to inform better barrier-inlet systems and sediment resource management. This study attempts to characterize and synthesize engineering analyses, including quantification of risk and uncertainty, and management challenges into the decision process. Future implications of continued sea level rise and other potential climate-related factors may intensify the need for improved regional planning at a centennial timescale, and further emphasizes the need for continual iterative assessments to inform the planning process.
Bio: Ms. Tanya M. Beck is the Program Manager for the Coastal Inlets Research Program, in the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Her research has been focused on the coastal environment related to navigation channel shoaling, estuarine and coastal erosion and sedimentation, beneficial uses of dredged material, coastal and inlet geomorphic long-term evolution, and regional management of coastlines.
Improved Regional Sediment Management via the Inclusion of Novel Field Techniques
Heidi Wadman, USACE ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory
Co-Authors: Jesse McNinch
One of the overarching goals of the Regional Sediment Management (RSM) Program is to better quantify the sources, transport, and deposition of sediment into regions where sediment accumulation conflicts with current uses (e.g. harbors, navigation channels, environmentally sensitive regions). Although in-situ measurements of hydrodynamics and sediment transport, coupled with sediment surface grab samples and/or short cores, can elucidate some sediment pathways and transport processes, these traditional field studies are limited in that they: (1) capture a relatively short transport period (such as the time frame over which the in-situ measurements were made), (2) are often of limited spatial applicability (both horizontally and vertically) due to the heterogeneous nature of sediment deposition; and (3) reveal little or nothing about the source(s) of infilling sediment. This lack of quantitative data on sediment pathways from source(s) to sink ultimately limits options to better manage sediment as a resource.
Recent application of both old (chirp subbottom imaging; geochemical fingerprinting of sediment) and new (Radar Inlet Observing System [RIOS]) field techniques into ongoing RSM-related research has recently shown great potential for improving RSM-related projects by better quantifying the sources, transport mechanisms and pathways, and sinks of sediment moving within a region. Specifically, chirp subbottom imagery and sedimentary geochemical fingerprinting, when coupled to the more traditional methods noted above, have the potential of not only identifying the sources of infilling sediment, but also improving quantification of sediment transport pathways, mechanisms, and spatial variability in deposition. Recently developed by the US. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), the RIOS provides long-term measurements of morphology change via X-band radar in a specific region, allowing real-time mapping of active sediment transport pathways. Together, these data have great potential to allow for more effective management of sediment within a region. For example, sediment shoaling in harbors could be reduced by improving erosion mitigation efforts in the specific part of the overall region that is the source of the infilling sediment, if that source is properly identified via geochemical fingerprinting, and/or the pathways by which sediment is moving are known. We will present data from Kahului, HI, Ocean City, MD, and Oregon Inlet, NC that demonstrate how the inclusion of these field methods into a comprehensive observational study has resulted in improved quantifications of the movement of sediment from multiple sources and a diverse suite of transport mechanisms in a wide range of environmental regions.
Bio: Dr. Heidi Wadman received her PhD in Marine Sciences in 2008 from the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. She was hired full-time in 2009 as a research oceanographer with the US. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center. Her research goals have focused on applying both traditional and in-development field measurement techniques to a wide range of Army-specific challenges, including sediment transport mechanisms and pathways, source-to-sink transport into shoaling regions, and hazard mapping, using a wide range of geophysical, geological, and geochemical methods.
US Army Corps of Engineers National Coastal Mapping Program: A Regional Sediment Management Enabling Technology
Lauren Dunkin, US Army Corps of Engineers
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP) was started in 2004 with the express purpose of providing regional datasets to support Regional Sediment Management initiatives within USACE. The program utilizes airborne lidar bathymetry and topography, aerial photography, and hyperspectral imagery operated out of the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) to collect a mile-wide swath of beach topography and nearshore bathymetry for the sandy shorelines of the US. The frequency of the cycle is dependent on funds and weather, but in 15 years of operations, NCMP has produced:
The NCMP regional mapping technology and resulting datasets provide a unique opportunity for USACE to understand their coastal navigation, coastal storm risk management, and ecosystem restoration projects as part of a broader coastal system, and how that system changes through time.
Over the past 15 years, JALBTCX has developed a suite of standard products that ease the burden of working with large volumes of lidar and imagery data for coastal applications. In 2012 we prototyped a set of features that are extracted from the regional datasets. These include dune height, beach width, shoreline change, dune vegetation density, wetland vegetation density, submerged aquatic vegetation density and density of coastal infrastructure. These features were first used to develop a set of indices that can be presented in a red/amber/green symbology alongshore to help identify areas of the coast that might be candidates for RSM, Engineering with Nature®, or potential new projects. The features have since been used to characterize sea turtle nesting habitat suitability on the Florida Atlantic Coast and Mississippi Barrier Islands, and in an index describing likelihood of breaching for the state of Texas.
More recently we have developed standard processes to compute lidar-based volume change and shoreline change, and standardized the workflow, analysis, and outputs in an ArcGIS extension called the JALBTCX Toolbox. The JALBTCX Toolbox was used to compute volumes of beach change between 2005 and 2010 for Florida and the Atlantic Seaboard for regular NCMP data, and after both Hurricanes Matthew and Irma to calculate storm-induced volume change.
JALBTCX has implemented a number of webservices, webtools, webmaps, and storymaps to deliver data and analyses to USACE engineers and scientists, other Federal customers, and the general public. These include the JALBTCX volume change viewer, storymaps describing the post-Matthew and Irma data collects, webmaps for tracking data from collection through delivery, and webservices delivering digital elevation models and imagery.
Bio: Lauren Dunkin is a research civil engineer with the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center. The focus of her research involves using remote sensing data to support RSM.
Lake Erie and Ontario Sediment Budget
Weston Cross, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Co-Authors: Shanon Chader, Gerlyn Hinds
Lake Erie and Lake Ontario have a long history with sediment challenges and shoreline erosion problems. Historically, Lake Erie was described as having wide beaches and large amounts of sediment by early settlers. Human development and hardening of the shorelines have resulted in both lakes becoming sediment starved, and medium to coarse grained littoral sediments are now a prized resource. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District has done extensive research into the sedimentation patterns of both lakes with the end goal of developing a large scale sediment budget that is accessible by the public and interested stakeholders to inform coastal planning decisions. Two major efforts have been completed to quantify sediment transport on the lakes: the 2016 Lake Erie Sediment Budget by USACE, and the 2011 Lake Ontario Sediment Budget by Baird and Associates. Upon the publication of the Lake Erie Sediment Budget, reception from landowners, local, state, and Federal regulators and engineering firms was overwhelmingly positive. Completion of the sediment budget provided a comprehensive and robust dataset of coastal shoreline erosional and transport properties for the entire 300 mile shoreline from Toledo, OH to Buffalo, NY and includes bluff retreat rates, volume estimates of littoral drift, bluff inputs, and future predictions of sedimentation volumes. This dataset has proven valuable to coastal planners and regulators when examining methods and impacts of shore protection. The work completed by Baird and Associates covers the shoreline of Lake Ontario from the Niagara River to 9 Mile Point east of Oswego, NY, a distance of approximately 300 miles. This sediment budget does an excellent job representing sediment inputs into the system and longshore transport rates, however is lacking in data and assessment of littoral processes at large stick out structures, including the 8 Federal harbors that dot the shoreline. USACE is in the process of refining the sediment budgets to increase the dataset resolution to 1-km and allow any interested party to determine the erosion and sediment transport ranges for any reach along the lakeshore. Shoreline properties included in the dataset are approximate recession rates, volumes of sediment entering the nearshore system, sediment properties, and transport quantities entering and leaving each 1-km reach. Once the datasets are completed, the sediment budget data is made available to the public via the USACE Engineering and Research Development Center’s (ERDC) Sediment Budget Analysis System (SBAS).
Bio: Weston Cross, PG is a coastal geologist with the Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District. He’s worked on a variety of projects across Lake Ontario and Erie revolving around structure repair and design, coastal dynamics, stone stability and quality, beach nourishment and restoration, and sedimentation and sediment dynamics.
Modeling the Vulnerability of Dauphin Island to Hurricanes
Brittany McMillan, University of South Alabama
Co-Authors: Stephanie Smallegan
Dauphin Island is a barrier island located in south Mobile County, Alabama and is home to approximately 1,225 residents. The relatively wide east end of the island is more densely populated with residents and vegetation, where the narrower west end consists of elevated houses and sandy beaches. Observing the island’s topography, there are several locations where the island width is narrow and dune heights are low comparatively, causing those locations to be vulnerable to severe damage during a natural disaster. Of particular interest is a portion of the island on the western end where borrow pits were dug to provide sediment for the massive sand relocation after the BP oil spill in 2010. To protect the island from the oil spill, a series of large sand dunes were built using sediment from the borrow pits. Although this method was effective during the spill, it left a portion of the island from Sehoy Street to St. Stephens Street approximately 75 m narrower on average than the rest of the western end.
To evaluate the vulnerability of this location, hurricane waves, storm surge and the resulting morphological change were simulated using the process-based model, XBeach. The simulated storm, which represented Hurricane Ivan (2004), was made of 14 hourly inputs of waves and storm tide that were exported from USACE’s Wave Information Studies station 73151 and NOAA’s Tides and Currents tide gauge 8735180. The wave and water level information were extracted from September 15, 2004 19:00 (UTC) to September 16, 2004 08:00 (UTC). Hurricane Ivan and the WIS were used as a first approximation of storm conditions in this area, although more robust wave data and additional storms are being simulated for future analysis. The spatially-varying grid has a minimum cell size of 2 meters in the nearshore region and on land, and a maximum cell size of 20 meters offshore. The offshore depth was altered to a 5 meter depth to correspond to the WIS station depth. This grid represents the region near the borrow pits in its current condition.
Analyzing the results, this storm clearly caused significant damage to the island. Within the first two hours, the dunes were destroyed, resulting in a decrease in dune elevations of approximately 3 m. Multiple breaches were observed at the peak of the storm on this developed portion of the island. The majority of the sand was eroded from the beach and deposited offshore or in the bay by the end of the storm.
Although the morphological change resulting from this storm was extreme, the simulation shows that this location is likely vulnerable to severe damage during a natural disaster. Additional parameterized storms are currently being simulated and analyzed to determine the impact different types of hurricanes will have on this location. Also, a new grid that includes beach nourishment of this location has already been created and the same set of storms will be re-simulated to determine the benefit of beach nourishment on protecting this location from severe erosion.
Bio: Brittany McMillan received her Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering in May of 2017 and is now a second year graduate student at the University of South Alabama. She is charter vice-president for the university’s student chapter of Chi Epsilon, Civil Engineering Honor Society, and also served is the associate editor from Spring 2017 to Spring 2018. She was secretary for the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers for the 2016 – 2017 school year. She is member of Tau Beta Pi. She enjoys training for obstacle course racing in her spare time.
Statistical analysis of high-water events and their potential impact on the after-storm recovery of coastal dunes
Tobia Rinaldo, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Orencio Duran, Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
Coastal dunes play a key role in protecting the coastline from storm-driven flooding and erosion and, by doing so, they contribute to the development of a unique protected habitat. Although dune erosion and overwash caused by large storms have been extensively studied, there is a knowledge gap in the erosional effect of lower-intensity, but higher frequency, high water events. A recent model of dune formation and after-storm recovery (Duran and Moore, Nature Clim. Change, 2015) showed that those events can dramatically slow down dune recovery by (1) preventing the vegetation, crucial to build the dunes, to colonize low lying overwash fans; and/or (2) eroding small proto-dunes. The objective of this study is to test that hypothesis by analyzing the statistical nature of those high-water events, unrelated to large storms, traditionally overlooked in the literature. In particular we focus on the probability distribution of inter-arrival times (i.e. time between consecutives events) and the intensity of the event. To better compare to Duran & Moore (2015) predictions, we use digital elevation models and offshore buoy data from the barrier islands of the Virginia eastern shore. We calculate high-water events by comparing the 2% exceedance total water elevation (driven mostly by wave run-up) to a threshold elevation, typically the average elevation of the dune toe. Our preliminary results show that relevant high-water events are random with both inter-arrival times and typical intensity exponentially-distributed. Furthermore, we find the average arrival frequency to be in the order of few months, which is well below typical dune recovery times, and the average intensity to be in the order of tens of centimeters, enough to disrupt vegetation and erode low proto-dunes. Our findings suggest dune recovery is controlled by low-intensity high-frequency events unrelated to local storms.
Bio: I have gained the laurea triennale on September 2014 and the laurea magistrale on December 2017 (respectively equivalent to Bachelor and Master of Science) in Environmental and Land Planning Engineering at the Milan Polytechnical School in Italy.
I have started last January a PhD in Coastal Ecosystems at the Texas A&M University in College Station.
Erosion and Inundation of Hatteras Island at Dune- and Region-Scales during Hurricane Isabel
Alireza Gharagozlou, NC State University
Co-Authors: Casey Dietrich, Ayse Karanci, Margery Overton
Intensive winds, high waves, and storm surges during extreme storm events can cause overwash, flooding, breaching, and destruction of infrastructure on the beach. Dune systems act as barriers that protect inland regions from surge impacts. However, dune erosion and overwash can enhance the flooding in the back-barrier areas. Coastal flooding models are very useful tools to predict the inundation of low-lying areas during a storm, however, such large-scale models typically lack the spatial resolution to capture the fine-scale beach morphological changes. In this research, we explore the requirements for bridging the gap between large-scale flooding models and detailed morphodynamic models.
Hurricane Isabel made landfall in coastal North Carolina on Sep 18, 2003, as a Category 2 hurricane. The impacts of this storm are modeled on a very large domain that covers about 30 km of the NC Outer Banks between Avon and Rodanthe. We use XBeach, an open-source tool for hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modeling. The initial bathymetry and topography of the model are derived from pre-storm topographic data (LiDAR), and the data for waves and water levels at the boundaries are extracted from a tightly-coupled, ADCIRC+SWAN simulation.
Model results are validated by comparisons with post-storm LiDAR data. The modeled dune erosion matches the post-storm data well, proving the reliability of our model in predicting storm impacts on large domains. To identify an optimal mesh resolution, we explore the sensitivity of model results to computational mesh spacing. These results will be useful for coupling coastal flooding and morphodynamic models. The accuracy of the model decreases as the mesh spacing increases in the cross-shore direction, but coarsening the mesh in the alongshore direction does not affect the results. The cross-sectional shape of the dunes is preserved very well in the fine mesh that has a resolution of 3 to 10 m. But as the cross-shore spacing exceeds 15 m, the model loses an accurate representation of the dunes.
A new metric to assess model skill, Water Overpassing Area (WOA), is introduced to account for the amount of water that overpasses the dunes. This metric can give useful guidance for coupling purposes by providing a way to estimate the volume of flooding. The effect of mesh resolution on WOA is investigated and it is observed that the computed amount of flooding varies for high and low-resolution morphodynamic models, which may allow for parameterizations of erosion in larger-domain flood models. These findings can be generalized to dune systems with characteristics similar to the barrier islands of NC.
Bio: I am a PhD student in Coastal Engineering at NC State University. I am working on modeling the erosion of the Outer Banks during storm events. I got my master degree from University of Tehran. My research interests include coastal hydrodynamics and numerical modeling of sediment transport.
Coastal storm surge flood barriers: lessons from London and St Petersburg transferrable to Galveston Bay
Jonathan Simm, HR Wallingford
Co-Authors: David Ramsbottom, Peter Hunter, Richard Lewis
The cities of London UK and St Petersburg Russia are threatened by flooding from storm surges and fluvial floods. Following the disastrous tidal flood of 1953 due to a storm surge in the North Sea, the flood protection system for London was improved, including the construction of the Thames Barrier. The flood defence system also includes smaller flood barriers and about 350 km of flood walls and banks. The Thames Barrier was completed in 1982 and has been successfully operating subsequently. At St Petersburg, since the founding of the city in 1703, the low-lying areas of the city have suffered from flooding caused by storm surges travelling up the Baltic Sea. These occur about once each year, due to high winds and low barometric pressure causing surges in sea level. To protect the city, a barrier over 25km long across the estuary of the Neva River was completed in August 2011.
Like London and St Petersburg, Galveston Bay is a tidal system that is adjacent to significant urban areas subject to coastal storm driven flooding. A tidal barrier with associated levees is under consideration and lessons in regard to engineering and systems thinking may be learned by comparison with the London and St Petersburg situations.
This presentation will therefore seek to summarise knowledge and experience acquired in relation to flood barriers and the associated flood risk management planning on the Thames estuary and on the St Petersburg barrier to assess its applicability to the Galveston Bay. In particular the presentation will cover the following:
Bio: Dr Jonathan Simm is Chief Technical Director for Resilience at HR Wallingford with responsibilities in such areas as performance, risk, materials and sustainability. He joined HR Wallingford in 1992 after an early career working with consulting engineers on coastal and maritime works and subsequently became involved in research programmes being carried out at HR Wallingford, particularly in the areas of flood and coastal risk management. He was involved with London’s Thames Barrier in his early career, was Technical Lead for the International Levee Handbook and is currently working on international guidelines for the use of natural and nature based features.
Working With Partners to Create A Successful Wildlife Monitoring Program
Joanie Steinhaus, Turtle Island Restoration Network
In the open ocean, the sargassum provides a vital nursery habitat and protection from predators for juvenile sea turtles. With natural camouflage, sea turtles are very difficult to see in the sargassum when stationary, and now research has shown it may also give them a metabolic boost as they grow. The floating seaweed soaks up energy from the sun, and turtles may nestle in this heat. Juvenile turtles with transmitters were on average 4-6 degrees warmer than sea surface temperatures. When this sargassum washes ashore in large patches, juvenile sea turtles can mistakenly beach themselves and strand leading to dehydration and injury.
Sargassum supports sea turtles, birds, invertebrates and fish. The sargassum mats in the open-ocean provide important habitat and foraging areas for many species. And on our beaches, it provides food for shore birds, nutrients for dune plants, collects wind-blown sand and if left undisturbed these small dunes can grow into substantial mounds capable of protecting upland property from storm erosion.
Cities along the Texas coast rely heavily on tourism to sustain their economy, and they mechanically clean or remove the seaweed from the beaches so visitors may reach the Gulf of Mexico without walking through or smelling the seaweed. Our outreach educates the public on the importance of sargassum, and how significant ecotourism is for Galveston.
My goal is to work with communities on the Texas coast to monitor the beach cleaning activities and ensure these activities have minimal impact on both nesting sea turtles and bird species. Working together we can ensure the many sea turtles that may strand in the sargassum are not impacted by equipment.
We also want to ensure the trained sea turtle monitors conduct a survey of the entire site prior to the start of the work to search for any signs of sea turtle nesting activity. Sea Turtles that nest here are the critically endangered Kemp’s Ridleys who are unique in that they are day nesters.
We need to confirm that machinery does not cover the sea turtle tracks, turtle nests or potentially crush the nests. Eggs can be perforated, nests contaminated, and hatchlings entangled when sand and sargassum debris is pushed into the dunes. The removal or repositioning of the seaweed will not be without risks to the environment and habitat, but we must work together to minimize any negative impact.
Bio: Joanie Steinhaus is the Gulf Program Director for Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN).
Joanie has worked at informal education sites including the Houston Zoo, the Lower Colorado River Authority and TIRN. She has extensive experience in the education of youth and adults about stewardship and conservation of our natural resources.
Joanie has worked with a variety of organizations, both locally and state-wide, to advance conservation and sustainability issues. Her diverse knowledge and passion about the environment in the Texas area has shown in her outreach work to local politicians, community groups, homeowner associations and the general public to help them understand the value of protecting the local flora and fauna.
Joanie currently serves on the Board of Clean Galveston and is a Sanctuary Advisory Member for the Flower Gardens Bank National Marine Sanctuary in a Conservation Seat.
State role and response in storm events
Tony Williams, Texas General Land Office
Co-Authors: Tony Williams
Hurricane Ike made landfall in September 2008, devastating many of the coastal communities and leaving significant amounts of debris on the public beach. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) has multiple public beach responsibilities, so the agency decided to step in to remove hazardous debris from the public beach. This was mostly completed before the end of the year, excluding a few sites with specific issues lasting into early 2009.
FEMA had several questions regarding the responsibility of the GLO to remove beach debris, but eventually provided reimbursement. Based on the statutes in place at the time, it could have been interpreted that removal of hazardous debris from the public beach was a local responsibility. In 2009, the Open Beaches Act was amended to give the GLO responsibility to remove debris from the public beach resulting from a declared disaster. Currently, the GLO has a FEMA approved debris plan and prepositioned debris removal contractors and monitoring firms.
After Hurricane Harvey the GLO developed two work orders for beach debris removal. The lower coast work order was never acted upon because local governments and volunteers mobilized and removed the majority of debris from the beaches, starting almost immediately following the storm. The remaining debris was addressed individually by local governments and GLO staff. The upper coast removal covered Galveston, Brazoria and Matagorda counties, with most of the debris consisting of vegetation as a result of the floods upstream.
As with every storm, there were lessons learned from Harvey. There were some locations where a local response may have been more practical than a state response. Creative solutions to vegetative debris in critical habitat were implemented. The GLO is working to improve storm response internally, with our local partners and with the Texas legislature.
Bio: Tony Williams is a marine biologist with the Coastal Resources Program of the Texas General Land Office (GLO) where his primary responsibilities include the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), working with USACE on other studies and regulatory issues, and derelict structure removal and disaster response. He has been with the agency for more than 22 years, and previous positions include the Director of the Coastal Resources Field Operation, and a biologist in both the Upper and Lower Coast Field Offices.
Beach Operations in Texas: The State’s Perspective on Local Management of the Public Beach
Natalie Bell, Texas General Land Office
In Texas, the state’s established partnerships with local governments are essential to the preservation and enhancement of public beach access along nearly 300 miles of Gulf-facing shoreline. The Texas General Land Office and local coastal governments share the responsibility of balancing the public’s right to use and enjoy the beach with the protection of vegetated sand dunes that serve as a natural defense against storms. Each local jurisdiction is geographically and demographically unique, creating inherent operational challenges that inhibit systematic management. Despite the diverse nature of the Texas coastal landscape, statewide regulations ensure the uniformed, balanced protection of public beach access and dunes from Galveston to South Padre Island.
This presentation explores the state’s perspective on local management of the public beaches, with an overview of the following topics: regulation of vehicular and pedestrian beach access, traffic, and parking; emergency closures of the beach due to tidal flooding, coastal weather hazards, and public health and safety concerns; beach maintenance and beach cleaning practices; and collection, management, and oversight of beach user fee revenues.
Bio: Natalie Bell is the Manager of the Beach Access & Dune Protection Program and the Beach Maintenance Reimbursement Program at the Texas General Land Office. In her 6 years at the GLO, Ms. Bell has worked to protect public access to the Gulf-facing beaches through the Open Beaches Act, ensure the preservation and restoration of coastal sand dunes under the Dune Protection Act, and oversee the partial reimbursement of local costs to clean and maintain public beaches. In her 12-year career, Ms. Bell also worked at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in surface water quality monitoring and federal water pollution reduction programs.
Beach Please…Don’t Be Trashy! A Summer Saturday Keeping “The World’s Most Famous Beach” Free of Litter and Debris
Amanda Hester, CFB Outdoors, Inc.
CFB Outdoors is responsible for waste removal along 35 miles of Volusia County’s beaches to include the incorporated municipalities of Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Ponce Inlet, and New Smyrna Beach, and the unincorporated communities of Ormond by the Sea, Wilbur by the Sea, Silver Sands, and Historic Bethune Beach. Across the 35 miles of managed coastline there are 17 miles permitted for beach driving which made Daytona Beach famous long before NASCAR, Bike Week, or Spring Break.
Like every coastal community, litter and waste collection is the key to keeping not only the locals happy, but also bolsters tourism with return customers. With an annual contract of approximately $2.5 Million a year to keep Volusia County’s beaches clean, CFB Outdoors has over 550 trash cans, over 30 daily staff collecting ground litter, 15 utility vehicle carts, 4 pickup trucks, 3 garbage trucks, 4 tractors, and a roll off dumpster truck are used to remove debris that washes ashore to include derelict vessels, deceased mammals, rafts, and other random oddities that grace the shores along with an occasional Montauk Monster all within the requirements of Sea Turtle Nesting season, Habitat Conservation, and Shorebird Conservation.
This discussion will go into the day to day operational logistics for a busy Summer Saturday keeping Volusia County’s 35 miles of public beaches free from litter so our patrons can focus on fun in the sand.
Bio: Amanda Hester is the owner of CFB Outdoors, Inc., the current beach maintenance contractor for Volusia County, Florida. CFB Outdoors, Inc. is an outdoor maintenance company that has been in business since 1998, and was awarded the beach maintenance contract in 2014. The contract was renewed in December of 2017 for an additional seven years. In the first four years of CFB maintaining Volusia County beaches, we have been through two hurricanes, Matthew and Irma, along with record attendance and growth along our beaches.
Monitoring Erosion of a Beach Nourishment Over its First Year Using UAS (Drones)
Benjamin Ritt, Texas A&M
Co-Authors: Glenn Jones
Between October 2016 and May 2017, the Galveston Park Board oversaw the $19.5 million Phase III Beach Nourishment: Seawall East project in which 914,400 m3 of beach-quality sand dredged from Big Reef was used to widen existing Seawall beaches between 12th and 61st streets. This 6.2 km section of Seawall beaches was chosen for a yearlong (May 2017 to May 2018) monitoring study where the newly nourished beaches would be surveyed monthly using UAS (drone) and programmatic models using Structure from motion (SfM) software. Volumetric measurements are then used to study how coastal processes effect the morphology of newly nourished beaches. An additional feature of this project was developing the methodology and protocols for establishing accurate (+/-3 to 5 cm) elevational measurements for volumetric calculations and the establishment of predetermined and reusable Ground Control Points (GCPs) along the Seawall for rapid and efficient data collection.
Monthly imaging flights of the nourishment study area consisting of a pre-nourishment flight in December 2016 and post-nourishment monthly monitoring from May 2017 to May 2018 in conjunction the pre-established GCPs for rapid deployment of the UAS allowed for a quick and efficient survey to be completed for an impact study. This research allowed for accurate sub-aerial measurements of sand volumes and beach profiles between each of the groins in the nourishment area leading to a better understanding of the process that shape engineered beaches over their first year.
Using volumetric measurements from the sub-aerial SfM models an average rate of sand loss from above the water line was calculated for each beach groin section. This average along with predictive models suggests that at if the current rate of loss stays true the beach will return to pre-nourishment volumes after approximately 40 months.
Bio: Benjamin Ritt is a Masters student in the Marine Resources Management program at Texas A&M University – Galveston Campus. His thesis research centers around the use of UAS (drones) and photogrammetric modeling to study beach nourishment projects on Galveston Island.
Analysis of Photogrammetric Mapping Using Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Coastal Areas
Laura Lemke, Stevens Institute of Technology
Co-Authors: Jon Miller, Matt Janssen, Karine Jansen
Advances in remote sensing have enabled the proliferation of survey and mapping techniques including LiDAR and more recently Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to supersede traditional RTK-GPS methods. This application has recently been adapted as a measurement tool of coastal areas (Drummond et al., 2015). Coastal surveys are commonly utilized to monitor beach nourishment projects or to assess rapid coastal storm impact. Traditionally, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is constructed by means of beach profiles measured by an individual carrying a RTK-GPS transceiver; a labor-intensive method. Alternatively, UAVs equipped with a camera, have been shown to be a cost-effective platform for large scale, accurate aerial mapping (Casella et al., 2016; Turner, Harley and Drummond, 2016). A three-dimensional topography is created from multiple, overlapping images by means of the Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry technique (Westoby et al., 2012).
This thesis investigates the sources of error and optimization of UAV surveying in the coastal environment. Additionally, it introduces a novel procedure to account for bias and uncertainty errors, enabling direct comparisons between legacy RTK-GPS datasets and new UAV DEMs. The optimization of the UAV survey procedures in coastal environment include both post processing and deployment characteristics (SfM software settings, flight altitude, number of ground control points) and will enable the Coastal Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) to confidently replace the traditional RTK-GPS method.
First, different photogrammetric post processing software packages and settings are compared. Second, flights at different altitudes (220, 300 and 380ft) are explored to determine the effect on deployment duration, post-processing computational time and accuracy. Third, the impact of quantity and location of Ground Control Points (GCPs) used for geo-referencing on accuracy is investigated. Lastly, a method to reduce bias and errors observed in legacy RTK-GPS datasets was developed using a linear least squares regression model, enabling the direct comparison to UAV generated DEMs.
The findings include that leading SfM software are comparable in terms of accuracy. The highest altitude resulted in the smallest vertical RMSE and significantly reduced both flight and post-processing times. It was found that GCPs need to be placed at the four corners, at the highest elevation and with sufficient cross-shore distance. Field effort can be reduced by using 11 GCP instead of 15, without loss of accuracy. Vertical and horizontal RMSEs are 0.08 and 0.06 ft respectively. Correlation between the residuals and surface slope proved an effective method for improving the accuracy of legacy RTK-GPS data.
Bio: Laura Lemke graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a B.E. in Civil Engineering and a M.E. in Ocean Engineering in 2014. Following graduation, she worked as a coastal engineer for CH2M out of their NYC office. She returned to Stevens in the Fall of 2016 to begin work on her Ph.D. under the advisement of Dr. Jon K. Miller. Laura currently serves as President for the Student Chapter of ASBPA at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Removing the Vegetation Signature from Digital Elevation Models of Coastal Areas Surveyed by Unmanned Aerial System Photogrammetry
William Prouse, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Katherine Anarde, Jens Figlus
Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) photogrammetry is a popular method for generating digital elevation models (DEMs) of large areas in a timely and precise manner. The DEMs produced from UAS photogrammetry can be referenced to actual known elevations via groundtruthing methods using real-time kinematic global positioning systems (RTK-GPS). A common issue is vegetation can distort the DEM, creating a phantom layer above the real world elevation of the underlying substrate. The phantom vegetation layer acts as noise that must be filtered out to gain a more accurate topographical representation. The focus of this research is on barrier islands where short term sedimentation is affected greatest by storms that rapidly redistribute material and recreate new topographical features, making it paramount to know the true elevation. The research goal of this project is to apply a proven vegetation removal methodology to high quality photogrammetry derived DEMs obtained from hobbyist UAS flights in a dense coastal vegetated region. This was accomplished via extensive field campaigns along Texas Gulf Coast areas where UAS flights, groundtruthing methods, and RTK-GPS surveys were refined and systemized. Using these processes, successful flights were performed, ground control points were accurately recorded and a variety of vegetation types were analyzed through visual recognition of vegetative types, noting their locations on the model and the correlated substrate height. The result of the field campaigns was a workable high quality DEM, numerous vegetation points and accurate ground control point. With the help of multispectral sensors, which can differentiate vegetation based upon emitted wavelengths, the false elevation from vegetation was removed from the DEM. Using multivariate regression analysis, the substrate height was interpolated and an error value was discovered. The resulting vegetion-truthed DEM is expected to have an uncertainty of less than 5 cm and a 70% reduction in vegetative noise. More accurate and fast map generation will help coastal engineers, scientists, and environmental managers to better model the complex morphodynamics of coastal systems.
Bio: I am an Undergraduate Research Assistant studying Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University Galveston Campus. My research topics are sub-objectives from Ph.D. candidates whom I assist. I am interested in storm resiliency, morphodynamic modeling, and swash zone hydrodynamics. I hope to continue these research interests in as a graduate student.
Assessing the Impacts of Beach Nourishment on the oceanfront areas of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge using Terrestrial LiDAR
Alex Ferencz, Stockton University Coastal Research Center
Coastal communities face many challenges, most of which can be attributed to the surrounding highly dynamic environment. In recent years, these challenges will be amplified by climate change. The theme of this year’s ASBPA conference is “Resilient Shorelines for Rising Tides”. One of the more favored pathways to increasing resiliency of our ocean front communities is through beach nourishment projects. While these projects focus primarily on protecting property and infrastructure the effects on adjacent natural communities must also be considered.
In 2014, the CRC entered into a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess impacts to beach environments of the Holgate and Little Beach units of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge as a result of an up-drift beach nourishment project in Long Beach Island (LBI). Terrestrial LiDAR systems were deployed at both areas in the spring of 2014 – 2016, and most recently in 2018 in a project with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Due to unforeseen issues, beach nourishment along LBI did not occur until the summer of 2016, so the most recent survey will allow changes within the refuge to be examined. The Holgate Unit is immediately down-drift of the nourishment activities and in the past has experienced long-term shoreline erosion. The Little Beach Unit is the only natural, uninhabited barrier island along the New Jersey coast and has experienced major morphological changes. Classified point clouds were used to create Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). These models were used to identify geomorphic fluctuations and determine changes in elevations, volumes and shoreline position. Between 2014 and 2016, the Little Beach Unit showed consistent sand volume losses of the dunes and overwash plains (an overall net loss of 43,033 cubic meters [56,285 cubic yards] above the zero datum). At Holgate, half of its dunes (52%) were removed and the washover/sandflat geomorphologic feature expanded (45% gain), indicating the impacts of storm overwash (from the 2015 and early 2016 northeast storms) which transformed the coastal foredunes. Initial evaluation of the 2018 LiDAR dataset shows the influence of the 2016 and 2017/2018 beach nourishment projects on the northern portions of the Holgate unit, where the shoreline has migrated seaward as much as 190 meters and overwash plains have increased in elevation. The added sand does not yet seem to have been transported to the southern reaches of the Holgate Unit or Little Beach.
This information will greatly aid the US Fish and Wildlife Service to document and evaluate changes to the ocean front beaches in the refuge and can be used to assess changes in critical habitat areas for threatened or endangered species and other wildlife.
Bio: Alex Ferencz works with the Stockton University Coastal Research Center as a GIS and remote sensing analyst. He graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2011 with a BS in Oceanography with emphasis on Coastal Zone Management. Currently, Alex is continuing his education and pursuing a master’s degree at Stockton University.
Evolution of the Beach Access Program for Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, Virginia
James White, City of Virginia Beach
Co-Authors: Daniel Adams, Phillip Roehrs
Sandbridge Beach is a quiet 5 mile beach community located along the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast section of the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia. There are 54 public beach accesses along the 5 mile beachfront. The widths of the public accesses range between 10ft and 50ft, respectively. Historically, the accesses were exclusively sandy paths to the public beach. However, severe erosive conditions that dominated Sandbridge Beach during the 1960’s and 70’s devastated the beach and dune system. With the loss of the dune system and lowering of the dry beach, property owners began to construct seawalls to protect their homes. By 1992, the City had constructed 24 wooden stair accesses to provide access to the beach over the constructed seawalls. ADA access was non-existent at the stairways. To combat the erosive conditions, Federal authority to participate in a long-term beach nourishment program was adopted in 1992. As a result of this authorization, Sandbridge Beach has been nourished four times since the initial construction in 1998. 7.4 MCY of sand has been placed along the 5 mile beach. Although the nourishment efforts have achieved the goal of providing substantial storm protection for Sandbridge Beach, the existing beach access stairs were becoming safety hazards. Also, sand build up along the unimproved beach access paths made it difficult for beach goers to access the beach along with making it nearly impassible for emergency vehicles to access the beach.
The City of Virginia Beach identified a need to improve the beach accesses along the Sandbridge Beach shoreline to protect the revitalized dune system and provide ease of access for both residents and visitors. An assessment of the existing beach accesses along Sandbridge Beach was completed in May 2009. In August 2010, the Sandbridge Beach Public Access Master Plan was completed. The Master Plan was the result of collaboration between the City and the Sandbridge Beach residents. Beach access design concepts were presented and agreed upon along with setting a budget, through the use of Special Service District funds, and prioritizing which accesses were to be improved during each phase. The first beach access improvement was completed in September 2011 at a 50 right of way access known as Tuna Lane. The total cost for the 156ft timber access was $324,233.76 or $2,078.42/lf. With an annual budget of only $300,000, this cost needed to be refined. The structural and access layout design for both the 10ft and 50ft accesses were refined to reduce costs. To date, 15 beach accesses have been completed. Total design and construction costs have been reduced by $20,000 for 10ft accesses and over $100,000 for 50ft accesses. A Beach access alternative product is being implemented for further cost saving advantages and ease of use. The collaboration between the City and the Sandbridge Beach residents continues as the next phase of beach accesses are constructed. The beach access program will continue to evolve with the goal of allowing all beach goers to access and enjoy the relaxing tranquility of Sandbridge Beach.
Bio: Received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Old Dominion University in 1994 and received a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology in 1997. Jim is a Professional Engineer in Virginia. After working for five years in the consulting industry, In August 2002, Jim began his municipal career as the Coastal Engineer for the City of Norfolk, in Virginia. Jim left the City of Norfolk to work for the City of Virginia Beach in 2012. Jim did leave the City of Virginia Beach to work for the City of Chesapeake in 2014, but returned to the City of Virginia Beach in 2017. Jim is back as a project manager overseeing close to $28Mil in Capital Improvement Projects.
Communicating Water Safety: How to make Rip Current education fun!
Amy Williams, Stevens Institute of Technology/New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
Co-Authors: Claire Antonucci, Jon Miller, Mindy Voss
As people head to the beach on vacation, they are thinking of all the fun they will have playing in the waves and eating local foods. Often, the last thing on their minds are rip currents. However, rip currents are a major safety concern as they cause on average 100 deaths a year in the United States. While many beach municipalities provide signs about rip current safety, education needs to start before people get to the beach.
New Jersey Sea Grant has developed an interactive methods of teaching about rip currents to audiences through a trivia game called “Ocean Hazards: Sharks vs Rip Currents”. The concept of comparing rip currents to sharks came from the inspiration of the 100th anniversary of the “10 Days of Terror” shark attacks that occurred in 1916 in New Jersey. These 5 fatal shark attacks have captured the attention of audiences for over a century and provide for an engaging topics to be used as a comparison to the much deadlier topic of rip currents.
By comparing statistics about sharks and rip currents, the audience learns the reality of the threats caused by each. Many of the shark facts have been taken from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack Files, while the rip current statistics come from sources such as the University of Delaware Sea Grant Program and the United State Life Saving Association.
By combining the topics into one game, the audience learns that rip currents are a major threat and through answering trivia questions and discussions, the science and safety of rip currents is discussed. At the end of the activity, the audience should leave with a greater appreciation for sharks as an important species in the marine ecosystem, a better understanding of the formation of rip currents and how to avoid being caught in a rip current along with what to do to save themselves or someone else if ever caught in one.
New Jersey Sea Grant has presented the “Ocean Hazards” trivia game at schools, libraries, teacher trainings and science camps. In addition, bookmarks and pencils were created from the game to provide as a giveaways. A lesson plan for teachers to be able to use in their individual classrooms also provides additional outreach opportunities.
Education is the key to changing the public’s perception of ocean hazards and in return can help to change their behaviors when at the beach in order to provide better safety to individuals. By combining an already popular topics (sharks) with an important safety issue (rip currents) and providing the information through an interactive game, the audience members are engaged in the learning process which promotes longer retention of the information.
Bio: Amy Williams is a post-doctoral associate at Stevens Institute of Technology working on living shoreline projects in the Davidson Laboratory and the Coastal Ecosystems Extension Agent at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. She has experience as an educator through summer camps and community colleges. Her topics of expertise are living shorelines, coastal dunes and rip current awareness. Amy has been doing community outreach through an interactive trivia program about ocean hazards and coastal ecosystems. Amy lives at the Jersey Shore where she enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving and playing at the beach with her goldendoodle, Taylor Ham.
Engaging Texas Students in the Study of Coastal Environment
Tiffany Caudle, Bureau of Economic Geology, Univ. of Texas at Austin
The Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program (THSCMP) and GeoFORCE Texas engage Texas students in the study of coastal environments. Middle and high school students and teachers participating in THSCMP learn how to measure topography, map vegetation lines and shorelines with GPS, and observe weather and wave conditions. These students are active participants in a research project, which has the dual benefit of enhancing their science education while providing valuable data on the dynamic Texas coastline. Since 1997, data collected by THSCMP students have been used to investigate beach, dune, and vegetation-line recovery following tropical cyclones and monitor the effects of nourishment projects, beach maintenance practices, and jetty construction. Student data is also used in verifying shoreline positions for updates of Texas’ long-term shoreline change rates. The program not only provides hands-on education, but it also provides valuable data for coastal researchers and regulatory and coastal-stewardship agencies. GeoFORCE Texas is a Jackson School of Geosciences outreach program designed to increase the number of students pursuing STEM degrees in college. High school students are presented the opportunity to explore the geosciences during four summer field courses in Texas and throughout the United States. The 9th grade Summer Academy introduces participating students to basic geologic principles and processes which includes studying the Texas coastal zone. The students learn about the geologic history of the Texas coast and study modern coastal environments and processes while exploring wetlands, inlets, deltas, beaches, and dunes. Through these real-world examples of scientific observations, Texas students gain a better understanding of environmental issues and geologic processes affecting coastal communities.
Bio: Tiffany Caudle has been a Research Scientist Associate at the BEG since 2000. She has been involved in projects that study Texas Gulf and bay shoreline change, coastal processes, and severe storm impacts and recovery. Tiffany is responsible for the Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program a student beach and dune monitoring project. She is also an instructor for the Jackson School of Geosciences GeoFORCE Texas outreach program. She has a B.S. in Geology from Juniata College and a M.S. in Geology from the University of South Florida.
South Padre Island Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring: University of Texas RGV partners with Red Tide Rangers, TPWD, and NOAA.
Shelby Bessette, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), in the form of Red Tides are common on the Texas coast. South Padre Island has been subjected to repeated red tide events occurring in 2016, 2015, 2011, and 2009. Red Tide Ranger volunteers and university staff complete most monitoring efforts (water collection and cell counting) for reporting to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Red Tide Rangers have been working in collaboration with UTRGV since 1992, and train about 20 volunteers annually. The Red Tide Ranger volunteers help increase sampling and analysis efforts by collecting water from additional sites outside of the Texas Beach Watch sampling locations (20 sites on South Padre Island and 6 on Boca Chica Beach weekly). When Karenia brevis is present, rangers assist with daily cell counts at the Coastal Studies Lab. Recently, the university began collaborating with NOAA to use a new counting method utilizing HABscopes. The HABscopes count live Karenia brevis cells in real time and report them instantly to the NOAA headquarters through an Apple iPod application. This new technology with the addition of an Image Flow Cytobot in Port Isabel, Texas will make counting and reporting more efficient and accurate. This collaboration ensures proper reporting from South Padre Island in the event of a Harmful Algal Bloom.
Bio: Shelby Bessette is the Program Manager at the UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Coastal Studies Lab on South Padre Island. She received her Masters of Science in Biology from UTRGV in 2016 and became a Red Tide Ranger in 2015. Bessette manages the education & outreach programs at the Coastal Studies Lab and also leads the response efforts for harmful algal blooms, marine mammal stranding’s, and sea turtle stranding’s, which involve many collaborative partner organizations.
An Overview of ERDC’s Coastal Storm Modeling System as Applied to the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study
Thomas Massey, US Army Corps of Engineers – Engineer Research and Development Center – Coastal & Hydraulics Lab
Co-Authors: Yan Ding, Margaret Owensby, Himangshu Das
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center’s Coastal Storm Modeling System (CSTORM-MS) is both a system of highly-skilled, highly-resolved numerical models used to simulate coastal storms and the comprehensive methodology of how to apply those models in order to accurately assess risk to coastal communities. The CSTORM-MS makes use of nonlinear physics-based models that are integrated into a suite of high-fidelity storm modeling tools to support a wide range of coastal engineering needs for simulating tropical and extratropical storm wind, wave and water levels and for representing the coastal response due to the storms. The CSTORM-MS has been applied to several large scale USACE projects including the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (2015) and the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study. This presentation describes the current state of practice capabilities of the CSTORM-MS and its accompanying production system (CSTORM-PS) for efficiently executing modeling scenarios and storing data. Included will be an overview of the modeling system, as applied during the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study. Additionally some discussions will take place on how the resulting data sets can be used for additional purposes in the engineering and planning communities.
Bio: Dr. Massey serves as a Research Mathematician at the US Army Corps of Engineers at the Engineering Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulic Laboratory since 2008. He is a recognized expert in the development and application of coastal and riverine numerical models, model coupling and system integration, and storm surge modeling. Dr. Massey is currently leading the continued development of the Coastal Storm Modeling System; collaborating on the development of a next generation unstructured wave model; and working with an interdisciplinary team to develop a USACE “Total Watershed Decision Support” capability.
Modeling Storm Surge Suppression Impacts in Galveston Bay
Zachary Cobell, Arcadis
Co-Authors: Falcolm Hull, Chris Salise, Hugh Roberts
The protection of the population and critical infrastructure along the Texas coast and around Galveston Bay has received significant attention since Hurricane Ike. Various dike and storm surge suppression and flood reduction barrier systems have been proposed and are currently being studied in terms of reducing the vulnerability of region to coastal flooding. This study expands previous analysis by examining the impact of gates and barriers storm surge and waves, daily hydrodynamics, salinity, and environmental conditions. A combination of ADCIRC and Deltares’ D-Flow Flexible Mesh were selected for this task.
Storm surge simulations were conducted using the coupled ADCIRC+SWAN storm surge and wave model. These simulations consisted of running hundreds of synthetic hurricanes developed during the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) study in Louisiana and Texas incorporating projected sea level rise values in 2085. Results were analyzed to understand the types of benefits that could be obtained by building a coastal spine along the Texas coast to reduce storm surge in Galveston Bay.
During non-storm periods, the protection features must be designed so that changes to the environmental conditions within the bay are understood and mitigated for if necessary. Modeling of the bay was conducted for a historical three-year period. Simulations were conducted without structures to show how well the model could replicate historical observations. Then, simulations with the gates constructed and open were run to understand impacts to salinity, water levels, and discharge in Galveston Bay. A series of gate designs were analyzed to understand how to minimize environmental impact and cost.
Results are presented from both phases of this work showing performance of the structures during both hurricane and daily conditions followed by recommendations for future work that will be important for understanding in greater detail how different plant and wildlife species might be impacted as well as navigational considerations.
Bio: Zach is a water resources engineer specializing in large scale coastal, riverine, and hydrologic applications. He has successfully developed and applied models designed to analyze hurricane storm surge and waves, hydraulic scour analysis, sea level rise, coastal restoration impacts, levee design and feasibility studies, and water quality.
A Geomorphological Approach to the Resiliency of Texas Barrier Islands
Juan Moya, Freese and Nichols, Inc.
Co-Authors: Spences Schnier, Kelsey Calvez
Barrier island systems play a significant role in protecting human and non-human environments by acting as resilient barriers to high energy storms and the destructive forces of winds and waves that threaten coastal communities. These systems are considered the first line of defense and include critical geomorphic features that reduce the effects of wind, waves, and storm surges by absorbing energy and impacts. Barrier island shorelines, islands, headlands, inlets, beach and dune systems, and wetland and marsh complexes systematically work together to provide coastal protection. Additionally, these features provide essential habitats for a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic species by supporting the conditions necessary for the establishment of bird rookery islands, oyster reefs, marshes, and seagrass beds.
In Texas, each component of the barrier island system has had a distinctive evolution since its origin in the last 6,000 years. More and more has been confirmed that the sustainability of the Texas barrier island system is critical to the social and economic welfare of coastal communities, specifically for the maritime and petrochemical industries.
A geomorphological approach was developed to assess the vulnerability of barrier islands and identify the indicators that are most useful in evaluating the resiliency of geomorphic features. Several geomorphic features were compared to assess what features or sub features that are most vulnerable and are most likely to erode or disappear in the future. The barrier islands analyzed included: Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Island, Matagorda Peninsula, Matagorda Island, San Jose Island, North Padre Island, South Padre Island, and Brazos Island. The parameters of the comparison included: age, rates of historical migration, dune and ridge elevation, wash over dynamics, geologic thickness, probability of rollback, navigation influence, structural influence (jetties), magnitude of aeolian processes, availability of sediments for restoration, relative subsidence, and storm flood potential. An additional comparison of the features post-storm events was conducted using historical imagery and geologic mapping systems to analyze areas where breaches have occurred or could potentially occur and specifically the type of potential breaching based on past and present conditions.
This presentation includes the results of this geomorphologic-resiliency investigation on some of the Texas barrier islands and describes the identification of critical areas for restoration opportunities. It also proposes concepts of small or large-scale approaches to specific restoration of geomorphological features using the results of this resiliency analysis.
Bio: Dr. Moya is a geomorphologist at Freese and Nichols, Inc., in charge of geologic and geomorphologic assessments. He has more than 29 of international experience in coastal geomorphology and sediment investigations. This presentation is part of the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study conducted by the GLO and USACE.
Any Port in a Storm
Bill Hanson, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock
A discussion of how GLDD responded to Florence in terms of safely securing equipment and personnel along the East Coast before and during the storm. Additionally, a follow up with how we remobilized to resume work and collaborate with Corps and locals to assess and address impacts. Some discussion of response to Hurricane Michael will also be included.
Approach to Coastline Management and Resilience Using EWN
Ram Mohan, Anchor QEA, LLC & Texas A&M University
Severe weather patterns and sea level rise are affecting the ever-evolving nature of our shorelines and subjecting them to frequent and severe storm events. In response, many towns, municipalities and state/federal organizations have initiated studies and developed master plans to respond to this evolving existential threat. This presentation will review strategies implemented or being considered at various regions across North America, with a view to identify the myriad of EWN approaches used and discuss their benefits and concerns. EWN approaches applicable to different shoreline features (beaches, dunes, river banks, wetlands, etc.) will be reviewed and their economic and environmental benefits, as well as coastal resiliency benefits will be reviewed. Several example case studies of projects will be presented and discussed in terms of their resiliency benefits and special features. The presentation will conclude with best recommended approaches for particular shoreline features, in terms of level of protection that is desirable.
Bio: Dr. Mohan is a Partner at Anchor QEA, LLC and an Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M University. For over 30 years, he has applied his unique expertise to develop solutions to complex coastal issues including coastal erosion, flooding, navigation, and environmental dynamics. He is a member of the National Research Council’s (NRC) Marine Board, where he leads the National Coastal Resiliency Initiative. Previously, while at the NRC Ocean Studies Board (OSB), he was part of the NRC panel mandated by the U.S. Congress to review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Planning and Policy Manual. In 2005, he co-edited the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) special technical publication on “Advances in Coastal Structure Design.” An expert in the field of coastal and environmental engineering, he is frequently retained to provide peer-review and expert analysis of high-profile navigation and environmental projects. In 2005, the Western Dredging Association (WEDA) named him its “Dredger of the Year,” and he served as the Chairman of the World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA) from 2013-2016. He is a long-time member of several professional organizations, including ASBPA, PIANC, ASCE, and WEDA.
Natural Infrastructure Initiative: Identifying Collaborative Opportunities for Natural Infrastructure and Nature Based Features
Safra Altman, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Co-Authors: Linda Lillycrop
This abstract is intended to be included in the dedicated session: Engineering With Nature Session III Considerations for Coastal Resilience, NNBF Guidelines, and the Natural Infrastructure Initiative. The natural Infrastructure Initiative (NII) was initiated in 2017 and is a collaboration across the US Army Corps of Engineers, Caterpillar Inc., The Nature Conservancy, AECOM, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, Brown and Root Industrial Services LLC, and Intrexon working to promote the use of natural infrastructure and nature based features. A component of the NII effort is to develop and enhance a suite of databases that are comprehensive, searchable and open to the public to assist in defining, expanding and identifying water-based NI project opportunities from the perspective of federal and nonfederal government and private sources. An accompanying suite of decision support tools will assist to identify opportunity conditions and clusters of existing or potential NI projects that would provide high-impact benefits to commerce and environment in a given locality. This presentation will review the NII effort and accompanying database with the suite of tools for advancing implementation of NI and Nature Based Features.
Bio: Safra Altman is a coastal research ecologist at the Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory. Dr. Altman uses creative scientific approaches and quantitative methods to develop tools for environmental restoration, environmentally sound uses of dredged material, dune management, and management of threatened and endangered species. Safra has helped to develop landscape ecology models that incorporate habitat changes, landscape level changes and changes in ecological processes in barrier islands and has been involved in an international EWN initiative to develop engineering guidelines for Natural and Nature Based Features such as submerged aquatic vegetation, reefs, dunes and coastal upland plant communities
Natural and Nature Based Features (NNBF) planning and development framework
Jonathan Simm, HR Wallingford
Co-Authors: Todd Bridges, Jeff King, Bregje van Wesenbeeck
This presentation will describe part of the ongoing development of the International Guidelines for the use of Natural and Nature Based Features in coastal and fluvial flood and erosion risk management. It focusses on the framework within which the rest of the guidelines are situated. and builds on earlier work carried out for the World Bank and other agencies.
For context setting, the scope of the overall document will first be outlined and the wide range of US and other countries and international organisations involved
The framework will then be described. It includes three main parts: principles to adopted when identifying and implementing NNBF on a project, common steps that should be taken as part of the process and desirable outcomes to be achieved.
The principles include a system scale perspective, risk and benefit assessment for a full range of solutions, standardised performance evaluation, integration with ecosystem conservation and restoration, and adaptive management.
The process steps include: defining the problem, project scope and objectives; developing a funding strategy; conducting ecosystem, hazard and risk assessments; developing a nature-based risk management strategy; estimating the costs benefits and effectiveness of the NNBF measures; selecting and designing the NNBf intervention; implementation and construction; monitoring to inform future practices.
The commonly desired outcomes include: establishment of communication processes with all stakeholders; problem identification and commitment of stakeholders to action; identification and delivery of funding streams; identification and acceptance of impact on natural and risk systems; establishment of necessary approvals and authorities; optimisation of the NNBF components of the overall solution portfolio and establishment of appropriate monitoring and adaptive management processes.
Bio: Dr Jonathan Simm is Chief Technical Director for Resilience at HR Wallingford with responsibilities in such areas as performance, risk, materials and sustainability. He joined HR Wallingford in 1992 after an early career working with consulting engineers on coastal and maritime works and subsequently became involved in research programmes being carried out at HR Wallingford, particularly in the areas of flood and coastal risk management. He was Technical Lead for the International Levee Handbook and is currently working on international guidelines for the use of natural and nature based features.
Using a Systems Approach in the Planning and Implementation of Natural and Nature-Based Features
Denise Reed, University of New Orleans
Co-Authors: Denise Reed, Jurre De Vries
Flood risk problems inherently include natural and social aspects, and their solutions also commonly entail government actions. The interaction of these three sectors is thus commonly considered in flood risk management, and the NNBF approach further enhances the breadth of perspective on the natural system from the hydro-geophysical to the interplay of ecology, geomorphology and geophysics. Specifically utilizing a systems approach to flood risk management, however, requires an early appreciation of the context for the problem and the potential solutions. One of the most fundamental features of a systems approach is that it emphasizes a broad view that looks beyond immediate events or local problems to understand dynamic systems and identify patterns. This deeper and broader understanding leads to more effective solutions.
Using a systems approach is particularly useful on applying NNBF as it promotes sustainable long- term thinking that is essential to unveiling the near-term and long-term effectiveness of NNBF solutions. It can also promote solutions that create added value by identifying multifunctional solutions. Conversely by avoiding “dark benefits” and unintended consequences, solutions can achieve greater societal support. From an implementation perspective, the broader the consideration of the problem/solution space the more potential there is for cost savings and to leverage funding from multiple sources, perhaps more interested in the co-benefits than the immediate flood risk problem. By fostering learning and collaboration among interdisciplinary teams a wider variety of mental models about why the system performs as it does can be articulated potentially leading to more innovative solutions and/or higher-leverage interventions.
While the advantages are often clear, the utilization of s systems approach introduces complexities to risk reduction efforts that have additional consequences. The more factors considered in the analysis, the more uncertainties that are introduced and the analyses can become more complicated, time consuming and costly. A systems approach will often entail working with, and achieving consensus among, a larger group of stakeholders than a narrower approach. This again takes time and resources but can lead to greater ‘buy-in’, acceptability of the solutions implemented, as well as greater degree of understanding of the often-large array of factor contributing to flood risk, some of which may be in the hands of the stakeholders to resolve.
It is important to remember that using a systems approach does not necessarily imply an increase in the geographic scale considered. Rather once a manageable systems context is defined the focus needs to be on interconnectedness among components. Moreover, as systems approach to risk reduction planning may not imply immediate implementation at that scale. Often planning can occur at the system scale, but individual elements of the solution identified can be incrementally implemented (assuming they have independent utility for flood risk reduction or other relevant benefits). For NNBF in particular one of the main requirements is that a multidisciplinary team is assembled that can embrace the biogeophysical, socio-economic and governance dynamics of the system, and that both the team commit to long-term involvement and are provided the resources to realize that commitment.
Bio: Denise Reed is a widely recognized expert in coastal marsh sustainability and the role of human activities in modifying coastal systems with over 30 years of experience studying coastal issues in the United States and abroad. She has served on numerous boards and panels addressing the effects of human alterations on coastal environments and the role of science in guiding restoration, and has been a member of the USACE Environmental Advisory Board and the NOAA Science Advisory Board. Dr. Reed received her B.S. degree in Geography from Sidney Sussex College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from University of Cambridge.
USACE Galveston District Regional Sediment Management Initiatives
Paul Hamilton, USACE-Galveston
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District is well invested in regional sediment management (RSM) principles and implementing those principles in projects. Herein we discuss several current, ongoing, and potential future RSM initiatives that the Galveston district is undertaking and/or planning. There are three specific examples to outline here.
The first is on the beach and littoral zone of South Padre Island (SPI). We will discuss the history of beneficial use of dredged material (BUDM) from the Brazos Island Harbor (BIH) channel to nourish the beach at SPI. This typically takes the form of shore-attached beach nourishment or nearshore placement. There is an effort underway at SPI to investigate the transport and fate of material placed in the nearshore rather than on the subaerial beach.
Secondly, we will highlight work in the coastal marsh through the Jefferson County Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. This study recently passed the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) milestone. The TSP consists of abundant marsh restoration and nourishment by utilizing BUDM from the Sabine-Neches Waterway (SNWW). This will facilitate an ecosystem benefit from maintenance dredging rather than the material being removed from the system.
The presentation will focus on the two aforementioned cases, however we would like to highlight that RSM is not restricted to the coastal zone. We will lastly show the sediment-related challenges and opportunities we face in the district in the riverine environment. Two examples will be shown. The first is watershed-scale issues in the Brazos River causing bank erosion and knickpoint migration through the system. The second is sedimentation issues along the West Fork San Jacinto River arising from Hurricane Harvey. Emergency dredging is being conducted in response. We will discuss that effort along with the sediment issues in the area.
Bio: Paul is a hydraulic engineer with the Galveston District of USACE. He has a BS from Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MS and PhD from University of Houston, all in Civil Engineering. His primary focus areas include hydraulic engineering, sediment transport, and geomorphology.
Region Sediment Management: Utilization and Design Considerations for Channel to Victoria Beneficial Use Sites
Steven Howard, US Army Corps of Engineers
An alternative approach to managing sediment dredged from maintenance of the GIWW, Channel to Victoria, Texas Federal navigation project has been assessed by determining the impacts and benefits of utilizing new or historic beneficial use sites along the channel. The lower reach of Channel to Victoria is a high shoaling reach dredged every other year with material being placed in upland confined sites, providing an opportunity to consider a new approach to beneficially use a significant quantity of material while providing benefits to the Federal project. A Regional Sediment Management study was completed identifying: (1) additional capacity created for the project and the quantity of material kept within the San Antonio Bay system, (2) impacts of beneficial use sites on shoaling of the Federal channel and considerations for design, (3) an estimate of anticipated cost savings by utilizing these beneficial use sites, and (4) environmental benefits. This new approach to managing sediment seeks realize its benefits by leveraging sites that have previously been approved and either have never been utilized or have not recently been utilized.
Bio: Steven Howard serves as an Operations Project Manager for Federal navigation projects at the US Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District. He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in environmental science from Stockton University.
Regional Sediment Management along the California Coast
John Dingler, US Army Corps of Engineers
Co-Authors: Heather Schlosser
The Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup (CSMW), a collaborative task force of federal, state, regional, and local entities, continues to work towards implementing Regional Sediment Management (RSM) along the California coast. The CSMW co-chairs are the California Natural Resources Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Pacific Division (SPD). Besides SPD, the San Francisco District (SPN) and the Los Angeles District (SPL) actively participate in the workgroup.
Recognizing the adverse impacts of coastal erosion and excess sedimentation on California’s coastal habitats, the CSMW is developing a coastal Sediment Master Plan (SMP) to help inform local and regional stakeholders regarding political, regulatory, environmental, educational, and process-related efforts that are anticipated when implementing RSM in the state. Currently, CSMW’s main thrust for SMP development is regionally based RSM strategy plans. To that end, CSMW is working with regional entities towards implementing RSM within their jurisdictional areas through Coastal RSM Plans. These Plans identify how governance, outreach, and technical approaches can support beneficial use of sediment resources within that region without causing environmental degradation or public nuisance.
The USACE National Regional Sediment Management Program (NRMP) has supported CSMW since the workgroup formed. At present, the NRMP is funding SPN to develop a comprehensive physical and ecological monitoring program to document shoreline morphology before, during, and after the construction of a backshore sand dune in front of an eroding coastal bluff adjacent to an SPN-constructed breakwater at Pillar Point Harbor (Half Moon Bay, CA). The San Mateo County Harbor District is managing the pilot project with funding from the California Ocean Protection Council and participation by other state agencies. Plans call for moving 75,000 yd3 of clean sand dredged from the harbor to the adjacent, eroding beach. The sand will be placed above mean high water against a coastal bluff.
Established in 1992, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) stretches from Marin County to Cambria, encompassing a shoreline length of 276 miles along the central California coast. Pillar Point Harbor lies within that stretch of coast. One of the prohibited activities in the Sanctuary is “the disposal of dredged material other than at sites authorized by EPA (in consultation with COE) prior to January 1, 1993”. Because both of the authorized sites are in deep water, nearshore beneficial use of dredged clean sand is, in essence, prohibited within the Sanctuary. In an effort to reconsider its prohibition and recognize the importance of the beneficial use of dredged sand in the nearshore, the Sanctuary has agreed to let the pilot project go forward as long as the dredged sand is placed above mean high water. If beach nourishment has a minimal impact on Sanctuary resources adjacent to Pillar Point Harbor, the Sanctuary will be open to opportunistic beach nourishment projects in other places along the Sanctuary’s coastline.
Bio: In 1975, John earned a PhD in Marine Geology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His focus was on coastal processes: his advisor was Douglas Inman. Subsequently, he worked at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, as a coastal scientist focusing on coastal morphodynamics. Study areas included the West Coast, Alaska, Louisiana, American Samoa, and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Following a post-retirement hiatus, John has worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers where he is a physical scientist in the Reemployed Annuitant Office. At present, he is assigned to the San Francisco District in the Planning Branch.
Regional Sediment Budget Workflow and Tools
Lauren Dunkin, USACE – ERDC
Co-Authors: Eve Eisemann, Michael Hartman, Jennifer Wozencraft
Sediment budgets provide valuable information about sediment pathways in the coastal zone and are the first step in the Regional Sediment Management process in order to better understand the region. Sediment budgets are an accounting of inputs (sources), outputs (sinks), and change in sand volume for a defined area within a specified time period. The three types of sediment budgets range in complexity and include the 1) conceptual budget to provide reconnaissance level information, 2) interim to provide a working budget for initial analyses, and 3) operational budget which is the final budget.
The operational budget is used in regional planning and initial design of site-specific projects. The regional aspect of these analyses benefit from the integration of remote sensing data collected regionally on a recurring basis. In addition, data sharing is important for coordination and communication between USACE and local stakeholders. The USACE Engineer Research and Development Center has developed tools and technologies like Sediment Budget Analysis System (SBAS) and the Lidar Volume Toolbox that are uniquely available to support the creation of sediment budgets. In addition, spatial datasets, such as those collected as part of the National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP), are available to provide regional, high resolution elevation data that may be used as input for the sediment budget.
The updated workflow and improvements to SBAS increase efficiencies and standardization of the process to define and populate the sediment budget cells. In addition, data access through a web map tool provides an integrated platform to allow users to view data for their region of interest and improve communication between local stakeholders.
Bio: Lauren Dunkin is a research civil engineer with the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center. The focus of her research involves using remote sensing data to support RSM.
Spatial and Temporal Variations in Alongshore Sediment Transport Rates Based on Wave Modeling and Data Analysis: Anna Maria Island, Manatee County, Florida
Morjana Signorin, APTIM
Co-Authors: Joao Dobrochinski, Michelle Pfeiffer, Thomas P. Pierro
This presentation will provide the findings of a sediment transport analysis using wave modeling and the CERC formula for Anna Maria Island in Florida, discussing the variability of the alongshore sediment transport over time and along the central portion of the island.
Anna Maria Island is a 7.5 mile long barrier island located in southwest Florida, and is the only barrier island entirely within Manatee County. The island is located 40 miles south of Tampa and is bounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Sound to the east, Passage Key Inlet to the north and Longboat Pass to the south. The primary focus of this investigation was to identify the spacial and temporal variability of sediment transport in Anna Maria Island to support the development of the sediment budget and define the direction of transport as part of the ongoing Inlet Management Study of Passage Key. This initial part of the study was based on a combination of wave modeling and the application of the well-known CERC formula (Shore Protection Manual, 1984) used to compute wave-induced alongshore transport rates.
Offshore wave information was obtained from NOAA/WW3 hindcast database, covering the period between 2006 and 2017 with time resolution of three hours. Wave propagation from offshore to nearshore areas was simulated using the wave transformation model SWAN, developed at Delft University of Technology. Wave data from the model was extracted at the wave breaking point for each FDEP R-monument along the central extent of the island (R-8 through R-34). The wave angle of incidence at breaking (φ) and the significant height at breaking (Hb) at each monument and point in time were used in the CERC formula to calculate the longshore transport.
The coastal processes along the central region of Anna Maria Island are primarily dictated by cold fronts during winter months, which generate north-south sediment transport, and occasional hurricanes and tropical storms during summer months, which can generate south-north transport. However, this seasonal behavior varies over the years, being strongly dependent on the frequency and strength of the storm events. Since the alongshore transport rates are directly related to the incident waves, seasonal and annual variations in the wave climate are reflected in the concurrent net sediment transport. This variability also affects the transport nodal point located in the central portion of the island. On shorter time scales, the location of the nodal point migrates and might even not exist depending on the specific years analyzed. Additionally, there is an apparent correlation between the net alongshore sediment transport rates and the storm events that will be specifically addressed.
Bio: Morjana Signorin is a coastal modeler with APTIM. Mrs. Signorin has 7 years of experience in numerical modeling and data analysis of meteoceanographic data, and has worked on over 30 numerical modeling projects in her career in Brazil and in the United States.
Hybrid cross shore and longshore shoreline evolution modeling for probabilistic assessment of beach erosion.
Uriah Gravois, University of Queensland
Co-Authors: Dave Callaghan, Tom Baldock, Gareth Davies
Winds, waves and tides associated with storms are capable of causing severe damage to coastal property and infrastructure. Locations that are prone to erosion and inundation first require an accurate assessment of risk before deciding the most cost effective mitigation option. This research aims to produce probabilistic assessments of the coastal erosion and inundation risks associated with storms, particularly for coincident or clustered events, thereby helping to strengthen the resilience of coastal communities.
Coastal erosion and inundation hazard is modelled in this study by simulations of realistic storm condition forcing (waves and tides) through a morphodynamic model to calculate return periods for maximum extent of shoreline retreat and storm demand. This approach of estimating erosion return periods is superior to the assumption that the most energetic storm causes maximum erosion. The methodology is demonstrated at Old Bar, NSW and the metropolitan Adelaide beaches, SA, which are both currently erosion hotspots in Australia. These sites were selected to test the methodology for a span of geographic conditions in terms of storm climate and deep-water wave exposure, working towards developing this method into a transportable framework applicable to other coastal areas.
Desktop and field assessments of each site were conducted to document geomorphic and sediment characteristics to inform shoreline modelling. Having established the historical framework at each location, multivariate statistical analysis of wave (buoy or hindcast models) and tides for peak storm events has allowed for the synthesis of realistic future conditions. This complex sequencing of cycling between accretion and erosion incorporating cross-shore and alongshore sediment transport has been estimated using a probabilistic shoreline evolution model. Here, model outputs for both sites are illustrated and used to access risk to infrastructure based on the most probable envelope of the shoreline.
Bio: Uriah Gravois works in the School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland. His research interests include coastal waves and wave-current interactions, beach morphodynamics and coastal erosion hazards.
Biloxi Marsh Shoreline Stabilization – Using neural networks to simulate water levels
Craig Harter, Mott MacDonald
Co-Authors: Arpit Agarwal, Joshua Carter ,Thomas Everett
Biloxi Marsh is located on the coastal fringe marsh southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. The fringe marsh functions as an important storm buffer for the city of New Orleans, however there is little natural protection of the marsh from wind-driven waves. As a result, shoreline erosion has caused significant marsh loss in the project area. The project goal is to create a living shoreline breakwater by placing artificial armor units along the project shoreline to serve as an important first line of defense for the coastal marshes.
The project scope included data collection of water levels and wave heights for a 5-month period at the project site which would be used for calibrating and validating a tidal circulation model and wave model. Unfortunately, there are numerous characteristics of the project site that make simulating water levels complicated such as a wide shallow bathymetry, a muddy and cohesive bed, and the strong relative influence of meteorological forcing on the water level.
After numerous attempts to calibrate a tidal circulation model, it was clear that an accurate model would require extensive data and mesh improvements, and would not be practical to adequately simulate the complicated hydrodynamics of the site. Therefore, an alternative solution was sought using Artificial Neural Networks. Neural networks are powerful computational tools within the field of machine learning and are the foundation of some of the most significant technological advances in the 21st century including voice recognition and driverless cars.
The concept was first validated using measured data from a nearby Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) gage. A neural network was trained to correlate measured water level, wind speed, wind direction and pressure from two nearby NOAA tide gages to water levels at the CRMS station. The trained network was then able to accurately hindcast water levels for an independent 3-year period with an Index of Agreement greater than 0.98.
A neural network was then trained to correlate the same inputs from the nearby NOAA gages to measured water levels at the project site. The network was trained and tested using two independent sets for training and validation. The trained network could accurately reproduce the test set with an Index of Agreement of 0.98.
The neural network approach provides distinct advantages. First, there are no uncertainties due to assumptions in the numerical model selection or setup, since there are no physics based model calculations. Second, neural networks are thousands of times faster than a numerical model, which enables the simulation of large time scales where numerical models would be computationally prohibitive. Lastly, a neural network can simulate water levels at a complicated site where unknowns in the physical parameters of the site and limitations in the numerical model governing equations made numerical model approach inadequate. It is important to note a major limitation in this approach: scenarios that arise that are not covered in the training set, such as extreme water levels, are not represented accurately by the neural network, as the neural network is not trained in how the system responds to these new physical processes. Therefore, the application of the neural network requires careful application.
Bio: Mr. Harter has worked as a coastal and ports engineer for over 5 years and has a Master’s degree in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is currently based in Austin Texas and working with Mott MacDonald where he has been involved in numerous aspects of numerical modeling and data science. Mr. Harter’s experience spans a broad range of topics including modeling of tidal circulation, waves, storms, coastal morphology, and vessel hydrodynamics. Mr. Harter is the recent recipient of Mott MacDonald’s prestigious Innovation Award for his work with neural networks.
Hurricane Florence: How Several Non-Federal Storm Damage Reduction Projects Performed in North Carolina
Ken Willson, APTIM
Bio: Ken Willson is a client program manager for APTIM. Since 2003, he has assisted coastal clients in Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana on coastal restoration and inlet management projects. His broad knowledge base of coastal geology, engineering, environmental science, policy, and finance has allowed him to assist numerous clients with designing, permitting, and constructing a wide array of beach and inlet management projects. He earned a BS and MS in Geology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a Coastal Engineering Certification from Old Dominion University. Mr. Willson resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with his wife Ali and their 4 children.
Sargassum Landing and Movement as a Function of North Atlantic Oscillation Variation and pH Differentials
Mariah McBride, Texas A&M University at Galveston, The Center for Texas Beaches and Shores
A correlation exists between positive fluctuations of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and above average levels of sargassum that lands along the Gulf of Mexico. Furthermore, there subsists an indirect interconnection between the factors that stimulate a positive placement on the NAO Index (i.e. surface water temperature, CO2 absorption rates, and atmospheric pressure) and the average pH level of the Atlantic Ocean. Given the forecast that average oceanic pH levels will decline by 0.4 before the year 2100, the mean NAO Index level and pH level drop recorded between the years 1982 to 2015 were applied as augmentation factors to gage a hypothetical projection of NAO trends by the year 2100. Based on these calculations, it is evident that the frequency of NAO positive phases could increase by a function of 8. This positive phase amplification could equate to volumetric increases of sargassum landings on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline at a comparable rate. In addition to the scientific analysis, this study yields suggestions for future research, as well as possible implications for sargassum mitigation policy.
Bio: Mariah Parks McBride is a Public Policy and Communications major at Texas A&M University at Galveston. During the summer of 2018, she will be interning for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.. She has been tasked to head a project directed by the U.S. EPA and the National Coral Reef Task Force where she will aid in quantifying the economic value of international coral reefs. Furthermore, she will utilize this data to aid international municipalities in terms of the protection policies and sustainability. In addition to this, Mariah has lead other environmental economic research initiatives through the Texas Institute of Oceanography and as the resident undergraduate research fellow for the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores. Mariah is dedicated to preserving the sanctity of our oceans and this passion is evident in her academic, professional, and personal endeavors.
The Seaweed is Always Greener in Someone Else’s “Ocean” or What is the Process to Obtain a Beach Maintenance Permit?
Rhonda Gregg-Hirsch, Atkins
Beach Operations Managers are the first eyes on our beaches every day. In the wee early morning hours, they have had their coffee, lined out crews for the earliest of tasks to be accomplished and have already surmised what type of beach experience visitors will have that day. They send teams out to collect trash on the beach, tipping the beach cans and removing large debris brought in by tides and storm events. Trash and debris removal are typical unregulated work activities performed by beach communities year-round. But what about seaweed? Is seaweed removal a regulated activity? What happens when beach access is hampered? Is there a minimum or maximum landing that triggers regulation? What do operators do when there are exceptional volumes of seaweed landing on beaches like the extraordinary seaweed season of 2014? Where the heck do you put it? And what about turtles and other endangered species………what does an operator do about them? This presentation addresses these questions and many more; it is a seaweed permit primer to provide you with the “how-to” for your beach community.
Bio: Rhonda Gregg Hirsch is a Project Director at ATKINS North America. ATKINS is one of the world’s leading design, engineering, and project management consultancies. ATKINs is committed to sustainable and responsible business practices and provides the expertise to respond to technically challenging and time-critical infrastructure projects. Mrs. Gregg Hirsch has over 23 years of experience in project development, execution and oversight; resource agency liaison and coordination; federal, state and municipal permitting, review and authorization; environmental conservation and compliance; and feasibility studies. She has extensive project experience in coastal planning and restoration, sustainable shorelines and beneficial use of dredged materials. Rhonda brings creative solutions to her multifaceted projects as well as an aptitude to identify and resolve critical issues. Her work focus is Coastal Texas to achieve a stronger, sustainable coastline.
The Long Journey to Maintain Compliance While Updating Sargassum Management Tactics
Jesse Ojeda, Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston
The beaches of Galveston Island are that City’s greatest asset, yet their maintenance at times has been hit and miss. Historically, Galveston has seen its share of heavy sargassum seaweed landings that have congested the City’s beaches and had resulted in negative visitor experiences. With Galveston’s beaches attracting approximately 7,000,000 visitors per year, the need to quickly relocate heavy influx’s of sargassum seaweed has never been greater. In previous years this relocation was based on expediency, often without regard for the types of equipment used, and their potential negative impacts on the beach itself. Approximately six years ago Park Board leadership realized their current beach maintenance practices were unsustainable, and potentially causing damage to the habitat they were trying to maintain. A shift in focus brought additional funding, newer and more environmentally responsible equipment, development of recommended best practices for seaweed relocation, and adaptive science-based management strategies. Coupled with this new approach the Park Board began working with regulatory agencies to develop and implement permitted beach maintenance practices that are mirrored as the standard for sargassum relocation on Galveston Island. This presentation will focus on the evolution of Park Board’s beach maintenance practices on Galveston, the types of equipment, management strategies, best practices, and outreach to the public.
Bio: Jesse is a native of Galveston and has 30 years of logistical and operations management experience. Serving the last six years as Operations Manager for the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Department of the Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston. The CZM Department maintains nearly thirty miles of beaches and is tasked with sargassum maintenance at several beach parks as well as the historic Seawall area beaches.
LiDAR Derived Beach Metrics in Texas Where Bathymetry is not an Option
Quin Robertson, APTIM
Co-Authors: Quin Robertson, Zhifei Dong, Lauren Dunkin
The geographic area that the Joint Airborne LiDAR Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) covers with their Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) program allows for researchers to quantify coastal metrics on national, regional and local scales. These data combined with data collected by the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) yield an enormous amount of information that quantifies Texas coastal change at multiple time scales. The extracted metrics and quantified changes provide coastal managers with location specific data that form the basis for coastal hazard planning due to sea level rise, subsidence and tropical storms. However, Texas LiDAR data have a limitation in that the water clarity is not conducive for collecting bathymetric LiDAR. LiDAR derived bathymetry is not possible in areas deeper than 2.5 secchi depths, and this limits Texas LiDAR derived coastal change to subaerial (topographic) data.
As these studies have progressed, it has become apparent that software is needed to be developed to quantify coastal change from LiDAR at multiple scales and varying locations. The purpose of this research is to provide coastal managers with quantities and locations of change that occurred along coastlines, and if the researcher would like additional information, provide the tools necessary for additional metrics to be quantified and additional questions to be answered. A vital part of the tool for Texas is the ability to quantify volume change in subaerial-only environments. Simply differencing two LiDAR surfaces produces inaccurate and misleading information when quantifying highly erosive or depositional events.
We present the JALBTCX toolbox, where multiple LiDAR processing steps and custom conversion tools were written in Python and incorporated into the ArcGIS software environment via ESRI’s ArcToolbox. Developed tools include baseline and transect generation, shoreline extraction, shoreline and volume change calculations and a query tool to quantify change between user-specified transects. The JALBTCX toolbox allows for multiple coastal metrics to be extracted and directly compared including due toe and dune crest locations. Three types of volume change are quantified: volume change, subaerial volume change and above MHW volume change. Subaerial volume change is more appropriate for Texas coastlines where volume is quantified landward of the shoreline and captures the changes that occurs where two LiDAR data sets do not overlap. This is made possible by differencing the quantified volume of each individual LiDAR dataset.
Bio: Quin Robertson is a Project Scientist for APTIM who has worked with APTIM’s coastal group for more than 10 years. Quin specializes in using remote sensing techniques to identify sediment sources for beach nourishment projects along with quantifying coastal construction and long-term beach performance.
Strategy for Consistent, High-Resolution Elevation Data for Florida’s Coastal Waters
Cheryl Hapke, U.S. Geological Survey
Co-Authors: Phillip Kramer, Rene Baumstark
In 2017, a group of FL State and federal partners gathered to create the Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP), with a goal of having complete, consistent, high-resolution seafloor data for Florida’s coastal zone within a decade. These data will provide an important baseline to support a range of applications including resource management, fisheries, storm surge modeling, boating safety, and tourism, as well as future uses, such as renewable energy and offshore aquaculture. An inventory of existing seafloor data and mapping footprints that met specific criteria (e.g. age, coverage, resolution), was completed and a gap analyses conducted across six sub-regions of Florida (Panhandle, Big Bend, West Peninsula, Keys, Southeast, and Northeast). In consideration of differing sensor and survey design requirements, results were grouped into two depth ranges: nearshore (shoreline out to 20 meters) and shelf (20 meters to the continental shelf break).
The gap analysis revealed that less than 20% of Florida’s coastal waters have been mapped using modern bathymetric methods (multibeam sonar or aerial lidar). The least mapped area was the Big Bend nearshore and the Northeast shelf area where only 2% of respective areas have high-resolution data. Even the best mapped areas (nearshore Southeast Florida and offshore Panhandle shelf) only have high-resolution coverage for 39% of the respective areas. The west Florida shelf is the largest area by size with only 6% mapped. The lack of high-resolution seafloor mapping for Florida is surprising given that these technologies have existed for more than 30 years and Florida’s coastal areas generate more than $30 billion dollars a year in revenue (2nd highest in the nation). Other coastal states (e.g., California, New York, Louisiana) have higher coverage of their coastal zone. Even less accessible areas, such as the deep slope areas in the Gulf of Mexico are better mapped than Florida.
The FCMaP is currently developing a strategy to prioritize and coordinate filling the data gaps. With the largest coastline and shelf areas in the lower 48 states, it will require a coordinated, multi-agency effort over many years to close the mapping gaps. At a partner and stakeholder workshop in January 2018, the Big Bend region in northwest Florida was identified as a top priority area due to the lack of data and the economic value of the coastal resources in the region that includes recreational fishing, shellfish industry, and water quality associated with freshwater seeps. In addition, little is known about the underlying substrate and the relationship between the geology and geomorphology of the region and the supported ecosystems. All of these applications, as well as many others, would greatly benefit from high-resolution bathymetric and coastal topographic data. In order to demonstrate the value of a coordinated approach, the agencies and institutions in FCMaP are developing a stakeholder-driven prioritization process and a strategy for multi-agency, multipurpose mapping in the Big Bend region.
Bio: Cheryl Hapke is a research geologist with the USGS St Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center. Her expertise is coastal geomorphology and regional coastal change studies with a focus on shoreline morphodynamics.
LiDAR Remote sensing data to support assessment of risk associated with storm events
Coraggio Maglio, US Army Corps of Engineers
Co-Authors: Paul Hamilton, Lauren Dunkin, Mohammod Islam
The coastal environment is highly dynamic where changes occur due to wind, waves, and currents under both normal conditions and extreme storm events. A regional approach to studying the coastal zone is advantageous to gain a better understanding of the interconnection between environmental forcing and the landscape. Given the expansive nature of coastal environments, remote sensing data is uniquely positioned, and often the only practical method, to support regional analyses focusing on geomorphic and environmental assessments. Here, remote sensing data and automated data extraction methods are applied to the Texas coast in support of a comprehensive coastal study. Two datasets were leveraged in this effort, LiDAR and hyperspectral imagery, to extract important geomorphic and environmental properties such as dune peak and toe, widths of the beach and barrier island, slopes, volume of the barrier island, impervious surfaces, dune vegetation, and height of vegetation above ground. The workflow was applied to data collected in 2009 and 2016 to identify the trajectory of the system. The ultimate goal of the project is to apply the extracted geomorphic and environmental parameters to a ranking scheme developed to identify locations along the coastline particularly vulnerable to barrier island breaching or where ecosystem goods and services will be impacted. This approach is broadly applicable and is important for quantifying landscapes and aiding coastal studies.
Bio: Mr. Coraggio Maglio is a Professional Engineer with 12 years of specialized experience in coastal processes, and freshwater and estuarine systems. He attained a Masters in Ocean Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology as well as a Bachelors of Natural Sciences from New College of Florida. Born and raised in Florida, his hobbies include surfing, gardening, and native landscaping. He is a strong, sensible environmentalist and lover of nature, especially coastal areas.
In his current position at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, as the Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch Chief, he incorporates his knowledge and love of sensible sustainability into every project he manages, researches, or on which he advises. The diversity of his work experience ranges from storm damage reduction projects, beach and ecosystem restoration, navigation dredging, and flood protection. His diverse and accomplished knowledge of physical and biological science, field data collection, engineering and permitting processes, project management, and construction techniques allows for improved practical inclusive resolutions.
UAS Post-Florence Federal Beach Surveys
Alex Renaud, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Bio: Alex Renaud has worked for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory at their Field Research Facility (CHL-FRF) since 2017. Prior to that he worked for CHL-FRF as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow at USACE Headquarters. Alex received his M.S. in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Between college and graduate school he worked in DC on science policy for several years.
Two Nourishments & Two Hurricanes in Two Years: Morphologic Variability of Boca Raton Beach
Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Florida Atlantic University
Both natural (e.g., storms) and anthropogenic (e.g., nourishment) events are known to influence beach morphology evolution at variable spatiotemporal scales. Local, short-term (i.e., months to years) variability in erosion and accretion were assessed along a 3 km stretch of beach in Boca Raton, Florida over a two-year period. During this time, two nourishment projects were constructed, one in April 2016 (placing 58,500 m3 of sand along 600 m) and one in March 2017 (placing 335,000 m3 of sand along 1.7 km). The “second” nourishment was actually a continuation of the “first” nourishment, which was not completed in 2016 according to the original design. During this time, two category 4 hurricanes impacted the area, including Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Post-nourishment morphology change, storm impacts and recovery, and other influences were evaluated based on time-series profiles, volumetric, and contour change. The morphologic impact from Hurricane Matthew was mostly within the collision regime (Sallenger, 2000), whereas Irma induced overwash along much of the area. Proximity to hard structures (i.e., two groins, an exposed seawall, a jetty, and a 2 m-high limestone outcrop) and other events (i.e., winter cold fronts and perigean spring tides) were also assessed for impacts on morphologic variability. Beach changes adjacent to hard structures varied between years, attributed to variability in local wave climate, nourishment project design and subsequent patterns of lateral spreading. The perigean spring tides occurring subsequent to the hurricane season expedited post-storm recovery in both 2016 and 2017, allowing waves to operate higher on the profile than expected under normal tidal conditions. Eight months following the small-scale 2016 nourishment and Hurricane Matthew, approximately 50% of the placed sediment remained. In contrast, six months following the full-scale 2017 nourishment and Hurricane Irma, approximately 85% of the placed sediment remained. In summary, the morphologic evolution of Boca Raton Beach varied over the two-year study period, influenced by both natural and human-induced factors.
Bio: Dr. Tiffany Roberts Briggs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), specializing in coastal geology and geomorphology. Briggs has co-authored over 20 research publications (including peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, and a book chapter) relating to storm-impact and recovery, beach nourishment, and beach/barrier island morphology. Briggs is on the ASBPA Board of Directors, serves on the Executive Committee, and is co-chair of the Science and Technology Committee.
Immediate Response of Different Beach Nourishment in Florida
Mathieu Vallee, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Ping Wang, Jun Cheng, Zachary Westfall
Beach nourishment has become a common solution for beach restoration and storm protection in Florida. The longevity of each project depends on anthropogenic and natural factors (e.g. initial conditions, construction design, oceanographic conditions, extreme events occurrence). In winter and spring 2018, multiple beaches were nourished along the coasts of Florida. This study focus on several projects along the Atlantic Gulf coast of Florida: St Johns County, Brevard County, St Lucie, Martin County and Pinellas County. Each project follows a different construction design and is expose to different conditions. The objectives of this study is 1) to study the pre-nourishment conditions, and 2) the influence of those conditions and the construction design on the immediate morphologic response. Pre and post construction, and monitoring cross-section profile surveys were conducted to measure the morphologic evolution. Alongshore sediment variability was determined sampling the berm and the backbeach. In order to investigate the hydrodynamic control on beach profile evolution, offshore buoys and wave model were used to illustrate the energetic conditions at the construction sites. Results of post-construction changes show profile equilibration and morphologic responses influenced by initial conditions.
Bio: Mathieu Vallee is a PhD student at the University of South Florida. Vallee has been working as a graduate student with Dr. Wang since spring 2016 and is actively involved on various projects in the USF Coastal Research Laboratory.
Florida’s Fight Against Sea Level Rise and Coastal Erosion
Takefumi Takuma, Giken America Corp.
The rising sea level confronts many low lying metropolitan areas of the world including the coastal regions of Florida. The state has 8,426 miles of tidal shoreline with approximately 75% of its population residing in coastal counties. Many beautiful coastal beaches in Florida are suffering from erosion due to hurricanes, tropical storms, wave actions, longshore currents, and, of course, the rising sea level. Of Florida’s 825 miles of sandy beaches, 495 miles of them are eroded (critically and non-critically combined). Human activities, such as building structures on or near the beach, may disrupt natural movement of sand, resulting in sand accumulation at some locations and deficiency at other locations.
It is both environmentally and economically crucial for the state and its residents to keep the beaches from being eroded and washed away. Beach nourishment is the most common way to replenish sand on the beach by means of bringing in and reshaping it from offshore sources. This practice quickly restores the lost sand on beaches and habitats for shore birds and sea turtles once started. However, it is a perpetual process that has resulted in millions of dollars in expense each time. Another way to mitigate this type of situation is to use a more nature-based method, such as enhancing reefs and nearshore marshes with planted mangroves or some other coastal plants. However, it is a highly site-dependent and generally very slow process. Beaches often need to be restored and beach front structures protected more expediently from erosion and potential damage or total loss with seawalls. Some of the critical seawalls have been built in an environmentally friendly manner with pressed-in sheet piles without disturbing nearby structures, local residents, or animals’ habitats. This presentation will review how densely populated Florida’s coastal communities are dealing with the rising sea level by helping to preserve their coastlines and will also study two seawall projects in south Florida built with pressed-in sheet piles.
Bio: Takefumi Takuma has been with Giken America Corp. for 10 years as general manager and a senior advisor. Giken is the manufacturer of Press-in pile driving equipment. He had worked with a major international engineering contractor for 32 years prior to Giken. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Tokyo and a Master of Engineering degree from University of California, Berkeley both in civil engineering.
Understanding and Mitigating Shoreline Response Following Inlet Migration or Closure
Clifton Barrineau, Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc.
Co-Authors: Tim Kana, Steven Traynum, Haiqing Kazcowski
Ebb-tidal deltas create a seaward-protruding ‘salient’ in shorelines, as long as an active tidally-influenced inlet is providing a source of sand for the delta. After an inlet migrates or closes, however, the remaining relict ebb-tidal delta is no longer receiving fresh sand and begins to erode. Increased exposure to wave energy caused by the salient produces erosion greater than along an embayed ‘arcuate’ shoreline. Hot spots of erosion on western Fire Island NY, portions of the Outer Banks NC, Garden City SC, and Debidue Beach SC are all evidence of how the migration or closure of an inlet can affect erosion rates for decades or more.
These four sites allow for comparison of different mitigation strategies for combating erosion following inlet migration or closure. Depending on the erosion rates compared to adjacent beaches, effective strategies can range from relatively minor beach and dune manipulation to major beach restorations including sand retaining structures. This study examines how the relocation of North Inlet ~100 years ago has affected erosion rates along Debidue Beach such that the former inlet site has lost sand at more than three times the rate of adjacent beaches for much of the past century. Lessons and strategies from Fire Island, the Outer Banks, and Garden City help select strategies for mitigating erosion at Debidue including beach renourishment alone, beach renourishment with structures, and relocation of properties and infrastructure.
Because of the variety in size and behavior of tidal inlets, and the different ways they may relocate or close, shoreline response is not always uniform between sites. There are no published quantitative relationships between erosion rates and inlet characteristics, to our knowledge. However, by exploring mitigation strategies between sites experiencing the same type of focused erosion at a salient, we hope to identify ways in which rates of sand loss may be reduced before shoreline armoring is required. These sites also offer opportunities for innovative designs involving sand retaining structures such as groins or submerged breakwaters.
Bio: Patrick Barrineau is a coastal scientist for Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc.. Dr. Barrineau’s background is in coastal geomorphology and sedimentary processes; as a coastal scientist with CSE, he helps to monitor and manage beaches and inlets from Long Island to Georgia.
Storm Surge Forecasting for the Nation
Donald Cresitello, US Army Corps of Engineers
For many years there has been an ongoing debate about what the best storm surge model is to provide emergency managers with the best information to make evacuation decisions when faced with the threat of a tropical cyclone. The 2017 Hurricane Season, specifically the evacuation decisions for Hurricane Irma have reignited these discussions. To close the loop on the conversations that started last fall at the ASBPA conference followed by presentations at the 2018 Coastal Summit and Storm Processes and Impacts Workshop that focused on the background of why certain models are used for very specific purposes, this presentation will be part of the dedicated session called “Technical Details of the Nation’s Storm Surge Forecasting Capabilities” and will be called “Storm Surge Forecasting for the Nation”. The presentation will be given on behalf of the National Hurricane Program and National Hurricane Center.
In order to provide context for the technical discussion this presentation will describe the concepts of storm surge, modeling and forecasting of storm surge by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), forecast uncertainty and how that plays into storm surge modeling and forecasting, the NHC’s storm surge products and a review of the 2017 hurricane season including both successes and challenges. This presentation will help explain how the National Hurricane Program through the National Hurricane Center Storm Surge Unit develops storm surge forecasts and associated products within the given forecasting constraints and will pave the way for the other three presentations that will cover the technical details of modeling approaches like SLOSH, ADCIRC and surrogate modeling techniques.
Bio: Donald E. Cresitello received his B.S. and M.S. in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. He has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District for over 15 years as a Project Planner and Coastal Planning Regional Technical Specialist where his primary experience is with coastal storm risk management projects in NJ and NY. Donald oversees the USACE National Hurricane Program, is a hurricane evacuation subject matter expert and serves as one of USACE’s national HURREVAC trainers. Additionally, he is integral to hurricane planning and preparedness efforts for New York City and the NY metro region.
NWS Storm Surge Ensemble Guidance
The National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorological Development Lab (MDL) has been tasked with developing storm surge guidance to help protect life and property from disastrous storms. To accomplish this, MDL realized in the 1980s that the largest error that impacted their storm surge guidance was the quality of the wind forecasts. This is because storm surge is highly dependent on the location of the winds with regards to the underlying bathymetry. Thus in order to save lives MDL had to account for the uncertainty of the wind in a timely manner even if that meant less accurate storm surge guidance, which erred on the side of caution.
To account for the wind uncertainty, MDL has pursued various types of ensembles. The first was the development of MEOWs and MOMs in the 1980’s, which is the basis of the US’ comprehensive local hurricane evacuation plans (Shaffer et al, 1989). The second was the development of Probabilistic Tropical Cyclone storm surge (P-Surge) in the 2000’s (Taylor et. al., 2008), which is the basis of NWS’s tropical storm surge watch/warning. The difference being that P-Surge is a real-time ensemble based on an active storm and NHC’s 5-year average forecasting errors, whereas the MEOWs and MOMs are based on hypothetical storms. The third has been the development of Probabilistic Extra-Tropical Storm Surge (P-ETSS) which is based on real-time ensembles using the global atmospheric ensembles as forcing. P-ETSS works well for broader storms such as extra-tropical storms, weaker tropical storms or post-tropical depressions, which aren’t as easily represented via a parametric wind model as a hurricane.
This talk will describe MDL’s development philosophy, what the SLOSH model accounts for, the various ensembles (MEOW/MOM’s, P-Surge and P-ETSS) and the future developments to account for waves so it can be applied to OCONUS regions.
Real Time ADCIRC Modelling for Coastal Decision Support
Jason Fleming, Seahorse Coastal Consulting
Co-Authors: Rick Luettich, Clint Dawson, Carola Kaiser
The ADCIRC coastal ocean model is used in real time decision support services for coastal and riverine hydrodynamics, tropical cyclone winds, and ocean wave modelling for public sector agencies including NOAA, FEMA, the US Coast Guard, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, among others. Recent developments in ADCIRC’s real time automation system, the ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS), have now enabled real time modelling of active flood control scenarios (manipulation of pumps and flood gates) for decision support during riverine floods and tropical cyclone events. During these events, the results are presented to official decision makers with the Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) web mapper, an intuitive and interactive tool that integrates model data with measured data to provide situational awareness across the area of responsibility. Case study events will be described, including official decisions that have been made with support from ADCIRC in North Carolina (Irene 2011), Louisiana (Isaac 2012 and Mississippi River flooding in 2016), Texas (Cindy and Harvey in 2017), Florida (Irma 2017), and Puerto Rico (Maria 2017).
Bio: Dr. Jason Fleming has served as the development coordinator for the ADCIRC coastal ocean model since 2005 and led the development of the ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS) for decision support in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since co-founding Seahorse Coastal Consulting, LLC he has served as as the Lead Developer and Operator of the ASGS during the Deepwater Horizon event as well as Hurricanes Gustav, Irene, Isaac, Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Dr. Fleming also created the annual ADCIRC Boot Camp in 2010 to provide training and outreach for newcomers to the ADCIRC model community.
Gaussian Process Metamodeling for Efficient and Accurate Prediction of Coastal Hazards
Jeffrey Melby, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
Co-Authors: Alexandros Taflanidis, Amanda Lewis, Norberto C. Nadal‐Caraballo
Hurricane storm surge and waves can have devastating flooding effects and threaten the lives and property of tens of millions of people living along U.S. coastlines. Storm events in recent years have stressed the need for efficient and accurate methods for predicting coastal storm hazards for both real-time emergency management applications and for long-term coastal risk assessment. Current forecasting technologies, however, produce either rapid predictions with high degrees of uncertainty or more precise but time-consuming predictions. Recent advances in numerical storm surge and wave modeling have resulted in the development of high-fidelity models that produce detailed representation of the simulated hydrodynamic processes and can support high-accuracy forecasting applications. Unfortunately, the computational demands of these high-fidelity models make them impractical for real-time emergency management and operational applications. National public storm surge forecasts typically react slowly to changes in hurricane track and intensity. Predictions only include maximum surge responses that are oftentimes too high due to the inclusion of conservative uncertainty and provide no knowledge of the expected surge time history required for planning and deployment of flood management assets.
These limitations have lead researchers to examine the viability of state-of-the-art metamodels for forecasting applications. The StormSim-CHRP (Coastal Hazards Rapid Prediction) software is part of the StormSim suite of statistical analysis and probabilistic modeling tools currently in development at the U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (ERDC-CHL). StormSim-CHRP’s enhanced computational efficiency provides fast coastal hazard predictions using the ERDC-CHL Coastal Hazards System’s (CHS) database of synthetic hurricanes and tropical cyclones, while maintaining the accuracy of the high-fidelity hydrodynamic models used to develop the database. These new capabilities were made possible by the application of a machine learning technique called Gaussian Process Metamodeling (GPM). A hurricane parametrization approach employed in regional coastal hazard studies, known as the joint probability method (JPM), provides the input to the GPM (i.e., landfall or reference location, central pressure deficit, radius of maximum winds, translational speed, heading direction). Possible outputs for the GPM include a wide range of coastal hazards, including storm surge, wave height, period and direction, currents, and wind, among others. The underlying implementation of GPM allows StormSim-CHRP to efficiently and accurately predict the response of a hurricane in a matter of a few seconds and hundreds of thousands of different hurricane scenarios in minutes, making it an ideal technology for real-time forecasting and long-term risk assessment applications.
Bio: Dr. Jeffrey Melby retired from the U.S. Army Engineer R&D Center (ERDC) in 2017 after a 30 year career and has just begun a 4 year position as rehired annuitant for ERDC. His research focused on coastal structures, coastal storm hazards, and risk. Dr. Melby led development of the Coastal Hazards System. His recent research focused on using machine learning models to accurately predict storm responses for emergency management or risk assessment. He is a member of the ASCE Coastal Engineering Research Council and has numerous awards including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year for 2017 and the Bronze De Fleury Medal.
Highways in the Coastal Environment
Scott Douglass, South Coast Engineers
Co-Authors: Bret Webb, Brian Beucler, Joe Krolak
Two of America’s great emotional love affairs are with roads and with beaches. Coastal highways are part of the fabric of society from California’s Route 1 to Florida’s A1A and dozens of other famous roads along and to beaches – including Seawall Drive in front this conference venue. This presentation will summarize Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) efforts related to highways in the coastal environment. This includes technical guidance for planning and design including walls, beaches, living shorelines, sea level rise, waves, storm surge, ecology, etc. This technical guidance is constantly being updated including a presently ongoing revision of FHWA’s Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 25, “Highways in the Coastal Environment” (HEC-25). A primary goal is improved integration of modern coastal engineering principles and practices in the planning and design of highways and bridges. Our coastal roads are a valuable piece of the American shore and beach experience in many ways.
Bio: Scott L. Douglass, PhD, PE, DCE has visited almost every beach in the country! He wrote the book “Saving America’s Beaches: The Causes of and Solutions to Beach Erosion” and was the first author of both volumes of the FHWA’s “Highways in the Coastal Environment” manuals which are now being combined into one updated revision. He is the President of South Coast Engineers, a coastal engineering consulting firm in Fairhope, Alabama and an Emeritus Professor in the Department Civil, Coastal & Environmental Engineering at the University of South Alabama. He is a member of the Board of Directors of ASBPA.
Analysis of Scour At a Coastal Rhode Island Bridge During Hurricane Sandy
Wendy Laurent, Taylor Engineering Inc.
Co-Authors: Marissa Torres
Scour presents a very important consideration when assessing the performance of bridges during extreme storm events. In Rhode Island, many of the bridges have abutments founded on shallow foundations, where even modest levels of scour can have significant impacts on stability. This study focuses on the Weekapaug Bridge, located along a rubble mound breachway that connects Winnapaug Pond, a large salt pond, to the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge experienced storm surge during Hurricane Sandy, prompting concerns about scour and the stability of the bridge.
This study assesses the scour performance at the bridge during Hurricane Sandy using a combination of field observations and hydraulic modeling. Detailed field data collected by the University of Rhode Island (Laurent, 2017) included topography and bathymetry, sediment samples, side scan sonar images, and sub-bottom profiles. Researchers used pre- and post-event sounding data to assess the contraction and local (pier and abutment) scour. Hydraulic analyses applied two platforms: A 1-D HEC-RAS model and a 2-D ADCIRC model. Scour predictions used the HEC-18 scour equations (Arneson et al, 2012) for both hydraulic analyses. The study then compared the scour predictions to the observed scour.
The study observed some localized scour at the piers and abutments. The local scour proved insufficient to undermine the bridge foundations even with scour predictions made using the HEC-18 methodology. Assumptions that are made during scour estimations may yield conservative values that disagree with the infrastructure’s performance during storm events. The performance of this and other bridges in extreme storm events is knowledge that can be used for planning bridge closures. We hope to answer the question of: Does improving inputs in the scour equations produce estimations that are comparable to field measurements? As the frequency and severity of natural disasters and extreme weather events increases, the ability to accurately model and predict risks to infrastructure is needed to prevent structure failure and develop a proactive response to long-term resiliency.
Arneson, L.A., L.W. Zevenbergen, P.F. Lagasse, and P.E. Clopper (2012). Evaluating Scour at Bridges. 5th ed., Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Hydraulic Engineering Circular (HEC) 18, Fort Collins, CO.
Laurent, W. K. (2017). Field study of Scour Critical Bridges in Rhode Island. M.S. Thesis, University of Rhode Island.
Bio: Wendy is a Coastal Engineer at Taylor Engineering in Jacksonville, FL. Her primary focus is providing support on coastal engineering projects. She completes beach management and modeling tasks in addition to public outreach and permitting associated with coastal engineering projects. This research stems from her graduate research at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI.
Informing Decision-Making for Seaports to Promote Integrative Coastal Resilience
Jessica Frank, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Co-Authors: Kristen Burwell-Naney, Liem Tran, Betsy Smith
Coastal hazards and the associated community exposure risks can develop when practitioners make decisions that optimize goals in isolation, without adequately considering cross-sector impacts, or without integrating stakeholder perspectives into the decision-making process. Due to the complex interactions between human, built and environmental systems, decision-makers are presented with unique challenges that require a systems perspective, multidisciplinary expertise, and multi-sector stakeholder collaboration to effectively prevent or reduce environmental hazards. The goal of our research was to identify strategies and engage multi-disciplinary experts in a systems analysis to evaluate how alternative decision scenarios for seaport management may interact across sectors and contribute to resiliency for the associated port community. A literature review identified systems thinking frameworks, and multi-sector maritime port variables in the following knowledge domains: port economy, coastal disaster and resiliency, energy use, hazardous materials storage and transport, and community health. Multidisciplinary expert engagement was used to refine the variable lists, create system maps, and to rank variables under multiple interacting sector goals to identify dominant factors that contribute to port community resiliency. This presentation will discuss systems thinking frameworks, best practices and strategies identified for systems mapping, and give an example of how expert-informed system maps can be integrated into decision analyses. We will focus specifically on a decision model called Analytic Network Process (ANP), which we propose provides flexibility to conduct integrative system analysis for coastal management projects to identify key factors that drive cross-sector changes in resilience under alternative decision scenarios when data or resources are limited, or for systems that are strongly driven by social or qualitative factors.
Bio: Jessica Frank currently serves as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Research Participant in the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development’s National Exposure Research Laboratory. Her current research focuses on using systems analysis to inform and promote resilient decision-making in port communities. Prior to her training appointment with the U.S. EPA, she worked on environmental and human health initiatives with 23andMe, Surfrider, and Acterra. She received her B.S. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her M.S. degree in environmental toxicology from the University of South Alabama, Mobile.
Enhancing Resilience of our Nation’s Defense Infrastructure – Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, CA
Russell Boudreau, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Alan Alcorn, Cory Teller
Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach (NWSSB) was constructed during World War II and largely rebuilt in 1953. It is the primary munitions installation for the Navy’s Pacific Fleet surface ships. Within the adjacent interior estuary is the 965-acre Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge and a 680-acre residential waterfront community including a fleet of over 3,000 public small craft for which the ocean entrance channel runs immediately adjacent to the existing ammo wharf.
Design of a new project to construct a replacement ammunition pier and related improvements is currently underway to upgrade the pier structure to meet current marine structural codes, upgrade the Navy’s ability to accommodate larger and multiple ships at berth, and separate the public navigation from munitions operations. Key planning considerations included planning for future sea level rise given the 75-year design life, while minimizing impacts on the environment and the public. Detailed coastal wave and estuarine modeling was required for both facility design and environmental impact purposes. The Navy has been working closely with federal resource agencies to address potential impacts on endangered species and habitat. Beneficial reuse of dredged material for both habitat restoration and enhancement, and beach nourishment are key elements of the project. The presentation will provide a general overview of many aspects that required careful consideration.
Bio: Russ Boudreau has over 30 years of experience in coastal and ocean engineering. He is a Vice President and Senior Coastal Engineer with Moffatt & Nichol in Long Beach, California. His responsibilities have included planning, engineering and construction management for a broad range of beach nourishment, regional sediment management, ecosystem restoration, water quality and navigation improvement projects in the U.S. and throughout the Pacific Rim. Mr. Boudreau is a registered civil engineer in the States of California and Hawaii, and has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Sandy Solutions for Shoreline Management in the San Diego Region
Christopher Webb, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: David Schug, Sarah Pierce, Alan Alcorn
Regional shoreline management considers a broad range of options. Beach nourishment has been applied within the San Diego Region for decades. The region has successfully worked collaboratively through the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) as the regional planning agency. Nourishment has occurred on a large-scale three times since 1993, and on smaller scales multiple times since that same year. Large scale nourishment projects include the 1993 Batiquitos Lagoon Restoration Project, 2001 and 2012 Regional Beach Sand Projects (RBSP I and RBSP II) and the 2018 nourishment project associated with the restoration of the San Elijo Lagoon. Nourishment can be challenging to plan, engineer, approve, and implement. This presentation relays challenges and lessons-learned from multiple projects and assesses the future effectiveness of restoration in the region. This experience can be helpful to this and other regions and is intended to inform adaptation planning for climate change in other areas. Examples of challenges are funding sources, community buy-in, identifying suitable sources of sand, maximizing longevity and benefits, nourishing sensitively for biology, securing permits, and managing public expectations. Lessons-learned include focusing on sand grain size to meet objectives of longevity and cost effectiveness, using particular types of dredges to construct relatively quickly and sensitively to the environment, dredging offshore sources as relatively thin lifts over large areas rather than as deeper holes, placing sand upcoast of natural sand retention areas along the coast, and timing construction to occur in seasons to provide maximum public recreational benefit and minimize environmental impacts of shoaling at lagoon mouths.
Nourishment can be an effective adaptation strategy in the near-term and mid-term of this century to counteract threats of sea level rise and to provide improved sandy beach habitat quality. In the longer-term, nourishment may need to be combined with pilot projects of sand retention features to become more cost-effective and beneficial. Several sand retention examples are discussed.
Bio: Chris Webb is a Supervisory Coastal Scientist at Moffatt & Nichol in Long Beach, California where he has been with the company for 25 years. Mr. Webb manages beach, wetland, and estuarine restoration projects in Southern and Central California. His work includes planning, and concept and final engineering designs of tidal wetland restoration projects, beach nourishment projects, and freshwater marsh restoration. Mr. Webb received Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Geography from San Diego State University.
Biological Monitoring of Large-Scale Beach Nourishment Projects in San Diego County
Lawrence Honma, Merkel & Associates, Inc.
The 2001 San Diego Regional Beach Sand Project (RBSP I) was the first of its kind on the west coast and considered a pilot project. The environmental analysis suggested that no significant environmental impacts would occur, but because it was a pilot project, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) took a protective approach to ensure that the project would not have any long-term significant impacts. While there was the prescriptive and required monitoring as required through various permits, there was also supplemental monitoring that SANDAG supported to assess project performance and to further support the conclusions of the environmental analysis. Results from the monitoring program indicated that no long-term significant impacts occurred and that several of the monitoring elements, while informational, were not critical to assess potential project impacts.
For the 2012 Regional Beach Sand Project (RBSP II), no significant environmental impacts were anticipated; however, SANDAG implemented a monitoring program based on lessons learned from RBSP I. This included early coordination with resource and regulatory agencies, and removing elements of the monitoring program that did not address specific agency concerns. This resulted in creating an applicable and cost-effective monitoring program which assisted in project implementation. In 2018, another large-scale beach nourishment project was completed in conjunction with the restoration of the San Elijo Lagoon. Unlike RBSP II, permits required an intensive long-term marine biological monitoring program similar to that conducted from RBSP I to assess potential impacts.
This presentation will discuss the various environmental considerations within the region, and a summary of the monitoring elements for each of these large-scale projects.
Bio: Mr. Honma is a Senior Project Manager and Marine Scientist specializing in coastal marine habitats. He has been involved in ecological studies identifying the impacts of dredging and construction activities to resident biota of ports and harbors, and in determining potential impacts of beach nourishment projects to nearshore marine resources. He was involved in the planning, environmental analysis, agency coordination, permitting, and served as the lead biologist during the construction of both the 2001 and 2012 San Diego Regional Beach Sand Projects.
Regional Beach Restoration and Monitoring – SANDAG’s Regional Beach Sand Project I and II
Greg Hearon, Coastal Frontiers Corporation
Co-Authors: Brady Richmond, Lee Dodds, Sarah Pierce
The coastline of San Diego County, California extends more than 60 miles between Orange County and the U.S.-Mexican border. In 1993, SANDAG adopted a comprehensive plan for erosion mitigation, which proposed an extensive beach building and maintenance program to provide for environmental quality, recreation, and storm protection. Following a number of modest opportunistic beach nourishment projects, the Regional Beach Sand Project I (RBSP I) was conceived and implemented in 2001 as a more comprehensive approach to restoring the County’s sand-starved beaches. Based on the success of RBSP I, a second project (the RBSP II) was conducted eleven years later in 2012. Together, these projects provided 3.6 million cubic yards of beach quality sediment to the littoral zone.
SANDAG has sponsored a regional beach monitoring program since 1996. The program has evolved to meet changing needs and budgetary constraints, most notably the monitoring requirements associated with the RBSP I and RBSP II. Shoreline monitoring consists primarily of beach profile surveys along as many as 60 shore-perpendicular transects extending from the back beach offshore to a location beyond the estimated depth of closure. The beach profile survey results are used to assess the shorezone changes and document the evolution of the County’s beaches following the placement of the RBSP nourishment material. The analysis focuses on changes in shoreline position and sediment volume.
The placement and subsequent dispersal of the RBSP I beach nourishment material produced shoreline advances and sediment volume gains, some of which lasted for a decade. The reasons for these improvements appears to have been the RBSP I fills, and the relatively mild wave conditions that prevailed during the beginning of the period. The RBSP II produced a similar outcome during the first several years following placement, with beach width gains persisting for at least four years in more than half of the sub-reaches investigated.
Substantial shorezone losses were incurred during the energetic 2015-2016 El Niño winter, approximately three years following RBSP II implementation. However, the RBSP I and II contributed to a substantially improved beach condition relative to that which preceded the last strong El Niño (1997-1998). A comparison of El Niño related emergency permits granted by the California Coastal Commission in the San Diego region during each event, with 23 permits issued in 1997-1998 and just nine in 2015-2016, suggests that the region fared better during the 2015-2016 El Niño winter. While many factors contribute to coastal storm damages, the wider beaches appear to have provided a crucial buffer for the region’s coastal infrastructure.
Bio: Mr. Hearon is a principal with Coastal Frontiers Corporation, a coastal engineering firm performing services in Southern California and the Arctic offshore. His professional experience spans the fields of coastal engineering, oceanography, ocean data collection, and marine surveying. He is the project manager for SANDAG’s Regional Beach Monitoring Program, and for similar programs conducted for the cities and local entities in each of the five counties comprising Southern California. Mr. Hearon is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of California and Alaska.
Going Beyond Beach Nourishment: Next Steps for the San Diego Region
Sarah Pierce, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
Co-Authors: Sarah Pierce, Keith Greer
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the metropolitan planning organization for the San Diego region and is governed by a board of directors made up of leadership from 18 cities and County of San Diego as well as advisory representatives from Imperial County, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the San Diego Unified Port District among others. SANDAG’s shoreline management policy documents, which encourage beach nourishment and sand retention, date back to the early 1990’s. SANDAG played a key role in coordinating and securing funding for two Regional Beach Sand Projects (RBSP I and II) which placed approximately 2.1 million cubic yards and 1.5 million cubic yards of sand on the region’s beaches in 2001 and 2012, respectively. In addition, since 1996 SANDAG has coordinated the Regional Shoreline Monitoring Program, the scope of which has been expanded over time to monitor changes to regional beaches after the construction of the RBSPs. Critical to the development of these policy documents, monitoring program, and beach nourishment projects is SANDAG’s Shoreline Preservation Working Group which is made up of local elected officials from coastal cities within the region.
Now, six years after the construction of RBSP II, SANDAG is being asked “what’s next for the region?” This presentation will discuss how the latest sea-level rise science is being utilized by local jurisdictions to map sea-level rise vulnerabilities and plan adaptation strategies; how SANDAG is using this vulnerability data to look at future impacts to the regional transportation system; and how local jurisdictions are working together to share resources and lessons learned with regard to sea-level rise planning.
Bio: Sarah Pierce is a regional planner with the San Diego Association of Governments where she manages the agency’s Regional Shoreline Management Program and the Shoreline Preservation Working Group which is made up of elected officials from coastal jurisdictions in the San Diego region. Sarah participates in the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative’s sea-level rise working group and has been coordinating with local jurisdictions on sea-level rise planning and adaptation efforts for the past three years. Sarah holds a master’s degree in environmental science and management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Developing sand resource estimates with the Marine Minerals Information System
Kerby Dobbs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Co-Authors: Lora Turner, Paul Knorr
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Marine Minerals Program is responsible for stewardship over federal marine mineral resources, including sand deposits that feed the beach nourishments which are part of many shore protection projects. Sand deposits suitable for beach nourishments are a limited resource. The deposits must contain large volumes of size- and color- compatible sand but must not contain excessive quantities of non-sand sized sediments. Additionally, to control project costs, the sand deposits should be located near the placement site.
Relative to land-based minerals resources, comparatively little is known about the character, quantity, and location of the limited sand and gravel resources on the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). As sand reserves in state waters are depleted, information about the location and extent of compatible sand resources on the federal OCS becomes vital for coastal protection and restoration projects. In collaboration with various stakeholders, BOEM is using data from its new Marine Minerals Information System (MMIS) to develop new estimates about the quantity of offshore sand resources.
The MMIS holds geospatial data obtained from BOEM partners and seeks to optimize the use of federal sediment resources. The MMIS consists of a robust data model, new and legacy data from state, federal, and private sources, and an interactive web-based viewer that enables both online analysis and data downloading for use in offline applications. The MMIS contains authoritative data about the location and nature of sediment resources as well as information about past leases, environmental studies, and cooperative agreements.
Preliminary estimates of federal offshore sand resources were derived from the data housed in the MMIS. To generate these estimates, BOEM MMP is developing a resource-estimating methodology that incorporates generally accepted methods, the available data, and custom scripts for ArcGIS software. These estimates will be published on the BOEM website and will be revised periodically as new data is acquired.
Bio: Kerby Dobbs is a geologist with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Marine Mineral Program. He is interested in the distribution of offshore minerals, Quaternary geomorphology, and the intersection of science and public policy. Kerby earned his degrees (BS and MS) in geology/ocean and Earth science from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA).
EIBs: A new tool for financing shoreline restoration & coastal resilience
Shannon Cunniff, Environmental Defense Fund
Co-Authors: Diego Hererra, Carolyn DuPont
To cope with rising sea levels and more extreme weather, coastal cities of the United States will need more resources and innovative financing tools. EDF determined that an environmental impact bond (EIB) might be used to finance natural infrastructure projects improving coastal resilience.
Like a typical municipal bond, an Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) provides up-front capital from private investors for environmental projects; unlike municipal bonds, it embeds a Pay-for-Success (PFS) approach that conditions payback to investors on project performance. EIBs are especially well suited to pilot or scale a new environmental interventions. With a grant from The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Vest Conservation Finance Accelerator, EDF and Quantified Ventures completed a feasibility study in summer 2018 that explored how an EIB transaction could be designed to help Louisiana achieve its coastal restoration goals. The objectives for this financing mechanism are to realize cost saving for the State — by building projects earlier and more efficiently — and to create a means where those that benefit from wetland restoration can contribute to paying for it. Another aim was to design a transaction that would be attractive to investors, particularly impact investors that seek social and environmental investment outcomes as well as financial returns. To develop a shortlist of possible pilot sites for an EIB, planned restoration projects were evaluated based on cost, and time of construction, potential cost savings from earlier project implementation, risks, and potential benefits to private industries. The interests and concerns of large asset holders along the coast were identified through interviews and used to help identify bond performance outcomes. Interviews with investors also helped inform the transaction design. The results of this work, the conceptual EIB design, and the findings of the feasibility study will be presented. The findings will be especially relevant to Gulf States with revenue associated with oil and gas extraction or oil spills. This presentation will also address the next steps to execute a pilot EIB transaction for coastal resilience and explore the key issues in designing EIBs for other coastal states.
Bio: Shannon Cunniff is Environmental Defense Fund’s Director, Coastal Resilience, and an American Shore and Beach Preservation Association Board-member, and a contributing editor to Shore and Beach. For EDF she advances use of natural infrastructure as part of multi-faceted solutions to reduce the risk of sea level rise and extreme weather events. To enhance community capacity to undertake risk-informed planning and actions, she’s explored means to enhance peer-to-peer learning, improve rewards for restoring natural infrastructure, and expand project financing opportunities. She has a Master’s in Geography and Bachelor’s in Biology from UCLA.
CERA: A Storm Surge Web Mapping Tool for Decision Makers
Carola Kaiser, Louisiana State University
The tropical events impacting the Northern Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast in the past decade have brought a renewed awareness of the vulnerabilities of these regions to the impacts of hurricane storm surge. This awareness has prompted local governments to increase efforts to improve storm surge modeling, flood protection, and forecasting systems.
The ADCIRC storm surge model to compute tide, wind-wave and hurricane storm surge has seen many improvements in recent years, and its use is increasing. From running models in near real-time operationally to modeling impacts of proposed coastal protection and restoration projects, the need for accurate modeling is ever increasing.
One of the key components of running a successful model like ADCIRC is the delivery of the forecasting results to the end-user in a fast and easy-to-understand way. Emergency managers, weather forecasters, and GIS specialists seek visualizations and geographic data to evaluate the impact of an impending or active tropical storm or to see the tide, wind-wave, and extra-tropical surge conditions on a daily basis. The most sought-after information comes both from real-time measurements like water level or precipitation stations and from coastal and ocean models that predict the tide, wind-wave, and hurricane storm surge conditions.
The presentation of modeling results to the end-user in an effective, user-friendly, and visually appealing way is a critical and important step in the entire process of a real-time system and an essential precondition for a wide acceptance in the community. The interactive website CERA (https://cera.coastalrisk.live ) has proved to be a successful and efficient tool for the presentation of ADCIRC model results. CERA has been designed to be an intuitive-to-understand tool for the scientific community, emergency managers, and decision makers.
We propose to show the existing CERA technology with examples from TX related storm runs (Cindy 2017, Harvey 2017). We will demonstrate the importance of accurate input data like the bathymetry and elevation from the ADCIRC meshes and the improvements that had been made over the past years. We give examples what additional information proved to be useful for emergency managers during active storms. We will also explain how the CERA website helped to make decisions during hurricane Harvey and how it can be effectively used in operational mode to provide forecasting results in real-time.
Bio: Carola Kaiser is a GIS specialist and IT consultant at the LSU Center for Computation and Technology.
She has been the lead software and web developer of the Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) storm surge visualization tool (https://cera.coastalrisk.live). Mrs. Kaiser has in-depth knowledge of spatial data formats, geo-data structures, and web mapping technologies, especially in the field hazards forecasting systems. Her primary focus is set on the development of Internet-based spatial frameworks and web applications.
The CERA visualization technology has been intensely and successfully used by emergency managers and Federal U.S. agencies; e.g., during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (2017).
Assessing Impacts to Natural and Built Infrastructure from Hurricane Harvey with Lidar and UAS
Melanie Gingras, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science
Co-Authors: Michael Starek, Jacob Berryhill, Chuyen Nguyen
Hurricane Harvey was the eighth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Harvey became a major hurricane and attained Category 4 intensity on August 25, 2017. Around ~10 pm local time, August 25, the hurricane made landfall at peak intensity near Rockport, TX with sustained winds of 130 mph (215 km/h) and an atmospheric pressure of 938 mbar (27.7 inHg) . Slow movement of the storm coupled with strong winds and coastal surge and wave action resulted in intense devastation to structures and rapid landform evolution along barrier islands and embayment coastlines. In this study, the use of 3D point cloud data acquired from terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), mobile lidar scanning (MLS), airborne lidar scanning (ALS), and UAS-based structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry are used to assess coastal impacts due to Hurricane Harvey. Examples of different impact regimes along the Gulf-facing shorelines and wetlands of Mustang Island, TX, which is a coastal barrier island located along the lower central Texas Gulf Coast, will be presented. The storm made landfall just to the north of the island. Additional examples of infrastructure assessment and damage estimation using UAS surveys over Port Aransas and Rockport, TX
also be presented. Wikipedia. “Hurricane Harvey”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Harvey. Retrieved December, 16, 2017.
Bio: Melanie Gingras is Measurement Analytics (MANTIS) Lab Manager at the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying Science at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.
City of South Padre Island; Parking up the Wrong Street, a Six Sigma Solution
Brandon Hill, City of South Padre Island
Co-Authors: Susan Guthrie, Jose Manuel Aguilar, Darla Jones
The City of South Padre Island has had a Beach User Fee Plan in place since 2015; however, due to errors in the document they were unable to implement it. Through the utilization of a Six Sigma analysis tool known as a DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve Control) the SPI Team was able to create a GIS inventory of every parking space on the Island that could be used for beach access. This tool allowed for a plan to be implemented to bring the City into compliance with the GLO’s 15:1 rule. This involved creating parking spaces, reclaiming spaces that had been marked private in the past and properly inventorying every space on the island. Thanks to this course of action and the amendment of the Beach User Fee Plan, the City is now on-track for implementing paid parking on South Padre Island.
Bio: Susan Guthrie is the City Manager of SPI and has been in City Government for 18 Years and worked in the private sector prior to that.
Darla Jones is the Assistant City Manager of SPI and has been in City Government for 28 years.
Brandon Hill has served as the Shoreline Director of SPI for 2 years and prior was part of Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Sargassum Early Advisory System while earning his Masters in Marine Resource Management.
Jose Manuel Aguilar has served as Shoreline Department’s Program Manager for 1 year and worked at TCEQ for five years prior.
Faneuil’s Support to Toll Operations
Andrew Clayton, Faneuil, Inc.
An industry leader in the design and delivery of successful outsourced business processing solutions nationwide, Faneuil, Inc., offers more than 24 years of focused experience in multichannel customer care and back-office services. Our client portfolio includes high profile, highly regulated government and commercial clients operating in transportation and tolling, health and human services, and utilities. The company provides a broad range of services, including manual and electronic revenue collection, turnkey and co-sourced multi-channel contact center operations, transitional and temporary staffing, and business consulting. Through the use of multiple communication channels and state-of-the-art technology, Faneuil employees process more than 600 million customer interactions annually.
In 2015, Faneuil was awarded a five-year contract by Volusia County to conduct year-round manned toll collections and related services for 21 beach locations and two inlet parks, with the capacity to expand to 30 locations, none of which have access to electricity.
Faneuil’s responsibilities include staffing as many as 1,335 shifts per month in peak season and 861 shifts per month during the off season. Program staff is accountable for the sales of daily and annual passes at various price points to residents and visitors upon entry to tolled locations or in advance online. Additionally, we provide support in the design and production of daily paper passes and bar-coded adhesive stickers for display on vehicles registered for annual passes, order fulfillment, residency verification, eligibility for resident discounted rates, and documenting the entry of each vehicle, including emergency and municipal vehicles not required to pay. We also provide revenue accounting, reconciliation and auditing; comprehensive reporting; and all employment services for our uniformed staff, including recruiting, assessment, hiring, onboarding, training, quality monitoring and performance management.
In partnership with our technology partner, Faneuil developed a remote tracking system and a revenue control system that accurately accounts for all cash activities and passes while providing precise data on employee activity. Our custom built RCS operates without access to AC power and includes a custom lane controller/GUI toll terminal. The toll terminal uses a Symbol TC75 Android ruggedized battery powered mobile computer Bluetooth battery-powered receipt printer, and a PCI-compliant Bluetooth credit card reader (accepting both chip and mag stripe credit/debit cards). The secure platform is powered by a 4G wireless connectivity to a Microsoft Azure cloud-based back-office system and integrates with an e-Commerce website and more.
During Faneuil’s tenure, we have proposed several innovations that were approved by County management and subsequently put into practice to include upselling of daily and annual passes, marketing and event support, design and production of passes, order purchases of beach passes, and introduction of a Mystery Shopper program.
Bio: Andrew Clayton, Vice President of Transportation Operations
Backed by more than 18 years’ experience in customer care and business processing environments, Andrew Clayton, Faneuil’s Vice President of Transportation, is a 10-year toll industry veteran. Prior to being named to Faneuil’s executive team in 2011, Andrew served four years in the progressively responsible positions of Operations Manager and Program Director for revenue collection operations conducted by Faneuil for Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. His expertise also encompasses customer service and back-office operations, including human resources, workforce management, training, recruiting and quality. He also ensures compliance with all contractual obligations, customer service objectives, and client expectations. Andrew develops an intimate understanding of requirements for each client program by intently studying data that is essential and relevant to making effective, informed decisions.
Volusia County Florida: We pride Ourselves on Providing and Maintaining Public Access & Amenities Along 35 Miles of Beautiful Shoreline
Jessica Winterwerp, Volusia County Coastal Division
Volusia County’s beach operations and maintenance includes the shorelines of Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Ponce Inlet, and New Smyrna Beach, and the unincorporated communities of Ormond by the Sea, Wilbur by the Sea, Silver Sands, and Historic Bethune Beach. Across the 35 miles of managed coastline there are 17 miles federally permitted for beach driving along with 2 Inlet Parks with pet friendly shorelines, 6 Coastal Parks, 3 Public Fishing Piers, 20 permanent restroom facility locations, 28 port-o-let locations, 30 Vehicular Beach Ramps, 40 Shower Locations, and 110 Public Dune Walkovers, and over 1000 free public parking spaces all of which are available to residents and patrons 365 days a year from 630am to 930pm.
Through a combination of Master Agreement Maintenance Contracts along with dedicated full time and part time staff the Volusia County Coastal Division manages to keep the beach accesses open, the toilets flushing, the showers running, the pups leashed, the grass cut, the vegetation alive, the walkovers open, the beaches clean, the vehicle beach ramps open, the pavilions rented, the turtles hatching, and the shorebirds nesting in order to keep our residents and patrons coming back for more fun in the sun.
This discussion will go into the day to day operational logistics for keeping Volusia County’s beaches accessible to the public while providing the amenities associated with everything from remote beaches in sensitive habitat to urban ocean fronts.
Bio: Ms. Winterwerp graduated from Elon University as well as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with Civil Engineering Degrees. Ms. Winterwerp is currently the Coastal Director and Ponce de Leon Port and Inlet District Administrator for the County of Volusia in the Central East Coast of Florida overseeing the efficient management and operation of 35 miles of shoreline, 17 miles of year round federally permitted beach driving, public beach access, and coastal park amenities along with an avid nearshore and offshore artificial reef program. For additional information please see www.volusia.org/coastal
Nature Enhanced Beach Erosion Management Techniques Design, Construction, and Maintenance Village of West Hampton Dunes, NY
Aram Terchunian, First Coastal
Co-Authors: Ben Spratford, Mayor Gary Vegliante
A series of bay fronting properties spanning 350 linear feet of shoreline in the Village of West Hampton Dunes, Long Island, NY (WHD) have undertaken a nature enhanced beach erosion management technique to provide protection against chronic flooding and erosion. A sustainable, resilient, nature based project was desired by the property owners to address the issue. The nature enhanced beach erosion management technique consists of a rock cored dune covered with beach compatible fill and planted with beach grass.
This study reports the design components of the project including the rock core for defined flood and erosion protection and the beach compatible fill and plantings to provide a natural and nature-based feature. The construction methodologies of the project and best management practices to preserve the existing environment are examined. The necessity of nature enhanced beach erosion management techniques to include maintenance and renourishment as a part of the initial project design to preserve the natural components of the project are included.
Finally, the community based administration of the projects vies incites into how individual property owners can address common flooding and erosion issues comprehensively.
Louisiana Barrier Island Restoration: Design and Performance of Observations
Lindino Benedet, APTIM
Co-Authors: Thomas Campbell
The Louisiana barriers, wetlands and intertidal areas are exposed to the nation’s highest rates of relative sea level rise and are short of modern sediment input (fine sands, silts and muds), resulting in severe rates of land loss along the Coast. As a response to the severe threat of erosion and land loss, the state of Louisiana and its Federal partners have engaged in an unprecedented Barrier Island restoration effort. More than 20 Barrier Island restoration projects were constructed over the last couple decades, deploying more than 110M cy of sand and mixed sediments to restore an excess of 30,000 acres of beach, dune and marsh habitats associated with the Louisiana Barrier Islands (CPRA, 2017).
The Barrier Island restoration program ramped up in the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s, at that time, the design of barrier island restoration projects on the Louisiana Coast was a relatively new science with many challenges because of the unique characteristics of this coastal system such as coastal sediments consisting of a mix of sand, silt and clay, constant barrier island overwash, breaching and the higher rates of shoreline retreat in the nation.
Traditional coastal engineering estimates of sediment transport based on shoreline changes, for example, yielded unrealistically large numbers of sediment transport when applied to the Louisiana coast without adaptation to its unique characteristics (Campbell et al., 2005). In order to estimate performance (shoreline recession, sediment loss and area change) many crucial questions regarding barrier island design, needed addressing, such as: Should we inhibit frequent overwash using high dune templates to down shoreline retreat rates or should we use lower elevation dunes to allow for overwash and feeding of sediments to the marsh? At what elevation should the marsh be built to ensure it is in the interdital zone at the half-life? How to forecast post-construction shoreline retreat rates and marsh area changes? What will be the effect of a healthy sand berm and dune on a system that was previously sediment-starved barrier island with fine sediments (silts, clays) exposed to gulf waves and severely breached islands?
Despite these complex questions, the coastal engineering community has done its best to design barrier island restoration projects and estimate project performance using existing tools and models. After two and a half decades of experience, the design of barrier island restoration projects has evolved significantly. Although design improvements occurred over the years, many of the initial questions remain unanswered and there is a great opportunity to learn from the barrier island restoration projects constructed over the years. Within this context, this paper will evaluate selected barrier island restoration projects developed by APTIM over the last decade with focus on key design components and post construction Barrier Island performance. Comparisons of pre- and post-construction erosion rates of the restored barrier islands will enable the identification of main design components and processes responsible for observed performance and provide insights for the improvement of the design of barrier island restoration projects in the future.
Campbell, T., Benedet, L. and Thomson, G., 2005. Design Considerations for Barrier Island Nourishments and Coastal Structures for Coastal Restoration in Louisiana. Journal of Coastal Research, SI 44, 186-202.
Louisiana Coastal Protection Restoration Agency (CPRA), 2016. Barrier Island Status Report. In: Draft Fiscal Year 2017 Plan. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 26pp.
Bio: Dr. Benedet leads the Coastal, Ports & Marine business for APTIM. Dr. Benedet is responsible for offices across the United States and a group of about 150 professionals focused on coastal & port engineering and coastal sciences. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Brazil in 1999 in Physical Oceanography; M.Sc. in Florida at Florida Atlantic University in Marine Geology in 2001; MBA in Brazil in 2013 and Doctorate in The Netherlands, at TU Delt in 2016. Lindino is also part of the editorial board of Shore & Beach and the Journal of Coastal Research.
Building Louisiana’s Coastline – a Tale of Two Very Different Islands
Whitney Thompson, APTIM
Co-Authors: Barry Richard, Chris Allen, Donna Rogers
Louisiana’s coastal restoration program requires project teams to make use of available resources and as the program grows to also think outside the box. This presentation will outline the engineering and construction challenges of two very different barrier island designs, the Chenier Ronquille Barrier Island Restoration Project (BA-76) and the Shell Island Restoration Project (BA-110/111). Both are located in Plaquemines Parish’s Barataria Basin and funded by the Outer Coast Restoration Program, yet this is where the similarities end. Chenier Ronquille’s preferred alternative restored the headland with finegrained sand from Louisiana’s Gulf of Mexico utilizing traditional construction methods, while Shell Island looked to larger-grained sand from the Mississippi River and all of the construction challenges that come along with obtaining it.
his case study includes a description of the pros and cons of different borrow material types, techniques utilized throughout the engineering and design process, an overview of the modeling and tests performed, a summary of the data collected, the challenges of utilizing Mississippi River sediment, and lessons learned during and after construction.
Bio: Ms. Thompson is responsible for the design and/or management of coastal restoration projects including marsh creation/dredging, barrier island restoration, and shoreline protection/coastal structures. She focuses on applied engineering principles such as hydraulics, hydrology, coastal processes, and geotechnical engineering, while performing project planning, design, and construction administration duties.
Competing in the Beach Outfall Challenge
Kimberly Miller, Allen Engineering and Science
Co-Authors: Kimberly Miller, Melissa Pringle, Caleb Dana
Coastal Mississippi’s beaches serve multiple objectives. Originally constructed in front of the seawall to provide added protection against storm surge, these white sand beaches have become part of the region’s identity. Unfortunately, even as the demand for recreational uses has increased, concerns are growing about the suitability of the water for human contact. Beach closure days associated with bacterial content pose both human health and economic risks for the counties of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.
To reclaim the integrity of its coastal waters, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) hosted the Mississippi Beach Outfalls Challenge, offering competitors a chance to redesign outdated stormwater management structures. AllenES, a firm focused on Resiliency, Shoreline Restoration and Sea Level Rise Adaptation, will discuss its winning entry and the way its proposed solution works with coastal habitats and serves coastal planners working in highly vulnerable communities.
Bio: Ms. Miller is a Certified Professional Planner with 20 years of experience. After Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Miller relocated to the Gulf Coast to help establish local community development organizations, and joined AllenES in 2010, where she specializes in local, state and regional planning and policy efforts promoting resilience, sustainable growth, natural resources management and municipal planning.
Waikiki: Past, Present and Future. An example of urban beach management planning.
Dolan Eversole, University of Hawaii Sea Grant
Co-Authors: Rick Egged
This talk with describe some of the current efforts underway to better understand, manage and improve Waikiki Beach.
The Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association (WBSIDA) has developed a Beach Management Plan for Waikīkī in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (Hawaii Sea Grant). The primary goal of the Waikīkī Beach Management Plan is to improve the quality and sustainability and stability of the public beach and nearshore resources along Waikīkī Beach. The Project is part of a broader environmental initiative, the Hoʻomau ‘O Waikīkī Kahakai which translates to (Waikīkī Beach renews itself). This initiative serves as a guiding principle for the community visioning process for Waikiki Beach and includes development of several preliminary project strategies:
The primary purpose of this management plan is to identify, assess and prioritize beach management assets, issues and projects in Waikīkī for future beach maintenance and to facilitate potential funding sources and partnerships for implementation of these projects. The Waikīkī Beach Management Plan serves as an overarching framework for the development, evaluation and implementation of technical beach management alternatives for Waikīkī. The plan includes innovative, science-based beach management initiatives and an ongoing community planning and visioning process.
The Waikīkī Beach Management Plan identifies site-specific strategies to support the goals of the Waikīkī Beach Management District and community. The WBSIDA provides a unique funding mechanism for Waikīkī beach planning, research and scientific studies in addition to project support, management and coordination of beach maintenance and improvement projects in Waikīkī and the Ala Wai Canal. The Waikīkī Beach Management Plan provides a clear management strategy and prioritized projects list that have been vetted through a community advisory committee to ensure the projects meet the goals and expectations of the Waikīkī community.
Stakeholder engagement and community outreach are critical components of the beach management plan. The outreach includes various efforts to identify stakeholder concerns, gather feedback on potential beach management strategies and alternatives, develop collaborative partnerships and agreements, and build stakeholder consensus. Interviews, focus group meetings, and workshops are being held with key stakeholders in the public sector, private sector, and the Waikīkī community to identify information needs, concerns, and support for various beach management strategies. A series of advisory committee and public meetings has also provided opportunities to educate stakeholders and the general public with topics to include the history and evolution of Waikīkī Beach, coastal and beach processes in Waikīkī’s littoral cells, historical and modern approaches to beach management, and coastal hazards (including sea level rise).
Bio: Dolan Eversole (University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Program)
Dolan Eversole is a coastal geologist and coastal management specialist working at the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Program. Dolan currently serves as the Waikīkī Beach management coordinator through the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, in partnership with the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District Association. Eversole served as the NOAA Coastal Storms Program, Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator from 2010 to 2015, covering all the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island (USAPI) territories.
Assessment Fee Funding Mechanism, Charlotte County Florida
Peter Ravella, Peter A. Ravella Consulting, L.L.C.
Charlotte County, Florida hosts pristine barrier island beaches and an exquisite back bay system. The County has only one incorporated city, Punta Gorda, and is otherwise governed by the Board of County Commissioners. The northern beaches of the County have been in a state of critical erosion for some time. In 2000, The County investigated the possibility of locally financing a beach renourishment program, but was ultimately unsuccessful in generating public support for the project.
Recent storms severely eroded the County’s northernmost beaches, resulting in damage to several structures and hundreds of thousands of dollars in homeowner investment in “temporary” armoring. The the situation so dire, the County has again turned its attention to developing a shoreline management program.
Peter was hired to design the funding mechanism for this new program. This presentation will discuss the funding plan and public engagement process that is currently underway in Charlotte County. The results of this effort are now known and the presentation will discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what other coastal communities can do to improve the likelihood of success when establishing tiered taxing districts to finance beach maintenance.
Bio: Mr. Ravella is the founder and principal of PAR Consulting, LLC (2008), a coastal management consulting firm providing permitting, financial planning, and project management services for public and private sector clients.
PARC specializes in complex environmental, legal, financial, and regulatory issues in coastal projects. PARC is a leading provider of financial planning services coastal and shoreline management projects, including creation of special tax districts, grant acquisition and management, and development and adoption of funding plans. PARC provides expert beach & dune permitting services and grant writing and management services for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and General Land Office grants under a variety of programs
Mr. Ravella holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University (1983) and J.D., with honors from the Northwestern School of Law/Lewis & Clark College (1986), with a specialty in environmental law.
Local Funding Model Case Study: Dare County, North Carolina
Robert Outten, Dare County
Since 2011 Dare County North Carolina in partnership with local municipalities located within the County have constructed nearly $100 Million in beach nourishment projects with no State or Federal funding. The local funding has been derived through the use of revenues generated by a Room Occupancy Tax levied by the County, and a combination of tax revenue generated by the Town through across the board ad valorem taxes and targeted tax districts referred to as Municipal Service Districts. Using this funding model Dare County and the local communities have conducted initial construction of over 20 miles of beach and are now moving into the maintenance cycles of these projects.
This presentation will detail the funding formula established by Dare County and the local towns, including tax rates, revenues generated, and key factors that allowed these communities to work together to achieve locally funded flood & storm damage reduction projects.
Bio: Robert Outten serves Dare County, North Carolina as both the County Manager and County Attorney in a dual role that provides executive direction for the administration of Dare County government and readily available in-hours legal counsel. Prior to joining the staff of Dare County, Mr. Outten was a successful private practice attorney specializing in the representation of governmental agencies, including the County of Dare. In 2007 he took on the added responsibilities as Assistant County manager and in 2009 was appointed the County Manager & Attorney by the Dare County Board of Commissioners. He earned a B.S.B.A. from the University of North Carolina, and completed his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University.
Sandbridge Beach Restoration Funding
Phillip Roehrs, City of Virginia Beach
Co-Authors: Phillip Roehrs, Dan Adams, James White
After years of suffering the effects of beach erosion, including the loss of over 40 homes and annual pavement repair costs exceeding $1,000,000, the costs of not addressing beach erosion at Sandbridge began to exceed the costs of taking action. Sandbridge is a 1,500 property community within the total population of 450,000 in the City of Virginia Beach. Support for using General Revenues for Sandbridge restoration was low, to the point of protests at City Council sessions where the topic was discussed. After first lobbying the General Assembly for the ability to do so, and seeking a minimum of 51% willingness from the Sandbridge community, a Special Service District (SSD) was established to fund the local share of the planned federal partnership beach restoration efforts. When initially implemented the SSD did not generate sufficient revenue to fully fund the local cost share. After a second round of seeking General Assembly authorization, the City established a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district over Sandbridge. These two funding sources were used to establish and maintain the highly successful beach restoration and maintenance project for Sandbridge. Aside from abating storm damages and providing a world class beach experience, another result of the on-going beach replenishment has been a significant increase in Sandbridge property valuation, to the point where the SSD now covers all of the local cost share. SSD and TIF revenues are now so strong that the City has been able to fully fund two cycles of beach replenishment without, or in the absence of, federal funding for the project.
Bio: With 30+ years of coastal engineering experience, Phill Roehrs leads the City of Virginia Beach’s coastal engineering division. Mr. Roehrs is also Executive Vice President of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.
Rapid response on the Texas coast: acquiring Post-Harvey lidar and imagery to assess storm impact and monitor recovery
Jeffrey Paine, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin
Co-Authors: Aaron Averett, John Andrews, John Hupp
Hurricane Harvey, which rapidly intensified in the Gulf of Mexico and reached Saffir/Simpson Category 4 status before landfall on the central Texas coast on Friday, August 25, 2017, brought extreme winds, heavy rainfall, massive flooding, and moderate storm surge to the open coast and bays of Texas. Within a week of landfall, researchers at the Bureau’s Near Surface Observatory began acquiring airborne lidar data and imagery to assess storm impacts on the beach and dune system along the Texas Gulf shoreline, identify debris and infrastructure damage in central Texas bays, quantify damage to bird habitat in bays and lagoons, and establish a baseline for monitoring beach and dune recovery in the months and years to come. These surveys were flown as part of the General Land Office’s comprehensive response to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Harvey as well as the Jackson School of Geoscience’s rapid-response effort. Once the time-critical surveys of post-storm conditions were completed in October 2017, efforts commenced to understand and quantify the impact of this somewhat unusual storm on the Texas beach and dune system and monitor the long-term recovery process.
Bio: Jeffrey G. Paine is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, where he leads Near Surface Observatory activities in near-surface geophysics, geologic hazards, and geomorphic applications of airborne lidar and imagery. His principal research interest, geophysical applications in the shallow subsurface, combines an academic background in geophysics and extensive professional experience in Quaternary geology, coastal geology, and geologic hazards including sinkhole- and compaction-related subsidence. He specializes in applying borehole, surface, and airborne geophysical and remote-sensing methods to help solve geological, hydrological, environmental, and engineering problems in the shallow subsurface.
Impacts of beach access points on the vulnerability of coastal communities during hurricanes
Stephanie Smallegan, University of South Alabama
Co-Authors: Bret Webb, Jeff Coogan
The 2017 hurricane season, characterized by a record-breaking series of land-falling hurricanes, caused severe destruction in the U.S., hundreds of fatalities, and billions of dollars in economic losses. Within only one month, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated coastal communities in Texas and Florida, respectively. In early October, Dauphin Island, Alabama experienced significant overwash on its narrower western end due to the relatively weak, fast-moving Hurricane Nate. In response to these extreme events, several teams of scientists and engineers rapidly deployed to Texas, Florida, and Alabama to assess geotechnical damage due to the hurricanes and collect perishable data for further analyses. For this presentation, data collected on Dauphin Island will be discussed and compared to data collected in Texas and Florida.
As part of this multi-locational study, pre- and post- storm data were collected on the western end of Dauphin Island to analyze its morphological response to Hurricane Nate. At only a category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, Hurricane Nate impacted Dauphin Island on October 7, damaging many homes and roadways. This was followed by several months of sand relocation efforts to rebuild dunes with sediment that was overwashed onto the back-barrier region of the island.
Pre-storm data were collected on October 6 and included topographic surveys, drone footage, and photographs. Wave and water level gauges were deployed along two cross-shore transects in the event of island inundation. The gauges were retrieved and the same set of post-storm data were collected on October 9 to obtain comparable measurements of perishable data.
From our observations, several meters of sediment were overwashed from their originating dunes and deposited on the back-barrier regions of the island, including densely vegetated areas. On the developed western end of Dauphin Island, vegetated dunes were completely destroyed and the island’s only roadway was buried beneath several meters of sediment, leaving the western end inaccessible for several months.
Surprisingly, the geotechnical damage observed on Dauphin Island was, in many cases, much more severe than the damage observed in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and in Florida after Hurricane Irma, even though Harvey and Irma were both major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). In several locations in Texas and Florida, vegetated dunes survived the impacts of storm surge and waves. However, in all three U.S. states, greater damage was observed near locations where the dune fields were transected by beach access roads or pathways. Data analyses and cross-comparison of the three study sites and hurricanes are ongoing to test the hypothesis that beach access pathways, even if they are narrow, substantially increase the vulnerability of coastal communities to storm damage.
Bio: Smallegan is an assistant professor of coastal engineering at the University of South Alabama with expertise in physical changes of sandy beaches, such as beach erosion and accretion, due to short-term and long-term processes. She has had 17 publications appear in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and as technical reports. She was also part of a NSF GEER (Geotechnical Extreme Event Reconnaissance) team that rapidly deployed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey (2017) to assess geotechnical damage. Smallegan is a member of ASBPA, the American Geophysical Union, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Society of American Military Engineers.
Comparison of Beach Changes Induced by Two Hurricanes along the Coast of West-Central Florida
Jun Chen, University of South Florida School of Geosciences
Co-Authors: Ping Wang, Mathieu Vallee, Zachary Westfall
Systemic observation of alongshore variation of storm induced beach changes as well as post-storm beach recoveries provides crucial information for beach management. One hundred and fifty beach-nearshore profiles (surveyed to short-term closure depth) spaced at approximately 300 m were surveyed before and after the passage of two major hurricanes, including hurricane Hermine 2016 and hurricane Irma 2017. Dominant wave direction and storm induced surge were different for these two hurricanes. Considerable alongshore variability in the degree of beach erosion was measured along the frontal dune, on the dry beach, and in the intertidal zone. Alongshore variations of beach volume changes, foreshore slope, dry beach width and height, cross-shore sandbar location and bar height were computed for pre and post of both hurricanes.
The 2D XBEACH model was applied to represent the measured beach profile changes to investigate the process and mechanism of hurricane induced beach changes. Factors that control the longshore variations in storm-induced morphology changes include: 1) offshore bathymetry, especially influenced by existence of ebb tidal deltas; 2) water level and incident wave heights; 3) the original beach width before the hurricane; 4) presence of hard structure such as breakwaters and inlet jetties.
Bio: Jun Cheng is a post-doc at School of Geosciences, University of South Florida. Cheng obtained his Ph.D. in coastal geology from University of South Florida in 2015. Cheng’s research includes: coastal sedimentary processes, nearshore sediment transport, nearshore wave and current dynamics, and coastal morphodynamics.
Dynamics of Port Aransas – Corpus Christi Area Beaches post-Hurricane Harvey
Firat Testik, University of Texas at San Antonio
Co-Authors: Benjamin Lamm, Jin Ikeda
Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Port Aransas, Texas, U.S. in late August 2017. This study investigates evolution of the morphology and sediment characteristics of six selected beaches in the Port Aransas – Corpus Christi area after Hurricane Harvey. We conducted three field campaigns (in September-October 2017, January 2018, and March 2018) to monitor the selected beaches. The first of the three field campaigns was conducted soon after the hurricane to document the beach conditions and establish a baseline in evaluating the post-hurricane response and natural recovery of the selected beaches. In these field campaigns, data was collected along three cross-shore transects extending from the shoreline to the dune at each of the six selected beaches. Data collection included high-accuracy topographical data, sediment compaction data, and cores of sediment samples. Topographical data provided information on the evolution of the beach profile during the observation period. The collected sediment samples were analyzed using both sieve analysis and laser particle size analysis methods to provide information on the sediment statistics. Our analyses using temporal data for different cross-shore locations and beaches in the study area led to various spatio-temporal interpretations for the beach dynamics post-hurricane Harvey. Our results for individual beaches and intercomparisons among beaches will be discussed in the presentation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OCE-1760158 to the first author.
Bio: Dr. Firat Y. Testik is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Before joining UTSA in 2015, he was a faculty member in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University from 2006 until 2015. His main research areas related to coastal engineering include coastal hydrodynamics, sediment transport, submerged breakwaters, storm surge, dredge disposal, wave-structure interaction, among others. He authored numerous journal and conference papers, edited a research book, and has been actively serving a variety of scientific journals and federal agencies in various capacities. Dr. Testik leads the Flow Physics Laboratory and teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses related to fluid mechanics and coastal engineering.
A Resilient Massachusetts: How Massachusetts is Becoming the MVP of Resiliency
Lauren Klonsky, CDM Smith
Co-Authors: Lauren Miller
Based on the latest global climate models (GCM) from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), downscaled for major basins within Massachusetts and presented by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (MA EOEE), several Massachusetts communities can expect to experience:
However, even now, communities across Massachusetts are impacted by climate hazards. Spring 2018 brought New England four nor’easters in less than three weeks, bringing hail, heavy winds, snow, coastal erosion, and severe coastal flooding to New England communities.
To plan and prepare for increased natural hazards caused by climate change, the MA EOEE has launched the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program (MVP). This program provides support for Massachusetts communities to plan for resiliency and implement key climate change adaptation actions. The foundation of the program is the Community Resilience Building Framework developed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Certified meeting facilitators of the MVP program were trained to run workshops across the state and provide technical assistance to communities to complete the assessment and resiliency plan. Communities who participate in the MVP program become certified as an MVP community and are eligible for MVP action grant funding and other opportunities.
This presentation will introduce the MVP program and illustrate case studies of its implementation. Additionally, the presentation will provide resiliency programs in other states throughout the nation, highlighting how Massachusetts is one of many of the most valuable players when it comes to resiliency.
Bio: Ms. Klonsky is a water resources / coastal engineer and senior project manager at CDM Smith with specialization in the areas of coastal processes and climate change resiliency. She received a Coastal Engineering Certificate from Old Dominion University in 2012 and an M.S. in the field of Environmental Engineering from Tufts University in 2008.
Integrating Economic, Land Use and Resilience Planning – Elizabeth City, NC
Scott Lagueux, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Scott Lagueux, Johnny Martin
An earlier Elizabeth City Waterfront Master Plan was drafted 2001. Both the economy and Elizabeth City have changed significantly since that time. An expanded and updated plan was needed to accurately reflect land use changes and trends for the Elizabeth City waterfront and guide waterfront development in a comprehensive, sustainable and resilient manner. As part of the waterfront master plan, a flooding mitigation plan for Charles Creek which drains to the waterfront was also needed.
Therefore, the City of Elizabeth City worked to assemble a long range, actionable plan for Elizabeth City’s +/- 1.2 miles of Downtown waterfront. Main goals were to meaningfully engage the community in the plan making process, helping channel their voice and desires to reshape the waterfront as well as ensure the plan accurately reflects current land use, economic and social conditions in Elizabeth City.
With a significant portion of the Charles Creek watershed at just a few feet above river level, the lower portions of the watershed especially are prone to flooding from high tides, coastal storms and wind tide events. This study focused on the lower portions of the watershed with a goal to integrate with the upstream improvements and look to develop solutions to mitigate flooding and make this portion of the watershed more resilient to storm events as well as provide neighborhood connectivity and other features that could be folded within the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan. Alternatives studied included elevation of structures, buyouts, protective berms/greenways and other engineering infrastructure options.
For both plans, multiple community meetings were held as well as project website questionnaires and surveys developed to acquire citizen input. Both plans went through a number of iterations and ultimately plans were developed that met all initial project goals.
Bio: Mr. Lagueux is an urban planner with over 23 years of experience specializing in waterfronts, resorts, and international development and has completed urban and commercial waterfront projects throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Mr. Lagueux joined Moffatt & Nichol to broaden the firm’s waterfront planning services and has led a broad spectrum of planning engagements, inclusive of strategic planning, master planning, market analysis, feasibility study, project criteria development, and concept design, as well as input to associated economic impact analysis and environmental studies for both large- and small-scale projects.
BRUNSWICK TOWN/ FORT ANDERSON – A LIVING SHORELINE ALTERNATIVE
Phillip Todd, Atlantic ReefMaker
Brunswick Town/ Fort Anderson (BTFA) is a state of North Carolina historical site located on the west bank of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County, NC. The site is administered by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR). The BTFA historic site continues to experience rapid shoreline erosion from constant tide forces and dynamic wave action. The NCDCR seeks to halt the shoreline erosion in order to prevent additional buried colonial-era wharf destruction and to prevent the undermining of Civil War-era batteries and three other colonial era wharf sites.
The Cape Fear River was deepened and widened in 2006 to promote harbor development and maritime commercial ship access to Wilmington, NC. Erosion on the banks of BTFA was first noted in 2008, and, in 2012, the NCDCR attempted to arrest the shoreline erosion. The initial attempt failed, and the NCDCR struggled to protect these sensitive and historically significant resources from the high energy wave environment that it abutted.
The Atlantic ReefMaker (ARM) was identified as a potential solution. The ReefMaker concept had been used successfully on the Gulf of Mexico shore to stabilize shorelines in high energy wave environments. The design of the ReefMaker was modified for the Atlantic coastal environment. In summer 2017, the NCDCR contracted out Phase I of the shoreline stabilization – the installation of 220’ of ARM along the highest eroded area of BTFA site. Phase II of the project (240’) is scheduled to begin in June 2018.
This presentation describes past stabilization methods of the historic site, documents why the ARM was the best solution for the BTFA site in place of a rock sill, adjustments made from Phase I in preparation for Phase II and describes the monitoring of the ARM.
Bio: Phillip Todd is a project development coordinator at Atlantic ReefMaker with over 24 years in the environmental industry. He has extensive experience in natural resources, environmental permitting, mitigation feasibility studies, mitigation planning, stream restoration, wetland restoration, stream restoration construction and wetland restoration construction.
Phased Retreat, Resilience, and Recreation at Nauset Public Beach
Adam Finkle, Woods Hole Group, Inc
The Cape Cod National Seashore spans over 40 miles of coastal and barrier beach, dune, and salt marsh along Cape Cod’s eastern shore. Nauset Public Beach, a Town of Orleans-owned resource within the Cape Cod National Seashore, provides the only public access to the Atlantic Ocean within the Town and is a significant source of annual revenue. The rate of shoreline erosion along Nauset Beach has increased dramatically since 1994, now averaging 12-15 feet per year, prompting the Town to establish a proactive Plan for phased retreat. Early phases of the Plan proposed the removal of beach administration facilities and bathrooms, an historic gazebo, an iconic restaurant, and valuable parking to accommodate a full-scale restoration of the coastal dune system to increase the resilience of the remaining infrastructure. Later phases proposed the removal of all remaining infrastructure and parking along with the permanent relocation of beach operations, facilities, and parking to an adjacent, upland parcel.
The established timeline for phased retreat from Nauset Public Beach held until March of 2018, when Nauset Beach experienced a series of coastal storms which resulted in the unprecedented loss of nearly 70 feet of beach and dune, requiring relocation of the historic gazebo, demolition of the beach restaurant, and removal of other infrastructure from the beach.
Impacts of the 2018 winter storm season dramatically accelerated the timeline for permitting and implementing the Phased Retreat Plan. Changes at the site have required ongoing adaptive management on the part of the Town of Orleans Natural Resource Manager, DPW officials, and Park Commissioners to ensure the beach would be operational and able to support the 2018 tourist season. Woods Hole Group is now working with the Town to accelerate permitting and implementation of the Phased Retreat Plan, requiring ongoing collaboration between federal, state, and municipal partners. The following presentation will focus on the development of a Phased Retreat Plan to increase the resilience of the public beach while preserving the visitor experience and managing challenges of the 2018 winter storm season.
Bio: Mr. Adam Finkle is a Coastal Scientist with the Woods Hole Group, Inc. focused on designing, permitting, and facilitating the implementation of ecological restoration and coastal resiliency projects throughout New England. His work involves identifying key vulnerabilities and developing effective adaptation strategies for coastal communities, non-profit organizations, and private homeowners. He is experienced in managing ecological restoration projects and implementing coastal bioengineering, coastal bank stabilization, native planting, beach nourishment and dune enhancement projects. He has extensive experience with coastal resource area delineations, wetland delineations, vegetation assessments, and construction monitoring. Mr. Finkle earned an M.S. in Sustainability Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Using green infrastructure to create resilient shorelines
Nigel Pontee, Jacobs
Co-Authors: Mark Jaworski, Claudio Fassardi, Matt Deavenport
Over the last decade, following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, there have been increased levels of interest in using coastal habitats as coastal defenses. Many terms are used to describe these types of solutions including Green Infrastructure, Living Shorelines, Building with Nature, Engineering with Nature and Ecological Engineering.
These terms encompass a variety of approaches including: the re-creation of natural habitats (e.g. saltmarshes, mangroves, reefs, beaches, dunes), the enhancement of existing habitats (e.g. foreshore recharge of beaches), the use of more organic materials for structures (e.g. wood rather than stone), the ecological enhancement of existing hard infrastructure (e.g. creation of rock pools within seawalls, or the use of textured concrete to improve colonization by marine organisms). Green infrastructure elements can be combined with hard structures to form hybrid solutions (e.g. foreshore recharge, marsh restoration and embankment construction).
As we begin to implement green infrastructure at a larger scale, it is imperative that we clearly define the objectives at the start of the projects, monitor to evaluate success against these objectives and learn from our mistakes.
This presentation will draw out some of the key elements of best practice for using green infrastructure to create resilient shorelines based on the recent guidance produced by the World Bank, plus the latest guidance being produced by the USACE. The paper will show that green infrastructure solutions can be considered with standard engineering design approaches, but that engineers need to be aware of the full range of options and develop teams that include necessary scientists to ensure various ecological criteria are met.
The presentation will give examples of green infrastructure projects that have been completed around the United States including Gulf Coast, the West Coast, North East Coast. These different projects will demonstrate how, whilst all the projects might be termed ‘green’, the objectives of each and thus the resulting designs differ considerably. Examples will include:
The paper will also draw on some of the recent work completed in Europe concerning the ecological enhancement of grey infrastructure such as seawalls, which are equally applicable to the coast of the United States.
The paper will conclude with some thoughts on some of the knowledge gaps that need to be filled to ensure the more widespread incorporation of green infrastructure within coastal resilience projects in the future.
Bio: Nigel has over 26 years’ experience in coastal geomorphology and management. Over the last 5 years, Nigel has become more involved in nature based coastal defence projects. Nigel contributed to the recently completed the World Bank guidance on nature based defences and is co-leading the wetland chapter within the USACE guidance on nature based solutions. He also led the coastal and estuarine chapter within the UK Environment Agency’s Working with Natural Processes evidence directory. He is currently the Global Technology leader for Coastal Planning and Engineering in CH2M/Jacobs and a Visiting Professor at the Natural Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
Don’t Throw It Away: Beneficial Use of Storm Debris for Beach and Vegetation Stabilization
Tara Whittle, Texas General Land Office
Co-Authors: Tony Williams
Texas General Land Office (GLO) staff began emergency operation storm response a few days after Hurricane Harvey passed and identified public beaches which had debris washed up that posed a risk to human health and safety. The majority of debris was removed and disposed of in permitted landfills, but one area on the upper Texas coast, Sargent Beach, posed access limitations due to soft sand and clay, as well as strong tides. This beach is narrow and highly dynamic, and has been identified as critical wintering habitat for threatened and endangered piping plover (Charadrius melodus) and red knot (Calidris canutus) shorebirds, which made it an ideal candidate for a stabilization project. 456.5 cubic yards of vegetative and woody storm debris was placed at specific intervals along a 5,100 linear foot area adjacent to the surf line, at the approximate boundary between public beach and privately owned uplands. A great deal of interagency cooperation occurred in a short amount of time at the state and federal level, including stabilization design and approval, and the stabilization project was completed, start to finish, in less than one month.
Bio: Tara serves with the Texas General Land Office as a coastal biologist, where she helps with responsible management of public state land.
Desktop Screening for Living Shoreline Opportunities for Chesapeake Bay TMDL Compliance in James City County
Daniel Proctor, Stantec
This project consisted of widespread screening for potential opportunities to reduce shoreline erosion with living shoreline techniques along major tributaries in James City County in accordance with Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards. Using available data on shoreline conditions, bank heights, and physical shoreline changed from 1937 to 2009, a methodology was developed to identify varying degrees of sediment and nutrient loading from tidal banks throughout the County. Using this approach, specific shoreline segments can be targeted for restoration efforts to help reduce nutrient loading to the Chesapeake Bay. This project will be of particular interest to localities with permitted Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) who are looking for opportunities to maintain and meet Chesapeake Bay TMDL requirements, those with sediment or nutrient-based local TMDLs, or entities seeking other ways to reduce sedimentation or dredging needs using a quantifiable method.
Bio: Mr. Daniel Proctor, P.E. is a Water Resources Program Manager at Stantec. His experience includes the design and management of multiple private- and public-sector projects with regard to the treatment of non-point source pollution, urban stormwater management, shoreline stabilization, and ecosystem restoration. As it related to the coastal engineering industry, Mr. Proctor is specialized in integrating watershed needs, resilience concerns, and MS4 requirements with shoreline management and living shoreline practices. He was an active participant in the Chesapeake Bay Program Expert Panel for Shoreline Management, developing the protocols to quantify sediment and nutrient reductions associated with shoreline management practices which are being applied by MS4s to satisfy Chesapeake Bay TMDL requirements.
North Carolina Dredge Acquisition Study
Johnny Martin, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Mark Pirrello, Brandon Grant
The North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) commissioned a study to evaluate the State’s participation in maintaining shallow draft navigation waterways through use of existing dredge equipment operated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Ferry Division and through the potential acquisition of additional dredge plants to meet existing and projected maintenance dredging needs of the State’s waterways.
The first part of the study evaluates the operation, costs, and opportunities to improve use of the Dredge Manteo, a dredge vessel built in 2016 and operated by NCDOT’s Ferry Division to maintain the navigable waterways and basins managed as part of the State’s Ferry System. This study has identified several opportunities to improve the operational efficiencies including: increasing the operational time to 24 hours a day; increasing the discharge pipe diameter to 14 inches; increasing the capacity of the material disposal sites; providing dedicated staff and equipment to the Dredge Manteo for dredging operations; and modifying dredge windows.
In the second part of the study, the acquisition of dedicated dredge capacity beyond the Dredge Manteo was evaluated based on anticipated existing and future forecasted dredging needs in, and potentially outside, the state that are not currently performed or could be performed by the Dredge Manteo. The potential expansion of the fleet was weighed against the cost to acquire, operate and maintain the additional dredge equipment in a manner that minimizes cost or promotes self-sufficiency, is cost competitive with the private dredge industry, and complies with labor and anti-competitive practices and law. Multiple options for the potential dredge fleet were explored depending on the level of service desired and a preliminary phased dredge acquisition approach was also provided.
Bio: Johnny Martin has been serving as a Coastal/Hydraulic Engineer with Moffatt & Nichol for over 24 years. He received both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Coastal Engineering/Water Resources from North Carolina State University. During his tenure at M&N, he has spent a majority of his time involved in both coastal engineering design and hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for projects on both US coasts and internationally.
Hawke’s Bay New Zealand — Hazards, Research Investigations, and Management Strategies
Paul Komar, Oceanography, Oregon State University
Co-Authors: Erica Harris
Located on the eastern shore of New Zealand’s North Island, the coast of Hawke’s Bay faces multiple natural hazards ranging from major earthquakes due to the collision and subduction of its tectonic plates, land-elevation changes produced by faulting within the continental plate, and the processes associated with Earth’s changing climate. Research over the decades has focused on these processes, including our recently completed investigations of the climate controls, the goal being to apply the results to the sound management of this hazardous coast. Of particular significance to its susceptibility to erosion and flooding was the occurrence of an earthquake in 1931, which altered the elevations of its shore — at its north end elevations of the gravel beach and properties were raised by 2 m, while elevations dropped by about 1 m at its south end. With projections of future accelerated rates of rising sea levels and increased storm intensities, concerns are that the developed stretch of the elevated barrier gravel ridge will again suffer from erosion and overwash flooding, while properties where erosion already exists will experience near-catastrophic impacts. In our recent investigations analyses have been undertaken of the hourly measurements of tides and waves, swash runup levels were calculated on the beaches, combined to yield a record of hourly total water levels at the shore. The extremes in water levels have been compared with the elevations of the surveyed beaches and properties to yield hazard assessments. However, in that little more than a decade of combined measurements of waves and tides were available for our analyses, our methodology was in part also based on a recognition that the morphologies of the surveyed gravel ridges provide evidence for still greater extreme storm events in the distant past. Assessments of future hazards have been based on projections of rising sea levels and evidence for increasing wave heights. Complicating future hazard assessments are feedback effects of changes in the sediment budgets, with the erosion of the uplifted barrier gravel ridge expected to become a significant source of gravel to the beach, altering the patterns of longshore sediment transport and in turn governing the stretches of shore that will experience the greatest property impacts.
Bio: Professor Emeritus of Oceanography at Oregon State University
Author of textbook “Beach Processes and Sedimentation”
ASBPA O’Brien Award
Geomorphic and Environmental Parameters to Support Coastal Analysis
Eve Eisemann, USACE ERDC
Co-Authors: Lauren Dunkin, Molly Reif, Michael Hartman
The coastal zone is a dynamic environment, with changes occurring due to wind, waves, and currents under both fair-weather and storm conditions. Geomorphic and environmental characteristics, like dune height and dune vegetation, respectively, influence breaching susceptibility. These features vary significantly along the coast on sub-kilometer scales, but influence coastal resilience on a regional scale. In order to understand this interplay, methods must be developed to map and quantify these elements.
Given the large spatial extent of the U.S. coastal zone, remote sensing data is uniquely suited to support such a regional analysis. This project, focusing on the Texas coast, utilizes remote sensing data collected in 2009 and 2016 as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP). Texas’ ~600 km coastline required the development of rapid methods for extraction of important geomorphic and environmental properties. Parameters such as dune peak and toe, width of the beach and barrier island, slope, volume of the barrier island, impervious surfaces, and dune vegetation were derived from lidar data and hyperspectral imagery.
Digital elevation models (DEMs) created from lidar data are used to determine the location of the foredune ridge, foredune toe, and the highest dune ridge. This is done by creating shore-perpendicular transects at a given spacing (10 m here) and extracting DEM profiles along them. Features are automatically located along each profile using a Matlab code based on elevation, slope, distance from the shoreline, and other criteria. Features are saved as points with an associated elevation. These points are then manually checked for quality control. Foredune ridge and toe lines as well as a highest ridge line are then created from these points. A mask between the foredune ridge line and toe line defines the dune face for the creation of a duneface slope raster. Likewise, the toe line and shoreline bound the beach zone for beach slope assessment.
The highest dune ridge and the foredune toe define the mask for extraction of environmental parameters. Within this zone, both dune vegetation and impervious surfaces are defined. Vegetation coverage is derived from hyperspectral aerial imagery. Hyperspectral sensors collect reflectance data for many bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. Vegetation can be distinguished from other land cover types based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), comparing the reflectance in the near infrared band to that of the red band. Similarly, impervious surfaces are found by excluding vegetated areas, but also include buildings and infrastructure derived from the DEM.
The overarching goal of the project is to use these rich geomorphic and environmental datasets to better understand coastal susceptibility to breaching. These parameters can be ranked and weighted based on relative importance and combined to produce synthesis products that illustrate areas of greatest or least concern. This kind of coast-wide assessment allows for the consideration of small-scale coastal features on a regional scale and how they influence the coast’s response to storm impacts. The approach is broadly applicable and important for quantifying landscapes and aiding coastal studies.
Bio: Ms. Eisemann works as a research physical scientist with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. She is currently involved in projects employing Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) data to calculate beach volume, shoreline changes, and coastal vulnerability along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic margins.
Shoreline movement along the Texas Gulf Coast, 1930s to 2016
Jeffrey Paine, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin
Co-Authors: Tiffany Caudle
Long-term rates of Gulf shoreline movement along the Texas coast have been determined through 2016 from a series of shoreline positions that includes those depicted on aerial photographs from the 1930s to 2016, ground GPS surveys, and airborne lidar surveys in 2000, 2012, and 2016. Net rates of long-term shoreline movement measured at 11,733 sites spaced at 50 m along the 590 km of Texas shoreline fronting the Gulf of Mexico average 1.08 m/yr of retreat. Net shoreline retreat occurred along 75 percent of the Texas Gulf shoreline, resulting in an estimated net land loss of 5,432 ha since 1930 at an average rate of 63 ha/yr. Average rates of change are more recessional on the upper Texas coast (-1.61 m/yr from Sabine Pass to the Colorado River) than they are on the middle and lower coast (-0.71 m/yr from the Colorado River to the Rio Grande).
Areas undergoing significant net retreat include: (1) the muddy marshes on the upper Texas coast between Sabine Pass and High Island; (2) segments on the sandy barrier-island shoreline on Galveston Island; (3) most of the combined fluvial and deltaic headland constructed by the Brazos and Colorado rivers; (4) sandy, headland-flanking barriers northeast (Follets Island) and southwest (Matagorda Peninsula) of the Brazos-Colorado headland; (5) San José Island, a sandy barrier island on the middle Texas coast; (6) the northern end and much of the southern half of Padre Island, a sandy barrier island on the lower coast; and (7) the sandy Brazos Island barrier peninsula and the Rio Grande fluvial and deltaic headland. Significant net shoreline advance occurred in more limited areas (1) adjacent to the jetties that protect dredged channels at Sabine Pass, Bolivar Roads, and Aransas Pass; (2) near tidal inlets at the western ends of Galveston Island and Matagorda Peninsula; (3) at the mouth of the Brazos River; (4) along most of Matagorda Island; and (5) on central Padre Island.
Shoreline change rates measured for the most recent short-term period (2000 to 2016) are lower than those calculated for the longer period, averaging 0.36 m/yr of retreat. Long-term rates estimated from historical shoreline positions are significantly lower than late Pleistocene to early Holocene rates that range from 3 to 55 m/yr estimated from bathymetric contour shoreline proxies and past sea-level positions, but are similar to mid- to late Holocene retreat rates of 0.1 to 1.7 m/yr. A statistical relationship between postglacial relative sea-level rise rates and retreat rates calculated from the bathymetric shoreline proxy suggests that each millimeter per year of sea-level rise translates to 0.8 to 1.8 m/yr of shoreline retreat. This relationship provides an empirical approach to estimating future shoreline retreat rates under sea-level rise scenarios that may be similar to those observed during postglacial sea-level rise.
Bio: Jeffrey G. Paine is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, where he leads Near Surface Observatory activities in near-surface geophysics, geologic hazards, and geomorphic applications of airborne lidar and imagery. His principal research interest, geophysical applications in the shallow subsurface, combines an academic background in geophysics and extensive professional experience in Quaternary geology, coastal geology, and geologic hazards including sinkhole- and compaction-related subsidence. He specializes in applying borehole, surface, and airborne geophysical and remote-sensing methods to help solve geological, hydrological, environmental, and engineering problems in the shallow subsurface.
Beneficial Use Nearshore Berm study, South Padre Island, Texas
Brandon Hill, City of South Padre Island
Co-Authors: Patrick Friend
There is wide interest from a number of different stakeholders in gaining a better understanding of the movement of dredged material from nearshore berms to the active beach profile. While nearshore berm placement areas and ‘feeder’ berms have been used in shoreline management schemes for several decades, empirical data are lacking on the behavior of such berms under different forcing conditions. Preliminary results are reported of a sediment tracing, metocean data collection, and berm monitoring project, conducted as part of an integrated study after construction of a nearshore berm. The data are required to calibrate and validate existing sediment transport models that predict the onshore movement of material from the berm to the beach.
Nearshore berm placement as a means of attempting to modify the beach profile has been practiced since the 1970’s, e.g. Durban Beach, South Africa (Zwamborn 1970). In the 1980s, extensive research was conducted in the US into feeder, sacrificial, and stable berms, each with a different intention to modify the beach or nearshore profile, with the additional purpose of attenuating waves and moving sediment onshore (Burke et al. 1991). A number of more recent feeder berms have been studied in detail, notably a nearshore berm placement adjacent to Ocean Beach, California, and the Fort Myers berm, Florida (Brutsche and Wang 2011). In the case of the Ocean Beach berm, large waves transported sediment onshore during the winter of 2006-2007, and although some accretion was recorded adjacent to the placement site, it is unclear whether this was related to the berm (Barnard et al. 2009). Today, continuing interest in the use of nearshore placement areas as feeder berms is being driven by the demand for cost-effective beach nourishment under Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (BUDM) schemes.
The Beneficial Use Nearshore Berm study at South Padre Island, Texas, takes advantage of an emergency dredging contract with USACE to remove material from the Brazos Island Harbor entrance channel. Material from the contract is used to construct a nearshore feeder berm in approximately 30 ft water depth in the northerly Placement Area 2 off South Padre Island. Several nearshore berm placements have taken place since 1988 at South Padre Island, with material being placed in the southerly Placement Area 1. Previous monitoring has shown that material moves towards the beach, with major dispersal in an alongshore direction, however a detailed understanding of sediment transport pathways in an onshore direction is lacking.
Bio: While earning his B.S. in Ocean Coastal Resources and Masters in Marine Resource Management at Texas A&M University at Galveston Brandon Hill worked for and eventually led the NASA-Funded Sargassum Early Advisory System (SEAS). Brandon graduated with his Masters and began working for the City of South Padre Island two days after accepting his diploma. He now serves the City as the Shoreline Director utilizing his Ocean-system approach to better manage the valuable resources found in Cameron County.
Communicating When It Counts With the Public, AND Your Partners
Meg Winchester, Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau
The beaches of Galveston Island are one of the most visited tourist destinations in the State of Texas, second only to the shrine of Texas Independence- The Alamo. Over 7,000,000 visitors come to Galveston each year to enjoy the sun, the sand and the beach. Communication plays a critical role in not only attracting visitors, but also in helping to keep them safe, stay informed of current conditions, and provide life-saving guidance in the event of an emergency. The Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is one of the local partners at the forefront of this effort. The CVB has a staff of trained professionals whose goal it is to ensure that visitors have the information they need to not only enjoy Galveston’s beaches, but lifesaving information should the need arise. This presentation will focus on best practices for communicating with the public and your day-to-day partners before, during and after an emergency at your destination. This will include describing collaboration methods, examples of previous incidents and how local partners responded. Additionally, the presentation will include ways to communicate and rally your tourism advocates to help get the correct message out.
Bio: As the Director of the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau since 2006, Meg Winchester, CMP, CTA oversees a staff of 17 sales and marketing professionals welcoming over 7 million tourists to Galveston each year. Before joining the GICVB, Meg worked with the Greater Houston CVB and the San Diego CVB sales teams. . During her career she has been involved throughout the tourism industry with partnerships and innovative collaborations with both clients and peers. Locally she is involved with The Salvation Army, CASA and the Galveston Island Humane Society.
Meg is a dedicated runner, outdoor enthusiast and avid traveler.
A decade and a half of bringing 100,000+ K to Gray Learners into direct contact with our coastal and natural resouces on Galveston Island.
Karla Klay, Artist Boat
Co-Authors: Amanda Rinehart, Mary Warwick, Kendall Guidroz
Artist Boat provides inspiration and education through unique coastal experiences. Through Eco-Art Programs that include adventures by kayak for youth and the public, large-scale art projects that transform space, and residencies in schools learners understand how Gulf ecosystems work and translate this knowledge into shared art big and small. Through habitat restoration and conservation Artist Boat has restored over 50 acres of dunes and saved 669 acres from development. Lately, through efforts to transform public opinion about water qaulity and reduce trash going into our ocean Artist Boat has developed the Bucket Brigade interpretive tours on Galveston Beaches, begun “beautifying the buckets”, and is installing recycle centers on Galveston Beaches. Learn how through partnership spanning from school districts to foundations, from federal and state partners to the Galveston Park Board, and more Artist Boat is making an transformative impact on conservation, education, and restoration on Galveston Island.
Bio: Karla Klay is the founding director of Artist Boat. She has over 25 years of experience in arts and environmental education.Karla Klay holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University in Marine Biology. She completed the Yale Conservation Finance Course on scholarship in 2011. She completed the Rice University Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives in 2013. Karla was selected by the National Audubon Society in 2012 as a national leader receiving the TogetherGreen National Leaders Fellowship Award for her role in conservation on the Gulf coast. And was awarded the Gulf Guardian Award in 2013 by the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program for her contribution to the Gulf of Mexico communities in the field of environmental and place-based learning.
Communicating the Value of Tourism
Kelly de Schaun, Galveston Park Board of Trustees
Tourism is often a primary economic activity in coastal communities. Hotel operators, short term rental owners and second home owners can be important advocates for beach nourishment projects and are sometimes even the source of important funding generated by accommodation taxes. Supplementary services such as restaurants, attractions, transportation services and retailers are also important stakeholders in the tourism economy- as well as being residents with a voice in City Hall.
Local Convention and Visitor Bureaus or Chamber of Commerce organizations will help monetize beach improvements through public relations efforts to drive visitation to the new amenity and increase business revenues. Marketers want ‘feel good’ news to share about the community and need input from technical sources in ways that can be communicated effectively to the public and create opportunities to highlight major milestones. Well placed articles in local, state, governmental and trade publications helps to influence public opinion and the media connections cultivated by the local CVB or Chamber will be robust.
And they are also often organized to undertake political action on behalf of their industry. While some institutions may not be motivated by the recreational or economic benefits to a community, tourism partners can still carry this message to State and Federal legislators, backed by hard economic data.
Beyond periodic beach nourishment projects, tourism partners value information in times of environmental crisis or natural disasters. When red tide, fish kills or bacteria affect the coast, businesses suffer and effective communication between coastal managers and industry can go far to minimize short term economic impacts and longer term perception problems.
Given the symbiotic relation between good coastal management and a productive tourism industry, it is important to cultivate and maintain good working relations between the partners.
Who are the players? How do you engage an industry comprised of several small businesses or absentee owners? Building meaningful partnerships means understanding their business, motivations, opportunities and organizational strengths. This session will share how the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees has developed a community outreach and engagement strategy to garner support from one of the island’s largest industries.
A solid community outreach and engagement strategy identifies stakeholders, iterates a value/ benefit proposition for each group and looks for ways to communicate with and activate stakeholders in their own spheres of influence.
Bio: Ms. Kelly de Schaun is Executive Director Galveston Park Board of Trustees, in Galveston, Texas. Her responsibilities include oversight and management of all aspects of the Convention and Visitors Bureau; major annual events including Mardi Gras, Bike Week, Dickens on the Strand and the environmental management of the island’s 32 miles of beach that make Galveston the State of Texas second most popular tourist destination. Ms. de Schaun received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston in Hotel / Restaurant Management, with a secondary degree in Spanish language; and her Master of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer and has 20 years of international management and executive experience at major tourist destinations throughout the Caribbean and was the founding Director of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association that provides services to 850 Caribbean hotels in 39 countries.
Increasing Sporting events at your beach parks (driving traffic)
Bryan Kunz, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
In the wake of Hurricane Ike, Galveston Island’s beach parks suffered low attendance and revenue shortfalls. Fast forward 10 years and new facilities are built, visitation has expanded and new, sustainable revenue streams are in place. Galveston Island’s beaches have become some of the top sports facilities on the Gulf Coast. Increased efforts by tourism officials to attract sports competitions to Galveston has resulted in a boon for the island’s beach parks.
Beach sports events can go beyond the basics. Attendees will learn what it takes to host sports events at beach facilities and will hear examples of sports events that can be hosted successfully on beaches. The presentation will also explore some of the strategies used to identify and solicit sports events that have a positive impact on beaches and tourism alike.
Bio: Mr. Bryan Kunz is Sports & Events Manager and Film Liaison for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. His responsibilities include research and solicitation of new, unique sports and special events for Galveston. He has been instrumental in developing an action plan to promote Galveston’s current infrastructure and its greatest asset – natural resources – as premiere destinations to host sport competitions. Mr. Kunz received a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Business Administration from Texas A&M University at Galveston. He has over 15 years in coastal tourism and event management experience, previously serving on the production team for large events such as Mardi Gras! Galveston.
How high and how strong should Mobile Bay Bayway Bridge be in 100 years?
Victoria Curto, Mott MacDonald
Co-Authors: Josh Carter, Josh Todd, Pat McLaughlin
The existing I-10 Mobile Bay Bayway Bridge (MBBB) is subject to high hurricane driven wave loads which have the potential to cause severe damage to the bridge structure. These extreme loads will increase over time due to increasing water elevations expected to occur due to climate change and associated sea level rise (SLR). A storm surge impact analysis has been conducted to provide accurate and robust environmental conditions and hurricane wave induced-forces on the existing MBBB with the goal of facilitating the design of the proposed MBBB bridge to mitigate damage from such forces.
The Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) developed analysis guidelines and design specifications to evaluate loads from extreme hurricanes at coastal bridges. This study evaluates the environmental conditions and wave-induced forces on MBBB with a modified Level 1 and Level 3 efforts according to the AASHTO standards. The modified Level 1 effort consisted of collecting and analyzing existing data and modeling a single wind field to assess the bridge conditions. Level 3 effort involved the dynamically coupled modeling of wind, surge, and waves for a set of 80 synthetic storms that could potentially impact the MBBB. Level 3 analysis employs a fully probabilistic framework, called the JPM-OS (Joint Probability Method with Optimal Sampling), to encompass the range of possible variations in the storm conditions that provide an accurate level of risk. Modified Level 1 and Level 3 analysis was conducted for the 0- (present), 50-, and 100-year SLR.
The impact SLR has on the storm surge levels and wave heights was quantified by means of a surge multiplier or percentage of surge increase due to SLR. Results show a non-linear relation between the SLR and storm surge. The Level 3 results illustrate an increase in storm surge due to SLR that ranges from 5% and 30% in MBBB. The marsh areas show a lower surge multiplier (more linear relationship) than the deeper areas; while higher return periods show a larger surge multiplier than lower return periods. Such results agree in having larger surge multiplier in deeper water.
The impact SLR has on the superstructure (deck and girders) and substructure (piles) loads was quantified. The forces increase proportionally to the SLR due to increase exposure of the superstructure and substructure to higher waves associated with higher water since SLR resulted in higher storm surge along with the proportionally increase in wave heights that occur with the deeper water. The increase in wave forces due to SLR is evidently pronounced on the marsh areas.
A final comparison between Level 1 and Level 3 analysis was performed on the existing bridge. In general, Level 3 analysis results show lower water surface and wave crest elevations everywhere on the bridge when compared to the Level 1 analysis results. In some areas the different between Level 1 and Level 3 crest elevation is as high as 10 ft. Such areas correspond to the highest wave heights observed at the deeper channels. Level 3 surge elevations also showed lower values when compared to the Level 1 results, with Level 3 being 1.5 ft lower than Level 1 fairly uniformly along MBBB. Overall, Level 3 analysis results are considered more accurate and more robust. Hence, it is recommended to consider Level 3 results on the design of the proposed MBBB.
Bio: Mrs. Curto graduated from UCLA with a BSc in Civil Engineering. She worked as a water resources engineer in Los Angeles, CA for 5 years. She then moved to the Netherlands to pursue her graduate degree and graduated from TU Delft with a MSc in Hydraulic Engineering. She joined Mott MacDonald coastal practice in New Orleans, LA in June of 2015. She is a coastal engineer with experience in planning, designing, and implementing coastal engineering projects. She has experience with coastal processes analysis and modeling as well as design of coastal structures with an emphasis on wave modeling, wave loading, and project management.
Storm Surge Barrier Alternatives for Galveston Bay
Muhammad Enam, Arcadis
Co-Authors: Falcolm Hull
Storm surge due to hurricanes forming in tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico has always been a threat to the coastal Texas residents, communities and businesses. In 2008, Hurricane Ike struck the Galveston Island, causing damages worth of $28 billion and claiming 84 lives. To assess this constant threat and formulate mitigation measures, the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD) sanctioned a detail study which was funded by Texas General Land Office (GLO). As part of the study, hurricane storm surge modeling was performed for the Houston Ship Channel (HSC), also known as Bolivar Roads. The future threat from storm surge was evaluated in terms of expected still water elevation during hurricane coupled with future sea level rise and additional freeboard. It was decided that an effective storm surge mitigation for the Texas Gulf Coast must include a flood barrier across the HSC. Different alternatives for flood gates around the world were studied to find a suitable channel closure options which remain open during normal weather condition for ship traffic and tidal exchange through the HSC. A parallel study showed that a maximum of 840 ft. of channel width is required for two large ships to pass side by side, which necessitated a large span flood gate. A 1200 ft. wide floating sector gate, similar to the Maeslant Barrier in Netherlands, was chosen for this purpose. This gate required the design and construction of two large artificial islands within the HSC which would act as support and will store the gate leafs when the channel remains open for ship traffic. From an environmental standpoint, it was required that the maximum width of the channel is kept open for adequate tidal exchange which is essential for the ecological balance of the channel and the vicinity. The rest of the flood barrier, apart from the floating sector gate, constituted fifteen floating barge gates with 200 ft. span each, located in deep waters. On relatively shallow depths, twelve Vertical Lift Gates (VLG) were proposed. Closures In between monoliths of different types of gates was proposed to constitute of combi-wall system, which are essentially large diameter steel pipes filled with concrete or grout inside, having a battered steel pipe pile towards the protected side, and tied together at the top with a concrete cap. Time required to achieve full closure of the flood barrier was estimated to be six to seven hours prior to the storm. The estimated cost for the flood barrier was $3.7 Billion.
Bio: Dr. Muhammad Badre Enam, PE has been practicing structural engineering for more than seventeen years, with emphasis on flood control and mitigation work. He was heavily engaged in design of hydraulic structures, flood wall and flood gates in the New Orleans, LA area and vicinity after hurricane Katrina. Currently, he is engaged in many flood resiliency projects in New York area which started post tropical storm Sandy. Apart from flood mitigation projects, Dr. Enam is involved in projects related to dam safety analysis, Finite Element Analysis, bridge design, pump stations, municipal sewer stations etc.
NATURAL TEMPLATES FOR COASTAL RESILIENCY AND STORM PROTECTION: CAMERON COUNTY TEXAS
Steve Underwood, Neel-Schaffer, Inc.
Co-Authors: Mark Byrnes Peter Ravella
Specific strategies for coastal risk reduction were achieved through a combination of nature-based features (e.g., beaches and dunes) and nonstructural elements (e.g., land-use policies) to improve coastal resilience along South Padre Island in Cameron County Texas. Cameron County developed an Erosion Response Plan (ERP) to explore methods to improve the safety and welfare of the public and to reduce costs that result from damage to private property and public infrastructure due to chronic beach erosion and Gulf storms.
Dune conservation and management are critical components of the ERP for coastal resiliency and storm protection because sand exchange between the beach-dune system impacts long-term shoreline response, storm damages, and land use practices. Location of infrastructure (e.g., roads, utilities, dwellings) within natural coastal systems can compromise a systems ability to respond to storm and normal erosion processes. For example, Park Road 100, a state roadway along northern Padre Island, bisects the present natural dune system, is vulnerable to long-term shoreline migration, and constrains potential future development due to its location relative to active beach and dune sedimentation processes. Relocating the road would promote long-term public safety and provide accommodation space for beach/dune restoration and compatible inland development while reducing vulnerability to storms.
Based on projected shoreline position in approximately 30 years, the ERP risk reduction strategy included a number of recommendations: 1) a building setback line (BSL) to conserve a protected dune line and limit residential and commercial construction in high hazard areas; 2) a protective dune system based on average beach width determined from the Mean Higher High Water (MHHW) shoreline landward to the first line of vegetation; 3) natural dune morphology and topography quantified from 2013 lidar data; and 4) FEMA guidelines for protection against a single 100-yr storm event (FEMA, 2011).
Given natural dune dimensions in the project area, a storm protection dune was designed to have maximum slopes of 1:5, a minimum base width of 200 feet, a height of +16 feet NAVD88, and a crest width of 90 feet. Given these dimensions, restored dune volume above +11 feet NAVD88 (Base Flood Elevation [BFE]) would be approximately 575 cubic feet per foot width of dune face. FEMA (2011) recommends 540 cubic feet per foot width of dune above BFE to provide protection from a single 100-yr storm event. Consequently, the BSL would begin from the existing line of vegetation (approximately 110 feet from the MHHW) and extend 200 feet landward. In addition, a 30-foot buffer zone is included at the inland margin of the dune, to account for the dune naturally shifting inland (Psuty and Rohr 2000).
Bio: Steve is the Coastal Program Manager for Neel-Schaffer. He has more than 30 years of scientific, managerial and planning experience administering coastal initiatives for state government, USACE, and private companies. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from UNC-Wilmington, and master’s degree in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from LSU.
Accurate Coastal Risk Assessment Leveraging Precomputed Hazards and Artificial Intelligence
Jeffrey Melby, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center
Co-Authors: Victor Gonzalez, Norberto Nadal-Caraballo, Ronald Noble
Coastal storm risk has become a predominant national issue. Thirteen of the 14 most costly hurricanes with respect to dollar damage amounts have occurred in the last 14 years. Catastrophic coastal storm disasters in the U.S. are averaging one per year. Of the top five, three were in 2017 and totaled over $280 Billion in damage. Staggering coastal storm risk in the U.S. reflects the dramatic increase in coastal infrastructure, population and wealth over the last few decades.
Coastal engineering often requires climate, wave generation, wave transformation, surge, and circulation numerical modeling. This modeling is typically resource intensive. The result is that high fidelity numerical modelling is usually applied sparingly to a limited set of processes or statistical metrics, such as the 100 -year average return interval. Risk is usually defined as the product of the probability of collection of consequences and the consequences (cost). Risk assessment requires thousands of simulations to accurately capture the statistical range of consequences and this is not often feasible with high fidelity regional numerical models, such as basin-scale storm surge models. Artificial intelligence (AI) combined with precomputed high fidelity numerical modeling provides a transformative breakthrough making accurate risk assessment feasible.
Recently, the Coastal Hazards System (CHS) began publicly distributing comprehensive storm surge, total water level and wave responses by individual storm with storms spanning the reasonable probabilistic range. In addition, extremal statistics of responses and related epistemic uncertainties were computed. These data can be leveraged to accurately compute coastal storm risk. One of the primary contexts of Coastal Hazards System development included a risk assessment framework. This framework included methodology and software that retains the fidelity of the underlying high-fidelity numerical response simulations and associated joint probabilities but adds the contributions to risk from epistemic uncertainties including, for example, modeling errors. The methodology includes separate Monte Carlo sampling strategies, depending on whether the storms are extratropical or tropical. For extratropical storms, responses are sampled from the joint response distributions whereas for tropical storms, storms are sampled from the storm parameter joint distributions. Machine learning models are employed to synthesize new storms on the fly based on sampled parameters or to compute storm responses such as total water level or nearshore wave transformation. The result is that thousands of life-cycles of accurate coastal storm responses can be computed in minutes.
This methodology was employed for a beach morphology and rubble mound structure response study at Dauphin Island, AL. CHS tropical storms were sampled based on their joint probability yielding water level and wave responses spanning the full range of probabilistic responses including uncertainty just outside the surfzone. The wave, morphology response, and rubble mound structure responses for each storm were computed using CSHORE with stochastic inputs. Consequences from beach depletion and rubble mound structure breaching and resulting increased wave transmission in the lee were computed and characterized in a statistical context for risk assessment. The focus of the presentation will be on the framework and methodology and will include application-specific strategies.
Bio: Dr. Jeffrey Melby retired from the U.S. Army Engineer R&D Center (ERDC) in 2017 after a 30 year career and has just begun a 4 year position as rehired annuitant for ERDC. His research focused on coastal structures, coastal storm hazards, and risk. Dr. Melby led development of the Coastal Hazards System. His recent research focused on using machine learning models to accurately predict storm responses for emergency management or risk assessment. He is a member of the ASCE Coastal Engineering Research Council and has numerous awards including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Researcher of the Year for 2017 and the Bronze De Fleury Medal.
Preliminary Observations from the USACE Field Research Facility One Year after the 2017 Duck Nourishment
Alexander Renaud, USACE – CHL Field Research Facility
Co-Authors: Nicholas Spore Brittany Bruder Katherine Brodie
The USACE Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory’s Field Research Facility (CHL-FRF) has continuously collected data on the littoral zone of the Outer Banks of North Carolina for 40 years. Unlike many other populated east coast coastal beaches, the area around CHL-FRF has not been impacted by major beach nourishment projects (limited to relatively minor management actions, e.g. individual beach scrapes and fills). In 2017, however, the town of Duck completed a 2.5 km 1.3 MCY nourishment that tapered immediately to the CHL-FRF’s northern property line. Following the project’s completion, the area was impacted by heavy surf from Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria as well as numerous nor’easters over the winter. This nourishment has provided an unprecedented opportunity to utilize the CHL-FRF’s extensive instrumentation suite (including observations from two continuous lidar scanners, monthly mobile lidar surveys, 43-m Argus tower imagery, unmanned aerial system (UAS) imagery, monthly topo-bathymetric surveys, and an array of altimeters) to examine the evolution of a beach nourishment. Now, one year later, this talk will provide a look at preliminary observations of the nourishment within the context of the FRF’s historical record, with a particular focus on observations obtained by remote sensing technologies. Besides examining the processes governing beach nourishment evolution, the discussion will also address the pros and cons of using different remotely sensed technologies to develop a beach nourishment monitoring plan.
Bio: Alex Renaud has worked for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory at their Field Research Facility (CHL-FRF) since 2017. Prior to that he worked for CHL-FRF as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow at USACE Headquarters. Alex received his M.S. in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Between college and graduate school he worked in DC on science policy for several years.
ANALYSIS & DESIGN OF RESILIENT, NATURE-BASED PROTECTION FOR A COASTAL MARSH RESTORATION PROJECT
Ryan Waldron, Neel-Schaffer Inc.
Co-Authors: Eddie Kerr, Tina Sanchez, Vittor Barry
Prior to 1918, the mouth of the Fowl River migrated and opened directly into Mobile Bay 4,500 feet south-southwest of its prior location. The former mouth location transitioned into a purely tidal marsh, that is now known as the Salt Aire Property. This tidal marsh was formerly sheltered from the predominate wave direction by a peninsula of Goat Island, which was the former eastern bank of the fowl river; this peninsula has since almost completely eroded away. Now, the exposed salt marsh is currently unprotected from wind driven waves approaching from the strongest and most frequent wind directions. Over many years of exposure to unencumbered wave action from Mobile Bay, the now unprotected portion of the Salt Aire Property has eroded significantly, some locations retreating more than 200-ft. over the past twenty years.
This project consists of two key components. The first is the restoration of approximately one mile of shoreline through the creation of thirty (30) acres of intertidal marsh. The restoration includes placement of dredged sediments from Mobile Bay to restore the shoreline to its historical location, with connections to the property’s main existing tidal creeks and a new network of smaller tidal creeks. The project additionally includes a vegetative restoration plan.
The second component is the inclusion of Nature-Based features to ensure that the marsh will thrive over its intended life, designed with the intention of developing resiliency and providing for ecosystem restoration benefits. To achieve the protection and resilience of the restored shoreline, the design includes a series of overlapped, intertidal breakwaters. The breakwaters are located several hundred feet from the new shoreline to facilitate development of a protected, productive aquatic habitat.
To promote habitat creation and resilience, the intertidal breakwaters are constructed from interlocking, stackable, cylindrical, units composed of concrete specially designed to encourage oyster colonization and growth to facilitate reef development. Though the area has been known to have supported healthy oyster populations in the past, the project looks to ensure that oysters colonize the structures by installing components pre-seeded with oyster larvae/spat; thus, utilizing the tool of aquaculture for coastal resilience and restoration. By including the reef component, a source for future oyster larvae can develop in an area that has been over-harvested in the past. Further, the reef component will enable the breakwater to naturally expand vertically in response to sea level rise.
To understand the existing processes and evaluate the proposed solutions, analyses utilized a Delft 3D fully coupled Wave and Hydrodynamics + Morphology Model. Modeling was performed for both Future-Without-Project (FWOP) and Future-With-Project (FWP) scenarios for a 50-year period. The Model Domain comprises a 153 cell x 92 cell, Curvilinear Grid encompassing Mobile Bay and adjacent water bodies. Resolution increases as proximity to the project site decreases. The simulation of hydrodynamics, wind driven wave processes, salinity, and sediment transport; enable the model to calculate bed changes. The results indicate that the rate of erosion and offshore sediment transport will decrease after installation of the project.
Bio: Mr. Waldron is a coastal engineer with more than 10 years of experience planning, designing, and implementing coastal and water resources projects. He has extensive experience with hydraulics, hydrodynamics, hydrogeomorphology, ecosystem restoration and flood protection, and has provided modeling and design expertise to more than a dozen coastal projects.
The Dickinson Bayou Wetland Restoration-Adaptive Management Success
Jan Culbertson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Co-Authors: Philip Blackmar, Philip Smith
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) collaborated with over ten project partners including Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF), Texas General Land Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) and Coastal Conservation Association to design and construct a restoration project with a dedicated plan to restore 10 acres of estuarine emergent wetland habitat and to protect and enhance 18 acres of existing wetlands in Dickinson Bayou. This presentation will focus on the creative approaches applied to plant the project site as well as the ongoing monitoring and adaptive management strategies used to pursue project success after construction. Initially, HDR Engineering Inc. designed the project and construction was completed in August 2016. During construction over 130,000 cubic yards of sediments were hydraulically dredged from the bayou channel and placed in cells formed by constructed containment berms and the shoreline. Exposed boundaries of the constructed marsh were protected with concrete riprap and an additional living shoreline breakwater was constructed to protect existing marsh. While sediments were still settling to target elevations, project partners armored the earthen tidal channels with sand bags, and manually planted the containment berms using dibbles to help stabilize the sediments. They also applied a variety of planting strategies to ‘jump start’ wetland plant colonization in the interior wet areas. Initially, local Sea Scouts volunteered to harvest smooth cordgrass plants from the NRG nursery for project partners to plant interior wet areas by airboat, kayak, or by throwing root-bound clusters of plants from the berms. Later in spring 2017, local Girl and Boy Scouts volunteered to plant the containment berms during an Earth Day “Marsh Mania” event. In summer 2017, Student Conservation Association members planted the interior wet areas by floating in life jackets (dubbed “turtling”). Seeds were also collected from existing marsh in the fall, and germinated at NRG for spring distribution into interior wet areas. Overall 60,500 smooth cordgrass plants and thousands of seedlings were planted by the local community and project partners between 2016 and 2017. TPWD and GBF have continued to monitor settlement and plant survival, and plan to improve tidal exchange within the constructed marsh by removing the decant structures and replacing them with riprap lined tidal channels in 2018. This successful “partnership-based” endeavor has used creative and adaptive management strategies to restore and enhance wetlands along the shorelines of Dickinson Bayou and improve habitat for fish and wildlife in a vital watershed of the Galveston Bay Ecosystem.
Bio: TPWD employee since 1992. Earned Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University in 2008 while continuing to work in Ecosystem Resource Program of Coastal Fisheries Division. Earned Masters Degree in Forest and Natural Resources from University of Georgia. Expertise in Coastal Wetlands and Oyster Ecology. Project manager for Dickinson Bayou Wetland Restoration Project.
Coastal Structures for Protection and Restoration of Mangroves – The Guyana Experience
Ranata Robertson, University of Guyana
Co-Authors: Douglas Gaffney
Guyana is situated on the North Coast of South America on the Atlantic Ocean with a coastline of 459 kilometers. The shoreline is dominated by fine-grained sediments originating from the Amazon. Guyana’s coastline is approximately 1 meter to 1.5 meters below sea level at high tide, making it susceptible to sea level rise and storm surge. In the early 80’s, Guyana lost approximately 80% of its primary Sea Defence (Mangroves) due to several reasons such as increase anthropogenic activities, wave reflection, and cyclic movement of mud from the amazon which results in mud waves. The mud waves have a leading edge of “sling” mud which slowly densifies and allows the mangrove to flourish, and an erosive trailing edge which is accompanied by dramatic losses of mangrove. The extent of recession can be seen by the locations of old Dutch kokers abandoned in the sea. Approximately 90 % of the population resides on the country’s low coastal plain resulting in many areas being protected by secondary sea defence mechanisms such as concrete seawalls and rip raps. These coastal structures are costly to build and maintain for most third world countries.
The Guyana Mangrove Restoration Program (GMRP) has been working for the last eight years to restore mangroves by replanting. Replanting efforts have only been mildly successful since in many locations, the survival rate is low. It was recognized that some areas along the coast has higher wave energy than some. To combat this, the GMRP constructed low cost coastal engineering structures to help reduce wave energy. This presentation will focus on the use of two low cost costal structures for mangrove protection. The first structure is the Brushwood Dams which uses bamboo as piles to create offshore breakwaters. This concept was borrowed from the land reclamation structures used in Germany along the Wadden Sea. The second structure was built using Geotubes as offshore detached segmented breakwaters. The breakwaters were designed to reduce incident wave energy at the training edge of mangrove forest. The results of obtained through the implementation of these structures at three different mangrove restoration sites will be used for the analysis.
Bio: Ms. Robertson is a Lecturer at the University of Guyana (Faculty of Technology), responsible for the third and final year Civil Engineering students in the areas of Coastal & Environmental Engineer, Project & Maintenance Management, Project Management and Research Methodology. She has a Master’s Degree in Coastal Engineering & Management from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, 2015.
What’s It Worth? Valuation of Sand and Gravel Projects
This facilitated panel session will invite representatives from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State Agencies, local jurisdictions, and impacted stakeholders to discuss their different approaches to and valuation of sediment management.
Agencies at the federal, state, and local level are not always aligned when it comes to their engagement on sand and gravel projects. Nor are they often aligned with the diverse stakeholders who are seeking sand for projects or who may be impacted by sand mining efforts. Given the long-term increases in interest in sand resources in both state and federal waters, sand mining projects are increasingly at risk of confusion, miscommunication, and conflict once projects begin.
This panel will look at recent sand mining efforts and examine the experiences of the different parties involved in terms of what worked well and where issues or problems arose. This will entail looking at the processes of leasing and permitting the sand extraction, the extraction process itself and environmental impacts involved, the interests of the parties requesting sand resources, and the interests of other users of the resources (e.g., fishers, pipeline companies). The panel will explore each party’s particular perspective on and interest in sand mining, including how they value the resource economically, and how these difference influence the outcomes of sand mining efforts. The panel facilitator will encourage exchanges between the panel members to explore some of these differences, and also incorporate questions from the audience.
This panel hopes to identify specific areas of agreement and misalignment and help identify ways for improving coordination moving forward.
Living Rock Breakwaters
David Buzan, Freese and Nichols, Inc.
Co-Authors: Cris Weber, Tam Tran, Aaron Petty
Schicke Point is on the mid-coast of Texas in Matagorda Bay, roughly 12 miles north of the Matagorda Ship Channel entrance. It is the southeast point of Carancahua Bay at the confluence of Matagorda and Carancahua Bays. Erosion destroyed nearly 30 acres of marsh since 1993 and threatened a house on the point. Freese and Nichols’ client requested shoreline protection which would protect the shoreline, remaining marsh and create space and opportunity for marsh to reestablish.
A low, broad-crested rock breakwater, situated along the historical shoreline was designed, permitted and constructed to meet the client’s objectives. Permitting for the project was initiated with an all-hands meeting for state, and federal regulatory agencies and stakeholders: Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Galveston (USACE), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Texas General Land Office (GLO), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Texas Sea Grant.
The project was permitted as a living shoreline under USACE Nationwide Permit 27. It created over 3,281 feet of living shoreline protecting over 70 acres of intertidal marsh. The living shoreline design was intended to create hard substrate for reef dwelling organisms. It was particularly intended to encourage oysters to attach and tie together the breakwater, helping it grow with rising sea level. Young oysters were colonizing the living shoreline within three weeks after construction began. Subsequent post-construction monitoring has demonstrated oyster colonization, utilization by a variety of crabs, turtles and fish. This project helps understand ways in which rock breakwaters contribute to ecological health.
Bio: David is a biologist with Freese and Nichols, Inc. who has worked on water quality and quantity issues in Texas. He is a member of Freese and Nichols Coastal Group.
Cardiff Beach Living Shoreline Project – Encinitas, CA
Conor Ofsthun, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Rob Sloop, Kathy Weldon
Cardiff State Beach in the City of Encinitas has been identified as being extremely vulnerable to projected rates of sea level rise (SLR) and coastal flooding. In the past, high tides and high surf have caused over 42 road closures along this low-elevation barrier spit fronting the San Elijo Lagoon on which Coast Highway 101 (HWY 101) and numerous utility corridors are located. HWY 101 also provides critical protection for the San Elijo Lagoon and emergency access to Solana Beach. To protect against existing and future coastal hazards, the Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline Project (Project) was proposed by the City of Encinitas and received grant funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy. The City has contracted Moffatt & Nichol to design and permit the Project: a vegetated dune system, 60 feet in width and 2,900 feet in length. Components of the Project include:
The physical condition of Cardiff State Beach has been, and will continue to be dynamic in response to sea level, wave climate, and management efforts. Coastal model analysis for the proposed dune identified HWY 101 is overtopped during a 43-year wave event in 2050 high SLR scenario under the No Project condition. Under the same wave event, the highway is not overtopped until the 2100 high SLR scenario (NRC 2012) in the constructed Project condition.
However, it is expected that the proposed dune system will erode and require maintenance over time. A level of uncertainty exists on how this system will actually perform considering the pilot nature of this Project, future wave climate, and coastal management actions taken in the region (e.g., beach nourishment). Therefore, a robust monitoring program has been developed to study this system to both inform other coastal communities considering such adaptive measures and inform the maintenance and adaptation program for this Project.
This presentation will touch on the unique aspects of this green/gray, living shoreline Project, including feasibility studies, design, environmental permitting, construction, and planned maintenance and adaptation.
Bio: Conor Ofsthun is a coastal scientist at Moffatt & Nichol coastal engineering in San Diego, CA. He studied geological sciences and environmental studies in his undergraduate work, studied physical oceanography in his masters work, and has worked in living shoreline, sea level rise, remedial dredging, and environmental permitting projects with Moffatt & Nichol.
Oyster Reef Enhancement and Innovations along the Texas Coast
Cameron Perry, HDR Engineering
Co-Authors: Mark Dumesnil
Over the past 20 years, Texas bays and oyster reefs have been impacted by several major hurricanes, heavy harvest pressure, and numerous other stressors that have greatly reduced their populations and the overall acreage of oyster reef habitat. Traditional oyster reef restoration projects have been successful; however, they have continued to be impacted by the above reference stressors, particularly increased harvest pressure and siltation from storm event. As a result, The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with NRDA Trustees, Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries, and other stakeholders has been investigating methods to improve resiliency of reefs in several estuarine systems along the Texas coast.
The first project at Half Moon Reef utilized large cultch in reef rows to restore habitat to a highly degraded area. The 3-dimensional segmented reef complex included large stone that would be stable in storm events, elevated from the bay bottom to reduce sedimentation impacts, and also be less conducive to degradation by oyster harvesting. This project has proved successful and oyster habitat has thrived since construction. The large cultch used for the reef also creates secondary benefits by providing interstitial spaces between the rocks that can be utilized by juvenile fish and crabs, which enriches the biodiversity of the oyster reef and adjacent areas.
Subsequently, TNC has embarked on oyster reef enhancement projects in Copano Bay and Galveston Bay that will incorporate “sanctuary reef” similar in design to Half Moon Reef in association with areas of new reef more conducive to harvest from commercial fisherman. The harvestable reef design is also being adapted based on work by TPWD to provide more vertical relief, which will thereby increase resiliency from storms/siltation as well as lessening impacts from harvest pressure.
This presentation will discuss the new reef design concepts and their applicability within Texas Bay systems. The engineering aspects of the project that include site selection, design, and performance will also be reviewed. The Copano Bay project will be under construction during the time of the conference so an up to date assessment of the project can be presented. Long term monitoring strategies, goals, and performance metrics will be provided.
Bio: Mr. Perry is a graduate of Texas A&M University Galveston with a B.S. in Maritime Systems Engineering. He spent nearly six years working in Florida and the Caribbean on various beach nourishment and coastal projects. In early 2004, Mr. Perry joined HDR, Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas and now serves as their Coastal Practice Lead performing shoreline protection, beach nourishment, habitat restoration, and other coastal designs and monitoring reviews of projects around the country.
The Historical Progression of Rock Breakwaters as Living Shorelines at Moses Lake in Texas City, Texas
Taylor Nordstrom, AECOM
Co-Authors: Chris Levitz, Philip Smith, Tim O’Connell
The Moses Lake Shoreline Protection Project, which is a multi-phase bay shoreline erosion control project located in Texas City, Texas, has progressed towards completion for over a decade. The northwestern shoreline of Moses Lake is adjacent to Galveston Bay and abuts the Texas City Prairie Preserve, a habitat and wildlife conservation area managed by The Nature Conservancy. In what has become a common trend along the Texas coast, the compound effects of sea level rise and subsidence have degraded much of the Texas shorelines and exposed upland bay shorelines to the direct effect of wind and wake-driven waves. This has caused long stretches of coastal upland shorelines to erode directly into the bays. At Moses Lake, erosion has been occurring at an average rate of 2 to 3 feet per year since 1970, with many locations of accelerated erosion exceeding this. The preserve, one of the last remnants of native, tallgrass coastal prairie habitat remaining along the Texas coast, is home to a variety of threatened avian species, including white ibis, peregrine falcons, white-tailed hawks, and Forster’s terns. As the upland prairie is lost to open water, the birds and other wildlife supported by this habitat are also impacted.
In a collaborative effort between Galveston Bay Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Texas General Land Office, and other partners, spanning over ten years of planning and engineering, the Moses Lake Shoreline Protection Project has stabilized over 4,200 linear feet of coastal prairie shoreline from erosion and created approximately 2.5 acres of estuarine marsh by using a living shoreline approach. The project is currently in its third phase of implementation, which will protect an additional 6,000 feet of eroding uplands (construction is anticipated to be complete in summer 2018). The project has been constructed using a variety of engineered approaches, including: construction from land, construction from water with and without temporary flotation channels, natural sedimentation of marsh cells prior to planting, beneficial use placement within marsh cells prior to planting, and contractor-led and volunteer-led marsh plantings.
This presentation will describe the ecological significance of the Texas City Prairie Preserve and detail the three existing phases of work, as well as proposed continuation of the restoration initiatives. It will also document the progression of shoreline, breakwater, and habitat responses over more than 10 years of post-construction site development and monitoring. In doing so, the presentation will give a portrait of the long-term site development that can be expected during the integration of a rock breakwater or living shoreline into the native marine environment in which it is constructed. The presentation will also describe design considerations and best practices for tailoring living shoreline concepts to the environmental conditions of ecologically sensitive sites to enhance coastal natural habitats, provide benefits to resident and migratory species, and improve the overall resiliency of the coast.
Bio: Ms. Nordstrom is a coastal engineer who is passionate about enhancing the resiliency of the Texas shoreline, with experience working along the entire coast, and particularly in the Galveston Bay area. Her experience includes engineering design, restoration and monitoring, construction oversight in marine environments, coastal flood modeling, and planning. She currently is assisting with the production of the Coastal Resiliency Master Plan for the State of Texas and several ongoing living shoreline projects within Texas.
How Much Sediment Was Delivered to Galveston Bay from Hurricane Harvey, where did it come from and how contaminated was it?
Victoria Bartlett, Texas A&M University-Galveston Campus
Co-Authors: Anthony Knap, Krisa Camargo, Mason Bell
Hurricane Harvey delivered 100-135 cm of rain to the Galveston Bay watershed in 5 days. The highest of this rainfall was delivered across the heavily urbanized and industrialized bayous that drain into the upper reaches of Galveston Bay, primarily from Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River and the San Jacinto River end estuary. The San Jacinto River and most of the other bayous that drain Houston only flooded for 7 days. However, controlled releases from the Barker and Addicks Reservoirs (BAR) into Buffalo Bayou, 50 km to the west of the confluence with the San Jacinto River, resulted in a 50-day flood through the center of Metro Houston and the heart of the petrochemical complex. Analyses of cores collected prior to and after Hurricane Harvey revealed that ~50 cm of sediment within the lower San Jacinto estuary was scoured, excavating sediment with extremely high levels of mercury and other legacy contaminants, resulting in the export of
~1 ton of mercury. There was a new, ~20 cm thick new flood deposit formed within the San Jacinto estuary. Analyses of a series of ~75 push cores collected across Galveston Bay (GB) revealed that Hurricane Harvey deposited ~141 million tons of sediment within GB and this sediment contained ~6.1 tons of mercury, in average, tripling the surface concentration of mercury in the sediment. It is estimated that ~5 tons of the mercury deposited in GB came from the scoured sediments of Buffalo Bayou.
Bio: Victoria is in her second year as a Master’s student in the Marine Resources Management Program at Texas A&M University at Galveston. After graduation in May 2019, she will continue on as a PhD student in Oceanography. Some of her most notable research and professional opportunities include: interning at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in 2017, participating in cruises aboard the R/V Pelican as a research scientist, and working as a lab assistant in the Coastal Geology Lab under Dr. Tim Dellapenna.
3x3x3 or 3x3x9: Comparison between USACE’s SMART Planning Process and HUD’s Rebuild by Design Post-Sandy Coastal Flood Resiliency Feasibility Study and EIS Project
Rahul Parab, Dewberry
Following the 2012 Hurricane Sandy, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition inviting communities to craft pioneering resiliency solutions. As one the winners, HUD awarded $230 million to the State of New Jersey for the “Hudson River Project: Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” (RBDH) project located in the municipalities of Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City that are vulnerable to flooding from both coastal storm surge and inland rainfall events. In June 2015, the State of New Jersey engaged Dewberry to assist NJDEP to carry out a feasibility study and perform an Environmental Impact Statement on the RBDH project. Dewberry utilized portions of the USACE’s SMART Planning process with the integration of the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) framework with the feasibility study. With the use of innovative planning and community engagement techniques, the feasibility study and EIS were integrated to together during the entire project delivery. By October 2017, the Record of Decision (ROD) was obtained for this project with extensive input from the community and local leaders. The project intends to minimize the impacts from flood events on the community, while providing benefits that would enhance the urban condition, recognizing the unique challenges that exist within a highly developed urban area. The presentation will showcase the methodology, challenges, opportunities and the tools used by the team to develop innovative flood risk reduction strategies in a dense urban environment that would provide the communities with a flood risk reduction system that blends into the urban fabric of the community. The presentation will compare the similarities and differences between USACE’s 3x3x3 framework and HUD’s Rebuild by Design Hudson River project with best practices that could be used on other USACE projects.
Bio: Mr. Rahul Parab is currently the Assistant Department Manager and the Resiliency Group Director in the water group in Dewberry’s New York City office. He has over 15 years of professional and academic experience from planning to design and construction on various types of water related infrastructure in riverine and coastal environments. Mr. Parab has led multi-disciplinary planning and design projects for a range of clients including
FEMA, USACE, the states of New Jersey and New York, New York City, and other states/ local governments. Prior to moving into the New York area after Superstorm Sandy, Rahul worked in various engineering capacities in Jacksonville, Florida, for a coastal and water resources engineering firm and in Vicksburg, Mississippi, for a construction shipyard that fabricated offshore oil rigs. Rahul is a water resources engineer with a strong desire to give back to the community through his engineering profession. He is leading multiple resiliency projects in New York and New Jersey such as the Rebuild by Design project and Red Hook Integrated Flood Protection System. He has a B.S in Civil Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India and a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo, Ohio.
Locally Funded Flood & Storm Damage Reduction Projects to Achieve Community Resilience: Dare County, NC
Kenneth Willson, APTIM
Community resilience is a measure of the sustained ability of a community to use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations. For coastal communities in northern Dare County, North Carolina, storm damage and flooding caused by coastal storms is one of the primary adverse situations they need to respond to and withstand. In the 1990’s the federal government recognized the threat faced by northern Dare County communities and began the process of designing a federal hurricane protection and beach erosion control project. This project was eventually authorized by Congress in 2000. However, in the decade that followed, the local sponsor (Dare County) and local communities saw minimal efforts made toward implementation of the project due to a lack of federal funding and a price tag that was impracticable for many of the local communities expected to cost share in the project.
In the wake of the successful performance of a beach nourishment project at the northern Dare County Town of Nags Head during Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy 2012, the Towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills partnered with Dare County to design and construct locally funded flood and storm damage reduction projects. Through a unique partnership between the local municipalities and Dare County, these three communities in northern Dare County collaborated with APTIM to design offshore borrow areas and permit their projects, while achieving the unique design goals that each community had established for their Town’s individual project. The three Towns and County also coordinated closely to bid the projects as one contract as a means to achieve significant cost-savings. Combined, these projects costs topped $40 million, which was entirely locally funded (no federal or state funds). The collaborative way in which these projects were implemented achieved a level of cost-savings that allowed each community to build unique projects that would have otherwise been unachievable for them to build individually.
This presentation will discuss the motivating factors each Town faced that lead to a decision to pursue the locally funded flood & storm damage reduction projects; specific overlapping services that were cost-shared and conducted for the projects; how these projects have contributed to community resilience; and how these projects serve as a model for other communities looking to achieve a higher level of community resilience.
Bio: Ken Willson is a client program manager for APTIM. Since 2003, he has assisted coastal clients in Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana on coastal restoration and inlet management projects. His broad knowledge base of coastal geology, engineering, environmental science, policy, and finance has allowed him to assist numerous clients with designing, permitting, and constructing a wide array of beach and inlet management projects. He earned a BS and MS in Geology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a Coastal Engineering Certification from Old Dominion University. Mr. Willson resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with his wife Ali and their 4 children.
Utilizing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for Monitoring Dredging-Induced Sediment Plumes in Environmentally Sensitive Waters
Daniel Barone, Michael Baker International
Co-Authors: Kelly Megan, Yi-Cheng Teng
The New Jersey Department of Transportation-Office of Maritime Resources (NJDOT-OMR) is the state agency responsible for maintaining the State Marine Transportation System, which is comprised of 217 navigation channels totaling over 225 miles of New Jersey’s coastal waters. NJDOT-OMR has consistently implemented maintenance dredging efforts to manage safe navigation since its inception. However, NJDOT has not been able to fully understand the impacts of dredging to adjacent waters during active operations which is a concern for the State’s environmental regulators. To address this data gap, the implementation of UAS technology has allowed for rapid, high-resolution, imagery/video collection at project level scales. In coordination with NJDOT-OMR and WSP, Michael Baker developed an experimental dredge monitoring project to photograph sea state conditions using UAS at ebb and flood tides from three separate viewpoints at a pilot dredging project, located in Barnegat Township, NJ, to establish baseline water visibility/turbidity during a variety of sea state conditions. Flights were conducted using a DJI Inspire 2 (equipped with an X5S 20.4 MP RGB Sensor) during active dredging and placement operations over the course of several days. Aerial UAS flights were flown to take high resolution photos and video before, during, and after dredging and placement operations. Deliverable images were collected in a manner to limit reflectivity of the water surface and enhance the visibility of underwater structures and sediment plumes (if any) and video was taken 4K resolution. In order to quantitatively determine baseline water visibility during dredging operations, Michael Baker coordinated with academic researchers at the Stockton University Coastal Research Center’s (CRC) to deploy custom submerged turbidity monitoring targets at consistent depths proximal to the dredging area The researchers deployed the targets with their research vessel during dredging operations. Deliverables for the UAS monitoring project were still images and video of at least four time periods (2 tide stages and 2 sea states) to capture additional dredging operation viewpoints. An additional deliverable included a spreadsheet summarizing an analysis of imagery to determine whether turbidity monitoring devices were visible in the still images collected by the UAS. Preliminary data show that the extent of increased turbidity is limited near dredging operations, but plume extents are influenced by several conditions including: 1) wind speed and direction, 2) tidal currents within confined or unconfined waterways, 3) the sediment grain size being dredged, and 4) local boat traffic disturbing bottom sediments during dredging operations. The project was a cost-effective solution for aiding NJDOT-OMR’s understanding of how suspended sediments in the water column due to dredging operations can impact any environmentally sensitive areas adjacent to a dredging project.
Bio: Dr. Barone serves as the Environmental & Water Resources Department Manager at Michael Baker International’s Hamilton, NJ Office. He holds a bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marine Science and Instructional Technology from the Stockton University and received his PhD in physical geography from Rutgers University in 2016. Dr. Barone has nearly 15 years of experience with coastal processes, spatial data analysis, remote sensing, and modeling. He also has professional certifications as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) and Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP).
Spatial Variability of Relative Sea Level Rise Along the Texas Coast
Philippe Tissot, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Co-Authors: Philippe Tissot, Anthony Reisinger
When planning coastal infrastructure, future water levels are an important consideration. Changes in water levels are the result of a combination of sea level rise (slr) and vertical land motion. The combination is referred to as relative sea level rise (rslr). While upcoming rates of global sea level rise are a topic of intense research, vertical land motion is just as important for our coastlines and often the larger component of total rslr for the Northwest Gulf of Mexico. The large scale spatial variability of rslr along the US shorelines has been well documented based on long time series collected at NOAA’s National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) tide gauges. Along the Texas coast rslr rates are higher in the North, e.g. 6.3 +/- 0.2 mm/yr for Galveston Pier 21, and lower in the South, e.g. 3.8 +/- 0.4 mm/yr for Port Isabel. In addition to the NWLON stations, Texas benefits from its own network of tide gauges, the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON). The number of TCOON stations has grown and fluctuated over the years since its inception in the early nineties and presently includes about 30 stations with more than half of them with time series of 20 to 25 years. While substantial, these time series are still a little short to apply classic trend analysis to estimate rslrs with sufficient precision. Given the high density of the Texas tide gauge network, a technique was developed to take advantage of their correlated weather and ocean current driven variability leading to substantially narrower confidence intervals. After quantifying and removing their common low frequency oceanic signal rslr confidence intervals were reduced from over 1.9 mm/yr, on average 2.3mm, to less than 1.1 mm/yr, on average 0.7 mm/yr for 2003-2016 Texas Coastal Bend time series. For this part of the Texas coast, the resulting rslr rates ranged from 3.0 to 8.4 mm/yr, wider than the longer-term rates of 5.3, 3.8 and 1.9 mm/yr measured from North to South by the three NWLON stations covering this area (over different and longer time spans). The results obtained for the Texas Coastal Bend are further compared with other locations along the Texas coast. The differences are discussed in the context of their local coastal geological setting. The results emphasize the importance of the spatial variability of the vertical land motion depending on the type of coastal infrastructure considered. Coastal geological features, infrastructure and fluid extraction such as groundwater and oil and gas pumping can lead to changes in vertical land motion at the kilometer or few kilometers scale. The significance of a 4 mm/yr rslr difference is discussed in terms of changes in inundation frequency, particularly inundations related to relatively small surges labeled nuisance flooding including comparing the time span to reach a probability of at least one nuisance flood event per year.
Bio: Philippe Tissot is the Associate Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute and an Associate Research Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. His research is focused on the analysis and prediction of coastal processes. Studies have included the modeling and impact of relative sea level rise, subsidence and storm surge at the regional scale, the development and implementation of predictive models supporting navigation and coastal management, tidal studies and local hydrodynamic models. His research has often included the development and application of machine learning models.
Sea level rise and storm surge vulnerability analysis for the Texas coastal resiliency planning
Claire Pollard, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies
Co-Authors: Mukesh Subedee, Marissa Dotson, James Gibeaut
The Texas coast is vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal flooding because it is a low-lying coastal plain with gently sloping topography and eroding coastal environments. In addition, local land surface subsidence is increasing the risk of sea level rise by enhancing the reach of storm surges and tides further inland. Furthermore, it is estimated that the population living within Texas’s 18 coastal counties will increase by 52% from 2010 to 2050, reaching 9.3 million. Given the increasing vulnerability of the Texas coast, this study assesses the impacts of sea level rise and associated enhanced storm surge to better understand the relative susceptibility to negative impacts on the natural and built environments. This study is part of the second publication of Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, an ambitious coastal planning effort by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) to make the Texas coast more resilient to hazards. This study employs the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to project the possible effects of sea level rise on coastal habitats under 1 meter of global sea level rise scenario by 2100. The relative component of sea level rise is determined on a regional basis by deriving an average trend from long-term records of coastal tide gauges. The coupled hydrodynamic storm surge model, ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) and Simulating Waves in the Nearshore (SWAN), is used to identify the threat posed by storm surge and nearshore waves to people and the ecosystem in the current and 2100 environment. Five synthetic Category 2 storms making landfall near to the major bay system or city center across the Texas coast are modeled with ADCIRC+SWAN for both current and 2100 environments. The 2100 surface and land cover predicted by SLAMM is used as representative of future elevations and land cover type for input to the ADCIRC+SWAN model. In addition, three synthetic Category 2 storms are modeled with select potential restoration projects built out to simulate how the implementation of certain projects and strategies may mitigate negative impacts. Furthermore, the storm surge inundation grid obtained from ADCIRC+SWAN model with current and 2100 environment is input to HAZUS-MH to estimate potential building and infrastructure losses due to the coastal flooding caused by the selected hurricanes in current and 2100 environment. Results from this study will help state, local, and federal decision makers understand the value provided by the coast, the inherent risks the coastal communities face, and the opportunities available to manage a dynamic coastal environment in a more resilient manner.
Bio: Claire R. Pollard is a Coastal Geoscientist in the Coastal and Marine Geospatial Lab at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. She received her BS in 2009 from Texas State University with honors in Physical Geography and a minor in Photography, and her MS in 2017 from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Environmental Science. Her current work as a coastal geoscientist in the lab involves modeling wetland conversion due to storm surge and long-term sea level rise on the Texas coast.
DHI MIKE Modeling for Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Strategy Development in Virginia Beach, VA
XIAOHAI LIU, Dewberry
Co-Authors: Brian Batten, Rahul Parab, Siva Sangameswaran
Like many coastal cities, Virginia Beach is experiencing increasing impacts from sea level rise-driven recurrent coastal flooding. The city is situated in the Hampton Roads region, which is subject to the highest rate of historical sea level rise on the east coast. The city and its surrounding communities are emerging as leaders in engaging in developing a robust response to sea level rise and increased rainfall intensity. In support of Comprehensive Sea Level Rise and Recurrent Flooding Analysis (CSLRRF) for the city, Dewberry is developing a toolkit of flood risk reduction strategies comprised of both policy and engineering measures to improve both short- and long-term resilience to these issues.
A critical step to determine the effectiveness of coastal flooding protection structural alternatives is to assess potential impacts on water levels. The dual-threat of coastal surge and rainfall-induced flooding requires a mathematical model that can simulate hydrology, hydraulics and coastal hydrodynamics. Apart from evaluating the reduction of water levels from the structural alternatives, such models also helps us to evaluate the potential adverse impacts of alternatives during a coastal, rainfall or a combined coastal and rainfall event that are known to co-occur. For the CSLRRF, a two-dimensional (2D) coastal hydrodynamics model was developed using the Danish Hydraulic Institute’s (DHI) MIKE21 software to evaluate the coastal storm surge conditions. Additionally, a combined stormwater and coastal conditions model was developed using DHI’s MIKE FLOOD program to assess flooding within the study area from rainfall events. The model was first validated with historical storms, and then utilized to evaluate flooding effects of coastal storm surge in the No-Action alternative and various coastal flooding protection structures build alternatives during a 10-year and 100-year level storm events. Scenarios of combined coastal surge with 10-year rainfall event and future sea level rise were also simulated.
Our presentation will provide a case study example of how numerical models are applied to support the design of coastal protection alternatives. We will highlight lessons-learned from the challenging application in Virginia Beach, which has numerous flood sources from open-ocean, estuarine, and back-bay environments, along with history of coincident surge and rainfall events.
Aspects of this effort were funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Coastal Management award number NA16NOS4730011.
Bio: Dr. Liu is a registered professional engineer with more than 10 years research and consulting experience in water resource and coastal engineering with specialty in numerical modeling. He has led and developed hydrodynamic, wave, and sediment transport and water quality models for multiple projects through the states. Dr. Liu has a strong background in computation fluid dynamics and extensive expertise with various hydrodynamic models and programming languages.
Modeling of flood hazards and mitigation from coastal storm surge, riverine, precipitation and sea level rise
Tianyi Liu, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
Numerical approaches have been applied to study the combined flood hazards and mitigation plan at Westport, Connecticut. A number of different computer programs was used to further the understanding of flood and mitigation at the site. The coastal storm surge combined with sea level rise was modeled using the hydrodynamic model ADCIRC based on a large scale high-resolution finite element mesh for a series of return periods. The combined flood hazards from coastal storm surge, riverine and precipitation were simulated using the small scale site-specific hydrodynamic model FLO2D. As an important infrastructure to mitigate flood hazards, the stormwater system was integrated to the simulation by the model SWMM, and the coupled model FLO2D+SWMM was used to simulate the mitigation effects of the current stormwater system for the multiple flood hazards of coastal storm surge, riverine, precipitation and sea level rise. The reduction of flood depth by the stormwater system was estimated, and the flood intrusion pathways and vulnerable areas for accumulating inundation at the site were identified. The functions and improvements on the stormwater system for flood mitigation plan were assessed as part of the study.
Bio: Tianyi Liu is a Coastal Engineer in GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.. He has a background in Ocean and Coastal Engineering, and has experiences in projects including wave modeling, sediment transport modeling, hydrodynamic modeling, storm surge modeling, and data analysis. He received MS and PhD in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering from University of Florida.
Five Key Elements for a Sustainable Beach Nourishment Program
Tim Kana, Coastal Science & Engineering Inc
Co-Authors: Tim Kana, Haiqing Kaczkowski, Steven Traynum
Beach nourishment is increasingly the preferred method for maintaining eroding beaches along developed coasts. Although the goal and outcome are generally the same from place to place—add sand and create a wider beach—the underlying causes of erosion tend to be site-specific (Dean 2002). As a result, beach nourishment performance and longevity fluctuate greatly, often with uncertainty of outcome. To increase the probability of success in projects and drawing from 30 years of experience, the authors apply five key elements at the preliminary design phase, which have enabled development of credible plans at an early stage in each project.
1) Rigorous shoreline inventory of coastal processes and geology.
2) Development of a volumetric erosion database.
3) Preparation of geomorphic models of the principal sand transport pathways, sources, and sinks.
4) Determination of a target beach condition consistent with the financial resources of the community.
5) Identification and preliminary confirmation of quality borrow sources within economical distances.
States or countries which have an extensive database and detailed studies of coastal erosion and littoral processes have a distinct advantage because this provides a framework to place a prospective nourishment site in a larger context of the regional setting. The authors draw heavily on the rich history of coastal erosion studies in the Carolinas by numerous researchers before developing specific plans for projects.
Because nourishment involves volumetric measures, underlying erosion rates should be evaluated in volumetric terms. Linear shoreline change rates are generally inadequate predictors of post-nourishment performance. Before developing a plan or implementing numerical simulations, the authors prepare conceptual models of sand transport and utilize nearby healthy beaches to establish target conditions and dimensions for nourishment (Kana et al 2015). This illustrates in simple form the understanding and interpretation of the controlling processes at a site.
While economics ultimately drives designs, the five key elements listed will improve the chance of success and predictions of performance whether the project, for the budget available, is expected to last one year or more than a decade.
Dean, RG. 2002. Beach Nourishment: Theory and Practice. World Scientific, NJ, 399 pp.
Kana, TW, HL Kaczkowski, and SB Traynum. 2015. An empirical approach to beach nourishment formulation. Chapter 4 in YC Kim (ed), Design of Coastal Structures and Sea Defenses, Vol 2, Series on Coastal and Engineering Practice, World Scientific, pp 105-144.
Note: This Abstract was withdrawn after acceptance for the 2017 ASBPA Conference so that a CSE visiting scientist could present. It is based on Chapter 38 in the Handbook of Coastal and Ocean Engineering (YC Kim, ed) World Scientific 2018.
Bio: The authors are principals in the firm, Coastal Science & Engineering, Inc. (CSE), based in Columbia (SC). The paper will be presented by Dr. Tim Kana, founder and president of CSE, who has directed over 40 beach nourishment projects since 1984. Kana received the ASBPA’s Morrough P O’Brien Award in 2015.
Winnapaug Pond Dredging and Beach Nourishment: From Contract to Construction in 4 Months
Jesse Baldwin, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
Co-Authors: Hande McCaw, P.E.
Late in the Summer of 2017, the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island was notified that $2.1M was available in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to dredge sediments deposited in Winnapaug Pond (connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Weekapaug Breachway) during Superstorm Sandy. Removal of storm-deposited sediments would enhance tidal circulation in the pond benefitting commercial oyster farms and improve recreational navigation. Dredged sediments could then be beneficially used to nourish Town beaches and/or to restore degraded marshes in Winnapaug Pond through thin-layer deposition. The town was also informed, however, that if construction was not initiated within 220 days, funding would be re-appropriated to projects in the Gulf repairing damage from Hurricane Harvey. With the permitted Rhode Island dredge window ending on January 31, the project needed to be designed, permitted, bid, awarded, and constructed within four months. Having completed draft permits for the project in 2015, GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. was contacted by the Town of Westerly to undertake the highly compressed timeframe and bring the project to fruition. During the following four months, the Project Team coordinated closely with the town, permitting agencies and stakeholders to design a project that would be permittable and constructible within the timeframe available. With design, permitting and bid procurement occurring concurrently, the Project Team needed to redesign the project several times to respond to agency concerns including a complete redesign after the contractor had begun mobilization. Ultimately, a scaled-down dredging and beach nourishment project was completed before the end of the permitted dredge window in late January of 2017 assuring remaining federal funds could be used for future phases of work. With federal funding still available, the Town and GZA are planning a second phase of the project including a larger dredge volume and beneficial use of this sediment to restore degraded marshes within Winnapaug Pond and nourishment of other town beaches.
Bio: Jesse Baldwin is a Project Manager at GZA in Providence, Rhode Island and a Coastal Geologist with over seventeen years of experience in the civil and private sectors. He started his career at the USACE Field Research Facility in Duck, NC surveying beach topography and nearshore bathymetry atop the Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy (CRAB), observing and recording oceanographic conditions, and deploying oceanographic instrumentation. Since entering the private sector, Mr. Baldwin has worked in the environmental consulting, coastal engineering and marine geophysical survey industries on projects including shoreline erosion assessment, beach nourishment, coastal restoration, living shoreline design, and offshore wind development.
Waikiki Beach Emergency Erosion Control Using Rapid Deployment
Thomas Stephens, TenCate
Co-Authors: Dolan Everson, Troy Ogasawara
Waikiki Beach is world famous. Prior to the 1900’s Waikiki was the shoreline retreat of the Hawaiian royalty, but today it is the iconic destination of millions of tourists from all over the world in a highly altered coastal environment. Waikiki is the economic engine for the Hawaiian economy, responsible for generating approximately $2 billion per year to the local economy. Therefore, protection this most valuable resource is paramount. However, over time, and due to repeated shoreline alterations, Waikiki beach has experienced erosion, leading to the construction of a wide variety of shoreline structures such as groins, seawalls, and breakwaters with the beach requiring repeated sand replenishment.
Since the 1920’s, over 300,000 cubic yards of sand have been brought to Waikiki from other Hawaiian sources. However, importing stopped in the 1990s and the preferred use of local sand from offshore sources for replenishment is limited leading to a perceived sediment deficiency and subsequent beach erosion in Waikiki. Managing what sand is there is critical and a primary goal of the new beach management plans for Waikiki. In the summer of 2017, a critical and central section of Waikiki, known as Kuhio Beach, experienced severe erosion resulting in the exposure of dirt and clay fill causing water quality problems. Stabilizing the remaining sand and preventing the erosion of the fill is critical, especially considering the continuation of the observed increase in water levels locally that are accelerating beach erosion.
These beach management problems have caused state, local, and private officials to seek innovative and rapid deployment methods to stabilize the area by eliminating beach loss due to seasonal high tides (known locally as King Tides) and wave runup. In December 2017 the City and County of Honolulu, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association (WBSIDA) partnered to expedite an emergency response to this erosion. The WBSIDA funded a pilot program to install Sand Filled Mattresses (SFM) as an innovative rapid solution to protect and stabilize this critical area of Waikiki Beach impacted by local erosion. An SFM is a sand colored geotextile composite that is filled with sand and captures the sand on the surface for a natural look and feel. This was a critical requirement for any erosion protection installed on Waikiki Beach. Working with the City of Honolulu Parks Department personal and with GeoTech Solutions supervision, a 200’ section of beach was protected by installing a Sand Filled Mattress. The SFM has suppressed the erosion of the dirt fill and greatly improved public safety in the highly transited beach area with a more stable and textured “ramp” for accessing the beach area. This paper will present the decision making to install the SFM, the performance, and the installation of a second SFM on another Hawaiian beach to provide the same protection and appearance.
Bio: Tom Stephens holds a BBA degree from Angelo State University and has spent the past 38 years developing marine projects around the globe including artificial Amwaj Islands in Bahrain and developing product solutions for marine shoreline applications such as Geotube(R) technology.
La Quinta Terminal Aquatic Habitat Mitigation Project
Kyle McElroy, Mott MacDonald
Co-Authors: Luis Maristany
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has adopted, as a part of the 404-permit process, a policy which allows offset of project impacts through in-kind mitigation. Meeting these mitigation requirements for construction of coastal projects is often challenging task which requires careful planning and design. To address these requirements, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PCCA) were tasked with creating 6.6-acres of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) habitat and 19.2-acres of shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) habitat as mitigation for the PCCA La Quinta Terminal Project. This challenge was approached by constructing the 200-acre Beneficial Use Site 6 (BUS 6) using new work (non-maintenance) dredged material through several phases that included: placement of dredge materials into BUS 6, the reworking of placed materials, the re-use of dredged material from an upland dredged material placement area (DMPA), and planting of marsh vegetation and shoal grass. Mott MacDonald was contracted by the Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PCCA) to perform the planning, design, and construction oversight for the creation of over 12 Acres of Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) habitat and 20 acres of shoal grass habitat (Halodule wrightii), the largest known actively planted seagrass mitigation project in Texas. This presentation summarizes the work conducted by Mott MacDonald as part of the La Quinta Terminal Aquatic Habitat Mitigation Project.
In 2014/15 as part of the deepening of the adjacent channel, additional new work materials were strategically placed in BUS-6 for creation of estuarine marsh habitat. In 2016 as part of the La Quinta Aquatic Habitat Mitigation Phase I project, PCCA and Mott MacDonald re-used these materials to create Habitat Berms constructed and planted at elevations conducive to survival and propagation of smooth cordgrass. In 2017, during Phase II, material from an upland DMPA was beneficially re-used by hydraulically pumping it across the adjacent navigation channel to construct additional Habitat Berms and a geotextile-covered earthen Protection Berm to shelter the new marsh habitat from erosive waves and currents. Hurricane Harvey occurred immediately after construction, far exceeding design conditions for the berms, but the Protection Berm withstood the storm, which incurred no loss of new marsh habitat, with minor and easily reparable damage.
Bio: Kyle McElroy is a coastal engineer at Mott MacDonald. She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and received a Master’s through the European Joint Program Erasmus Mundus course in Coastal and Marine Engineering and Management. Her experience includes dredging, shoreline stabilization, habitat mitigation, and passing vessel hydrodynamics projects.
The role of Sargassum macroalgal wrack in reducing coastal erosion
Rachel Innocenti, TAMU
Co-Authors: Dr. Rusty Feagin, Dr. Thomas Huff
Sea level rise and increased frequency of high-energy storms are contributing to the retreat of coastlines, impacting both natural features and coastal communities. “Soft solutions”, or natural alternatives to engineered structures, have gained popularity in beach erosion mitigation; however, the effect of wrack on beach erosion remains an understudied option. The objective of our study was to test if a globally-distributed macroalgae, Sargassum spp., could act as a natural solution to moderate coastal erosion. We used a flume and increasing volumes of sargassum to consider three erosional processes at specific locations of the cross-shore profile: wave formation offshore, scouring velocity in the swash zone, and erosion on embryonic dunes. As the quantity of sargassum increased, the measureable attributes of these processes were reduced in a strongly significant manner, with large amounts of sargassum linked to 12.40% wave attenuation, 50.43% scouring velocity reduction, and 98.94% dune erosion reduction. Even with the lightest covering of sargassum tested, embryonic dune erosion was reduced 5.5% when compared to the control. These results indicate sargassum, and likely many other types of wrack, are a viable resource to help mitigate daily beach erosion.
Bio: Rachel received her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Texas in San Antonio before beginning her Master’s in the Ecosystem Science and Management department at Texas A&M University, College Station. She recently transferred into the PhD program of her department and is excited to continue her research on coastal ecosystems, especially beach and dune environments. Rachel is interested in the contributors to coastal erosion and developing successful mitigation methods that preserve ecosystem structure and function.
Mapping Future Coastal Erosion Due to Sea Level Rise
Jeremy Mull, AECOM
Co-Authors: Brian Caufield, Lauren Klonsky, Elena Drei-Horgan
Coastal erosion is a hazard that threatens lives, property, and resources along much of the US coastlines. Erosion is generally expected to accelerate due to future sea level rise, putting more areas at risk. Although many agencies have investigated future coastal flooding and inundation due to sea level rise, in regions few have addressed the related but distinct hazard of future shoreline retreat in some specific regions. This is important to highlight because there are several communities at relatively high coastal bluff elevations that are not directly vulnerable to future coastal flooding per se, but are directly vulnerable to future coastal bluff retreat. To help address the risk that erosion poses, the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) recommended that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) begin to produce maps and other products that can help communities plan mitigation actions and ultimately reduce risk.
In response to TMAC’s recommendations, Compass completed a pilot study for FEMA to develop projected coastal erosion hazard maps due to sea level rise in the New England area for several future time periods. The purpose of the pilot study was to develop a technical methodology to analyze historical trends in shoreline change, evaluate multiple future sea level rise projections and timeframes, estimate future erosion rates, develop maps of future coastal erosion hazard areas, and synthesize a technical approach that could be expanded to other areas. The future erosion forecasts are detailed and incorporate differences in shoreline geomorphology (e.g., sandy beach and dune versus erodible coastal bluff), which are important to consider as not all shorelines will respond in the same manner to sea level rise. Sandy beaches will generally erode more quickly than bluffs. In addition, the study incorporated statistical analysis of long-term historical trends in shoreline change (e.g., erosion versus accretion). This is also critical as currently eroding beaches will most likely erode more rapidly than accreting beaches in response to sea level rise. The maps consider multiple sea level rise scenarios and future timeframes to provide stakeholders with key information for planning. The study is currently expanding to include an additional 500 miles of shoreline in New England.
This presentation will review some of the important technical aspects of the study and demonstrate why these are critical in developing accurate future coastal erosion forecasts. The presentation will also summarize the key results and erosion forecasts. Finally, there will be a discussion on how communities might implement and use the maps. It is hoped that future studies such as this one can provide information on an important, but understudied risk.
Bio: Mr. Mull is a coastal engineer with 7 years of consulting experience during a 10 year career in coastal engineering and science. He has a diverse background in engineering, physical oceanography, and coastal geomorphology. At AECOM, he has participated in a variety of projects focused on coastal vulnerability to flooding and inundation, sea level rise and climate change adaptation, tsunamis, structure design, coastal erosion, and shoreline restoration. Mr. Mull is interested in using engineering to help communities and agencies understand and prepare for the hazards associated with erosion, long-term shoreline change, sea level rise, and tsunamis.
Coastal Roads: Using Failure to Strengthen Resiliency
Garland Pennison, HDR
Co-Authors: Bret Webb
Application of systems engineering advances understanding necessary to manage community risks in developing effective models that reduce uncertainties of coastal hazards and improve engineered systems reliability. Ongoing research at University of South Alabama along with other teaming partners is supported by grant funding from Colorado State University (CSU) Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning, a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) funded Center of Excellence. A geospatial model under development named INCORE will allow users to optimize community disaster resilience planning and develop post-disaster recovery strategies intelligently using physics-based models of interdependent physical systems combined with socioeconomic systems. In support of the geospatial model, a Galveston Test Bed Model developed by the coastal hazards research team assessed coastal hazards and infrastructure fragilities in Galveston, Texas. The coastal hindcast simulation model for Hurricane Ike included the Gulf of Mexico and extended into back bays of Galveston and Chambers counties, as well as portions of Brazoria, Harris, and Jefferson counties. Researchers at South in collaboration with Rice University identified that modified gravity wave cumulative celerity dispersion functions, using cumulative water surface elevation and wave period hourly peak intensity measures (IMs) for overtopping flows, strongly correlate in predicting road damage along County Road 257 (CR 257) on Follet’s Island in Brazoria County, Texas. Empirical dispersion functions strongly predict damage risks for coastal roadways subjected to coastal storm surge and wave hazards. CR 257 had significant damage at various locations during Hurricane Ike in September 2008. Cumulative peak hourly water surface elevation, wave period, and current velocity output from a hindcast ADCIRC+SWAN model was assessed using modified celerity dispersion functions relative to measured distance between roadway and shoreline and cumulative overtopping flow velocity IMs. These intensity measures provide a strongly correlated model for predicting likelihood of roadway damage as will be presented at the ICCE 2018 conference. This presentation provides an overview of the hazards modeling effort applied to coastal transportation infrastructure and the successful application of dispersion functions to CR 257 in predicting damage and even the degree of damage. Visual evidence of damage extents recorded by others and correlation to the predictive model demonstrates how systems models can be used to predict and mitigate the likelihood of damage to critical infrastructure. Time integrated functions also inform as to when and how damage likely occurs. Presentation provides coastal practitioners and agencies with a systems approach utilizing the likelihood of failure to assess and modify critical function design parameters to stay within critical threshold failure limits; and in so doing, improve resiliency of critical coastal roads and associated infrastructure.
Bio: Senior civil and environmental engineer with over 38 years’ experience in project planning, engineering and management of civil and coastal engineering projects. He is a native of coastal Louisiana from Morgan City, LA and resident of Lafayette, LA. He is employed by HDR as a senior project engineer assigned to the water resources (coastal) business group. Garland is a doctor of science systems engineering student at the University of South Alabama with studies focused on coastal transportation systems in collaboration with the CSU Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning funded INCORE research program.
Hurricane Florence Effects and Preliminary Lessons Learned for Bogue Banks Beaches, NC
Johnny Martin, Moffatt & Nichol
Bio: Johnny Martin has been serving as a Coastal/Hydraulic Engineer with Moffatt & Nichol for over 24 years. He received both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Coastal Engineering/Water Resources from North Carolina State University. During his tenure at M&N, he has spent a majority of his time involved in both coastal engineering design and hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for projects on both US coasts and internationally.
Hurricane Ike Building Survival on the Bolivar Peninsula: The Importance of Freeboard
Spencer Rogers, North Carolina Sea Grant
Co-Authors: Lauren Rosul, Casey Dietrich, Andrew Kennedy
In 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall over the Galveston Bay Entrance. Coastal development on the Bolivar Peninsula, primarily piling-supported, single-family houses, was impacted by the right front quadrant of the storm, creating storm surge and wave conditions that exceeded the predicted 100-year return periods. Four thousand surveyed buildings on the Peninsula have been analyzed for survival or failure versus modeled and gaged-measured storm surge and wave conditions.
Several storm surge/wave models and pre/post-Ike FEMA flood maps were compared to USGS pre-storm deployed gages. ADCIRC storm surge and wave modeling was reasonably verified by gages near the Gulf shoreline. However, based on the gages and building damage, overland wave decay was much faster than predicted without significant wave regeneration. Pre- and post-Ike flood mapping was a less accurate fit.
Building damage was initiated when waves reached the lowest shore-parallel structural component above the piling, usually the bottom of floor joists. Field observations suggest that individual failures occurred before the wave elevation reached the floor elevation, less than 1 foot above initial contact. The community scale analysis found near 100% failures when waves reached 3 feet above the floor elevation.
The obvious key factor in avoiding building failure due to surge and waves on the Bolivar Peninsula was adequate freeboard to avoid wave impact on the elevated foundation.
Bio: Coastal engineer/geologist extension specialist with North Carolina Sea Grant focused on coastal processes, hurricane-resistant construction, marine construction and coastal management. Adjunct Research Associate with the University of NC-Wilmington Center for Marine Science and the Dept. of Civil Engineering at NC State University.
Modelling pluvial, fluvial and marine flooding as a result of Hurricane Irma for Jacksonville, FL
Kees Nederhoff, Deltares
Co-Authors: Tim Leijnse, Maarten van Ormondt, Ap van Dongeren
Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic since Katrina (2005) and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005. About 400 miles north of Hurricane Irma’s first landfall in South Florida, the coastal city of Jacksonville was severely flooded due to heavy rain, local wind set-up in the St. Johns River, and a record storm surge.
A modelling chain with advanced numerical models Delft3D-FLOW (Lesser et al., 2004) and WAVE (SWAN; Booij et al., 1999) shows good skill in hindcasting the water level variations, wave heights, as well as the high water marks at Jacksonville. The model results suggest that the combined effect of coastal storm surge, local wind set-up in the St. Johns River and severe rainfall led to the large-scale compound flooding of Jacksonville and the resulting damage.
Current generation coastal flood early warning systems are often not designed to take into account the compound effects of pluvial, fluvial and marine flooding (e.g. ADCIRC + SWAN model from Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment group; http://nc-cera.renci.org/).Moreover, the advanced models applied in these systems are computationally demanding and can therefore not be used in probabilistic real-time forecasting applications in order to include uncertainty in e.g. the hurricane track.
An alternative approach that aims to optimize the computational demand and required physics is the SFINCS (Super Fast INundation of CoastS model). SFINCS solves a set of simplified depth-averaged shallow water equations (Bates, 2010), in which the horizontal viscosity and advection terms are neglected. The model is typically two orders of magnitude faster than combined Delft3D-FLOW/SWAN simulations, while producing very similar flooding results. The paper will demonstrate the contributions of pluvial, fluvial and marine flooding as well as the applied modelling strategy.
Bio: Kees Nederhoff received his MSc. from Delft University of Technology in 2014, where he investigated the morphodynamics (erosion and sedimentation) near buildings using XBeach. He has been working at Deltares since 2015 as a coastal engineer and geomorphologist, advising coastal development and flood risk projects. Since then he has been involved in several national and international (e.g. U.S.A., EU, West-Africa) projects, and has gained broad experience in the application of coastal modeling software such as Delft3D and XBeach. Over the years Mr. Nederhoff obtained experience in several coastal research topics including tidal reproduction, storm surges, wave propagation, tropical cyclones and risk assessments.
COASTAL RESILIENCY: MULTI-TIER PROTECTION SYSTEM & RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY – Six Cat 4-5 Storms and 19 Years of Data
Robert Sloop, Moffatt Nichol
Co-Authors: Jackie Brower, Matt Trowbridge, Johnny Martin
North Atlantic hurricanes pose a significant threat to Caribbean islands and their low-lying coastal communities through storm surge, long period swells, coastal flooding, and long duration wind and rain events. The increasing intensity and frequency of these damaging storms and rising sea levels require advances in the traditional approaches to coastal protection systems and risk management strategies. Adaptation strategies for coastal locations that do not have the option of mitigated retreat due to the significant infrastructure investment require innovative and tailored solutions to combat the threat of these storm events. In this paper, an 20-year case study of a Caribbean island Resort evaluates a long-term cumulative process of providing coastal protection solutions in stepped tiers and assessing their effectiveness over six Category 4-5 hurricanes (Lenny, 1998; Omar, 2008; Earl, 2010; Matthew, 2016, Irma 2017, Maria) and the 2018 Bomb Cyclone.
The Four Seasons Resort, Nevis employs half of the island’s population and is a lead contributor to the island’s main revenue stream, tourism. Resort closure due to storm damages results in significant losses for the island government and community (e.g., loss of 40% GDP due to Hurricane Lenny closure).
The multi-tiered coastal protection system for the Resort resulted in several unique Project features, including:
The current coastal protection system at the Resort is the result of storm response and proactive damage prevention induced by the four Category 4 storms. The engineered solutions in response to the storms are outlined as follows:
Hurricane Lenny (1998)
Hurricane Omar (2008) – Hurricane Earl (2010)
Hurricane Matthew (2016)
Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Bomb Cyclone (2018)
The level of post-storm damage dropped significantly as a result the multi-tier system approach and subsequent coastal protection installations. It was found that the greatest Return on Investment for protecting Resort infrastructure was to increase dune elevations, resulting in a 20-fold decrease in wave overtopping volumes. Design, construction, and performance evaluation of all Project elements and their respective response to storms will be presented in the paper. Furthermore, the results of the 2017 hurricane season are in and being analyzed, as is the 2018 Bomb Cyclone. This site has been actively studied and managed for almost 20 years and provides a wealth of resiliency data.
Bio: Mr. Sloop has more than 20 years of experience in the coastal and oceanographic engineering that has encompassed planning, detailed design, economical evaluation, project management, field data collection, regulatory support, stakeholder outreach, and construction observation. Many of his projects have been located in remote locations in developing countries and required innovative solutions to develop design criteria and construction solutions without the use of typical construction means and materials. Typical projects have included, beach nourishment, marinas, piers, docks, revetments, groins, breakwaters, boat ramps, and wetland restoration. His field data collection experience includes wind/wave data collection, underwater structural inspection, underwater biological observations, side-scan sonar, vibracore sampling, sub-bottom profiling, and jet-probing. Sloop has been the lead engineer and project manager on the subject project since 1989.
Living Shoreline and Island Restoration Case Study: Ocean City, New Jersey
Matthew Henderson, PE, Anchor QEA, LLC
Co-Authors: Travis Merritts, PE, Ram Mohan, PE, PhD, F.ASCE, Eric Rosina
The Great Egg Harbor River Estuary is located along the southern New Jersey coast in Cape May County, New Jersey, and includes open water, salt marsh, mudflats, and sandy shorelines. The open-water portions of the estuary comprise several bays interspersed with small uninhabited islands and intertidal channels that separate areas of shoreline marsh habitat. Throughout the last 80 years, Shooting Island, a bay island, has experienced significant degradation. In some areas, the shoreline has receded up to 60 feet.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant project proposed by the City of Ocean City focuses on wetland restoration and shoreline restoration intended to enhance coastal resiliency and result in a reduction of storm impacts. More than 150-acres of tidal wetlands will be restored and protected following completion of the restoration program.
The project includes the following main components: 1) construction of 3,200 linear feet of living shoreline rock sill to protect the existing marsh and allow for further development of marsh on the island; and 2) construction of 1,900 linear feet of living shoreline using oyster habitat components.
This presentation will describe the coastal engineering evaluations that were performed, including detailed hydrodynamic and wave modeling, to select the restoration alternatives. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.
Bio: Matthew Henderson has more than 20 years of coastal engineering and project management experience throughout the United States. His areas of expertise include coastal and dredging engineering, hurricane surge modeling, wave modeling, hydraulics and hydrodynamics, shoreline evaluations, sediment transport, and beneficial use of sediments. He has specialized expertise in modeling hurricane storm surges for bays and estuaries throughout the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. He has led sea level rise and coastal vulnerability assessments along the East Coast. Mr. Henderson has also modeled and designed living shoreline and wetland projects along the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
Cliff McCreedy, National Park Service
Co-Authors: Cliff McCreedy
National parks provide various levels of natural resilience to coastal flooding, such as drainage and dissipation of storm surge and flood waters via beaches, wetlands, and soils, and wave dissipation via oyster reefs and coral reefs. In many places, these parks offer rare, undeveloped shorelines along our densely populated, vulnerable coasts, providing the public with significant recreational and economic benefits in addition to natural flood control. This presentation will review specific examples of restoring and protecting living shorelines and natural systems in parks. The roles of science and policy will be explored in evaluating hazards and the geologic and hydrographic settings, and arriving at solutions that comply with National Park Service mandates. Collaborative planning and partnerships with state and federal partners has involved challenges and led to success in achieving mutual goals.
Bio: Cliff has led a distinguished career in the Department of the Interior, National Park Service and at the US Environmental Protection Agency where he received the Silver Medal for Superior Service. In the nonprofit sector, Cliff created innovative public-private partnerships with industry and academia. As program lead in Washington, DC for the Park Service, he coordinates agency-wide ocean policies and provides technical assistance to ocean and coastal parks on shoreline management and restoration and other areas of expertise.
Geosynthetic Tubes in Response to Natural Hazards
Robert Creel, HUESKER Inc.
Co-Authors: Charmaine Cheah, Robert Creel
According to the Swiss Reinsurance Company (SWISS RE), the number of natural catastrophic events have almost quadrupled (appx. 50 to 200 events) since 1970 to 2017. The economic losses were approximately USD 330 billion in 2017. These were mostly due to severe storms, hurricane, wildfires, floods and other weather related events in Europe, North America, the Carribeans and Oceania. For example, the coastal regions of USA have been seriously impacted by hurricanes notably in 2017, for instance Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria (HIM). The impact of these storms did not only cost lives, but also severely eroded the shoreline and the dunes. Mitigation remedies are highly sought after by engineers and designers. In the winter of 2013, months after reinforcing the dune system with the construction of a geosynthetic tubes, Hurricane Xaver skirted Northern Europe. It was noted that the protected dune managed to withstand the aggressive attack of Hurrican Xaver with minimal damage. Comparison can be made with the adjoining unprotected dunes. The unprotected dunes were badly scathed, up to 10 m of sand deposition. Large amount of money in reconstruction can be saved by the timely installation of geosynthetic tubes. Hence, it is evident that the use of geosynthetic tubes is a cost-effective solution in response to natural hazard, especially in storm related event. This paper will report on the design, installation and the use of geosynthetic tubes as response to natural hazards. In addition, theoretical background of geosynthetic tubes and some case studies will be discussed in the paper.
On the application of the sediment tracing technique in shoreline management
Kevin Black, Partrac Ltd
Co-Authors: Jack Poleykett, Matthew Wright, Patrick Friend
In the USA, and at numerous other locations world-wide, beaches with high recreational and economical value are under threat from a variety of anthropogenic and natural pressures including coastal squeeze, land subsidence and climate change, and multi-use. Regional authorities, environment protection agencies and consultants are increasingly being required to adopt a holistic, system-wide appreciation of beaches and their associated coastal cell systems in order to effectively manage these recreationally, economically and environmentally important assets. ‘Particle tracking’, or as it is also known ‘particle’ or ‘sediment tracing’, providing certain assumptions are satisfied, offers a practical methodology for the assessment of transport pathways of beach-face and coastal sediments, and is one of a range of tools available to increase the science evidence-base of beach conservation programs.
In 2007 Black et al. published a comprehensive review on the use of sediment tracing in coastal sediment management applications. Since this time various innovations and developments (scientific, logistic, cost-benefit) have moved the technique forward, and more studies have been conducted worldwide. This paper takes a considered look at the key areas of change and improvement within the field of sediment tracing since 2007, and discusses how the technique can be effectively applied to address key questions in the shoreline management and preservation arena.
Bio: Dr Kevin Black is a geological oceanographer with over 30 years of experience within industry and academic research. He is one of the UK’s leading experts in coastal and shelf sea sedimentary processes, with extensive field experience and over 40 peer reviewed publications. Kevin is Technical Director of Partrac Ltd a specialist survey and consultancy firm headquartered in the UK.
Lessons Learned from Two Inlet Management Studies in West-central Florida
Ping Wang, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Jun Cheng, Zachary Westfall, Mathieu Vallee
This presentation summarizes lessons learned from two recently completed inlet management studies along the west-central Florida coast. The first study involved John’s Pass and Blind Pass, both heavily structured and regularly maintained with relatively detailed historical data. The second study involved Pass-A-Grille and Bunces Pass inlets, with Pass-A-Grille modestly structured and Bunces Pass mostly natural. For John’s Pass and Blind Pass, longshore sand transport plays a dominate role in inlet-beach interaction, while at Pass-A-Grille and Bunces Pass, cross-shore sand transport plays an equally important role as longshore transport due to its location at the mouth of Tampa Bay with rich sediment supply.
Various lessons have been learned from these two inlet management studies due to the quite different conditions and management history as described above. In this presentation, we will present the lessons learned in the following common inlet management study tasks including: 1) characteristics of sediment distribution, 2) morphologic evolution; 3) morphodynamics as controlled by longshore sand transport only as opposed to both longshore and cross-shore transport; 4) numerical modeling and model calibration and verification; 5) development of sediment budget with quantitative time-series morphology data and without; and 6) management alternatives and recommendations.
These two inlet management studies represent two quite different cases. Our findings should be applicable to a wide range of cases.
Bio: Ping Wang is the director of the Coastal Research Laboratory and a Professor at the School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida. Wang obtained his Ph.D. in Coastal Geology from the University of South Florida in 1995. Wang’s research interest includes: coastal sedimentary processes, nearshore sediment transport, nearshore wave and current dynamics, coastal morphodynamics, coastal engineering and management, numerical modeling of coastal environments.
Chasing Paleochannels for McFaddin’s Beach Nourishment Sand Source
Beau Suthard, APTIM
Co-Authors: Kelly Brooks, Jeff Andrews, Quin Robertson
Significant volumes of beach compatible sediments offshore the Texas coastline are located in paleochannels. Paleochannels are historic channels that were created during past shoreline transgressions (seaward migration) and filled with sand during past shoreline regressions (landward migration). The shoreline migrations were largely controlled by changes in sea level. Searching for paleochannels is a departure from the sediment sources located in central and eastern Gulf of Mexico, where a majority of sand searches have focused on submerged sand ridges that are identified as a morphologic feature on the seafloor. Although beach compatible sediments for Texas are located in flood and ebb shoal complexes, the McFaddin project has focused on paleochannels to minimize transportation distances. Locating paleochannels requires the collection and interpretation of sub-bottom data.
Geotechnical and geophysical data were collected to identify sand sources for the McFaddin Wildlife Refuge beach nourishment project in Jefferson County, Texas. The study area was located in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately one and one half (1.5) miles offshore of the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, and approximately six (6) miles east of the western Jefferson County border. The project extent for the nourishment includes approximately 19.5 miles of the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge shoreline located between the western border of Sea Rim State Park in Jefferson County and the eastern border of Galveston County along McFaddin Beach.
Concurrent magnetometer, sub-bottom profiling, sidescan sonar and bathymetric surveys were collected along 285 statute line miles at a combined line spacing of approximately 20 meters (66 ft). Thirty-one (31) vibracores were collected, logged, sampled and analyzed. Sub-bottom data were correlated with the vibracore data to further constrain the sub-bottom interpretation of the borrow area deposit’s surficial geology. The sub-bottom data indicated clay deposits along with multiple paleofluvial channels containing mixed sediments and sandy deposits. A borrow area was developed that contained beach compatible material along with areas of overburden. The total volume of the sand deposit within the potential borrow area was approximately 4.13 million cubic yards (mcy). Only 858,000 cubic yards were extracted from the initial design during the 2017 beach nourishment project, but the 4.13 mcy included areas that are not accessible due to oil and gas infrastructure. APTIM analyzed the existing sub-bottom data to identify additional potential beach compatible deposits. This analysis provided the basis for 30 additional vibracores to confirm sediment type and locate the maximum amount of beach compatible material within the study area. The vibracores are planned to be collected in May 2018. This talk will discuss the vibracore results and the updated sand search plan when data become available.
Bio: Beau manages APTIM’s marine geophysical operations. A graduate of Eckerd College and the University of South Florida with degrees in Geological Oceanography, Beau is responsible for the coordination, execution, and processing of APTIM geophysical and geotechnical investigations. In over 13 years with APTIM, Beau has conducted numerous sand search and geohazard mapping projects in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean (offshore North and South American), and the Indian Ocean offshore Africa.
The application of an active sediment tracing technique to assess the efficacy of nearshore placement of dredged material for beach nourishment purposes
Jack Poleykett, Partrac Ltd
Co-Authors: Kevin Black, Matthew Wright, Patrick Friend
Typically, beach nourishment programs are designed to ensure shoreline integrity and to provide a quasi-continuous, socio-economic and coastal defence asset. The overarching aim of nourishment programs is to emplace sand directly on, or near to, an eroding shore to restore form, and maintain a protective and/or an aesthetically pleasing recreational beach. Recent interest by USACE and others in the beneficial use of dredged material for beach nourishment is focusing on the placement of such material in nearshore berms or ‘sand motors’, rather than direct placement on the beach. We provide an example of an active sediment tracing technique employed to determine the efficacy of nearshore placement of dredged material for beach nourishment in a proposed beneficial use project in Northeast Scotland.
At Montrose, Scotland, on-going coastal erosion is of significant concern to regional government, major stakeholders, and the local community. An investigative program was commissioned by the local authority to assess the efficacy of nearshore emplacement trial of locally derived dredged material to recharge/re-nourish the shoreline. Partrac instigated a multi-tool approach to better understand local oceanographic conditions, and the stability and sediment transport pathway(s) of emplaced dredged material. To determine the spatio-temporal distribution of the material following disposal, an active sediment tracing technique was adopted, utilising 2000 kg of specially designed tracer material with both a fluorescent and ferrimagnetic signature. The tracer, which physically and hydraulically matched the properties of the disposed material, was introduced to the seabed within the nearshore placement area. Post introduction, an extensive sampling campaign monitored the redistribution of the tracer material (by tides and waves) both sub-tidally, and onshore. In situ wave and current measurements were recorded to contextualize and better interpret the study findings.
The study unequivocally confirmed the existence of postulated onshore sediment transport pathways from the placement area to the beach. The identification of tracer material in the nearshore, and on the beach face, provided validation that proposed sub-tidal, nearshore placement of dredged material, for nourishment purposes, may well contribute to a cost-effective, ‘soft engineering’ management option. Further, the use of dredged material to feed sediment from the sub-tidal placement area to the foreshore, to assist with shoreline management, showed great potential benefit as a ‘best practicable environmental option’ for the disposal of dredged material. This study fulfilled a key objective, namely the provision of robust, empirical evidence, critical for ongoing shoreline management and stakeholder engagement.
Bio: Dr Jack Poleykett is a Marine and Coastal Geoscientist at Partrac Ltd, a UK based marine survey and consultancy company who specialize in marine data acquisition and the delivery of oceanographic, environmental and geoscience survey. Jack’s primary areas of interest are coastal zone management, coastal engineering and environmental assessment. He specializes in sediment transport dynamics and has expert knowledge in utilizing sediment tracing techniques for the purposes of sediment transport pathway, and fate, evaluation.
Modeling To Inform Climate-Smart Habitat Restoration
Matt Shultz, Woods Hole Group
Co-Authors: Long Xu, Bob Hamilton, Peter Phippen
To support the Comprehensive Coastal Resiliency Enhancement for Great Marsh Upper North Shore, MA, modeling tools are being developed which will help provide the essential technical basis for making decisions to improve the overall long-term resiliency of the Great Marsh System. Hydrodynamic and salinity models are being developed and applied to understand existing conditions, impacts of storms and sea level rise on the existing system, and to evaluate restoration alternatives most likely to expand habitat and improve the system resiliency in a changing climate. A focus of the initial modeling effort is on the Plum Island Bridge Crossing and whether alleviating the anthropogenic bridge restriction may yield substantial gains in ecological restoration, and if surrounding infrastructure would be more susceptible to flooding with an increased tidal exchange. The model will be able to inform stakeholders about the potential flooding risk, determine the resultant restoration levels (salinity and tides) from the proposed changes, and provide design guidance for the appropriate marsh elevations and infrastructure design. Wave and sediment transport models are also being developed for the coastal barrier beach side of Plum Island to characterize littoral transport processes and patterns of erosion and accretion along the island.
The models will provide planning and engineering decision support tools to identify and prioritize projects for further evaluation, while also providing a baseline for future potential projects (e.g., identification of other tidal restrictions within the system where future restoration projects may be considered). Model output will further inform the need for adaptive management, monitoring, and evaluation of future additional scenarios for improving and/or restoring the overall barrier beach and marsh system.
Bio: Matt Shultz is a Senior Coastal Engineer at Woods Hole Group.
The growing importance of Adaptive Management in the face of climate change
Natalie Snider, Environmental Defense Fund
Co-Authors: Suzanne Hart, Robert Glicksman
The uncertainties of climate change increases the importance of integrating adaptive management into coastal resiliency and restoration projects, especially during the regulatory and permitting process. George Washington Law, in partnership with EDF, recently completed a case law review of adaptive management and NEPA. The review found few existing court cases discussing the use of adaptive management to handle the future effects of climate change. The cases found demonstrated that utilizing adaptive management to deal with climate change issues is likely to be upheld so long as the monitoring, triggers and mitigation measures are sufficiently specific. In Oregon Wild v. Cummins (2017), the District Court of the District of Oregon noted that in one particular instance, adaptive management might have been the only way to meet NEPA compliance, and it is possible that other courts may see the use of adaptive management in the climate change context this way in future cases.
In order to be an effective tool for NEPA compliance, adaptive management must be understood and embraced by the agencies implementing coastal resiliency and restoration projects. There are numerous enablers and inhibitors of adaptive management from an agency perspective. This presentation will provide an overview of the case law review and describe challenges and solutions to agency implementation.
Bio: Natalie Peyronnin Snider is the Director of Science Policy at the Environmental Defense Fund. Prior to EDF, Natalie worked on the Coastal Master Plan at CPRA and served as the Science Director for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. She has a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries, a MS in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and is currently pursuing a PhD in Marine, Estuarine Environmental Sciences at the University of Maryland.
ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATIVE COASTAL ENGINEERING METHODS FOR MORE RESILIENT COASTLINES IN THE FACE OF RISING SEAS
Thomas Pierro, APTIM
Co-Authors: Lindino Benedet, João Dobrochinski
This presentation will provide both international and domestic examples of adaptive management and innovative coastal engineering solutions in light of rising seas and increased storminess.
The Dutch have long been known as innovators of coastal protection in both the development of tools for analysis and implementation of adaptive management. Situated on a deltaic river platform, innovative strategies were inevitable because 2/3 of the Netherlands is below sea level and 65% of the country’s GDP comes from these areas. In the late 1950s, the nation embarked on a strategic protection initiative for the Dutch coastline referred to as the “Delta Works,” which has resulted in some of the most advanced technologies for flood protection that still exist today. Recent decades have also seen an increase in beach nourishment efforts in the Netherlands due to a Dutch law passed in 1990 to “hold the line” at all costs. As a result, sand placement efforts have increased to an average of 16M cubic yards per year with some innovative placement methods. For example, the “Sand Engine” project was completed in 2011 with 28 million cubic yards placed as a high-density, cross-shore fill to create a large-scale feeder beach.
Other countries have also adopted unique methods to combat storm surge, some of which follow a Dutch-like approach. For example, there are floodgates being installed at three inlets in Italy to protect the City of Venice in a multi-billion dollar construction estimated to take 20 years to complete. Likewise, the rotating floodgate technology utilized by the Dutch at the Port of Rotterdam have been incorporated into the locks and surge barriers designed to protect the cities of New Orleans and Houma in Louisiana. Smaller scale innovations such as temporary baffles, geotextile tubes, sand bags, and customized pile and panel systems are also being used in flood prone areas for site-specific protection.
The State of Florida has well-defined regulations with respect to innovative technologies designated by statute under Florida Administrative Code in Rule 62B-41.0075, titled: “Experimental Coastal Construction.” State regulators review permit applications in accordance with all applicable provisions of this chapter and several special criteria for implementation of experimental coastal construction involving new technologies. The project must also be supported by adequate scientific, engineering, and design theory or data demonstrating that it has the potential to provide a positive benefit to the coastal system and is not expected to result in a significant adverse impact following installation.
In locations where beach nourishment is already being implemented in a programmatic manner, adjustments can be made over time through successive renourishment events to cope with sea level rise and storm impacts. While the search for innovation is appropriate and complementary in building more resilient coasts, governments and industry must work together in considering innovative technologies to ensure that the overall health of the coastal system is preserved.
Bio: Thomas Pierro is the Director of Operations for APTIM’s Coastal Restoration group, managing staff, business development, proposals and providing technical oversight for coastal projects. Mr. Pierro has broad experience in project management, feasibility assessments, project planning, design and permitting, engineering and modeling, plans and specifications, field investigations, construction administration, and monitoring studies of coastal engineering projects. He has both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Ocean Engineering from FAU in Boca Raton, FL. Since 2001, Mr. Pierro has worked for APTIM on many shore protection, beach nourishment and marine structure projects throughout the gulf region and east coast of the U.S.
From the Sand They Rise: The Recolonization of Coastal Dune Blowouts Post-storm
Bianca Charbonneau, University of Pennsylvania
Co-Authors: Brenda Casper
Disturbances are frequently the impetus for habitat change, but this is especially true at the land-sea interface. In coastal dunes that buffer upland areas, dynamic flux is the norm, and wind events, especially major storms, have the potential to drive change by denuding once vegetated microhabitats and creating hollow blowout depressions. These blowouts are considered ephemeral, ripe for recolonization, and inherent among coastal systems, both recently storm-affected and ‘healthy’, worldwide. However, we do not understand on what timescale recolonization operates or what factors control the rate and magnitude of localized changes associated with further erosion or vegetated stabilization. Since Superstorm Sandy, October 2012, we have conducted a yearly census of blowouts created by the storm along a 3km stretch of a model barrier island coastal dune system, Island Beach State Park, NJ. We use a Trimble GeoXT Explorer 2008 to map the outermost vegetated blowout edges as a macroscale metric of extent change. We are also exploring extent shifts directionally within quadrants defined by compass direction as it relates to wind direction. Similarly, at the microscale, we are following vegetation demography and changes in substrate depth within 22 2-m radius census plots, at the interface of a vegetated foredune and a blowout within it. Thus far, we have taken census of these plots in Sept 2016, June 2017, and Oct 2017. After Sandy, there were 55 blowouts of various sizes and shapes within the foredunes. As of 2017, 29 of these 55 have become colonized and 26 remain unvegetated though their extents have changed. Distinctly new bowls have been created each year and fragmentation of existing bowls from colonization has also occurred. The edges of bowls have been changing location over time primarily due to vegetation encroachment via clonal growth, with negligible germination from the seedbank. Results show that the smaller the blowout, the more ephemeral it will be. Within the census plots, we see that the number of plants varies between growing seasons, but does not change within a growing season, June to October. Substrate stability and blowout extent shifts are likely coupled with wind forcing dictating where vegetation is able to root and survive. Understanding the controls on dune recolonization in a natural setting has implications for management with dictating planting locations as well so for understanding how habitats will likely change and evolve as a function of increasing disturbances related to climate change.
Bio: I am a fifth year PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Biology Department studying coastal dune ecology, specifically how coastal dunes respond to and recover after episodic storm events. I grew up just far enough away from the coast in New Jersey to make it a real treat to visit and now I get to go all the time. I am working to fill in existing and acknowledged knowledge gaps in our understanding of how dune systems function ecologically with emphasis on how plant-soil feedbacks affect dune geomorphology.
Hydrodynamic Forcing on a Dredge Material Beneficial-Use Mud Dike Adjacent to a Shipping Channel
William Fuller, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Jens Figlus, Tim Dellapenna, Rusty Feagin
As recent as 2012, roughly 150 million cubic meters of sediment required dredging from U.S. waterways annually. Over 95% of this material was further assessed to be environmentally safe for beneficial-use applications. One such application currently undergoing field testing by Texas A&M University and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) involves utilizing the muddy, cohesive dredge material to form the protective dikes around placement areas. The mud dikes will provide incipient wetland ecosystems taking root in placement areas a critical head start in maturing before experiencing full exposure to local hydrodynamic forcing conditions following dike erosion. These placement areas have historically used enclosure methods consisting of permanent, costly rubble mound structures. Concurrently creating the protective dikes and wetlands with the same material will allow for considerable savings in construction costs. Monetary savings are linked with reductions in the transportation of rubble material into and unused dredge material out of the site. The USACE anticipates employing this style of dike formation to underlie a new paradigm of dredge placement area design techniques nationwide. This novel design is especially significant considering space for placement areas are rapidly declining, and new areas will be located in near proximity to the material source. Texas A&M researchers are currently investigating the hydrodynamic forcing effects on the dike stemming from wake events induced by nearby vessel traffic of ships with variant size and travel direction, as well as the impacts resulting from natural wind wave and storm events. Two research platforms along the southern extent of the dike were installed in November 2017. Instrumentation at the platforms include either a 1 or 2 MHz Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) periodically measuring 2 Hz wave burst data along with water column velocity profiles, a water sampler collecting daily above-bed suspended sediment concentration samples, a wave staff recording free surface elevations at 20 Hz, and cameras taking snapshots of the shipping channel and dike every five minutes. A conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) sensor was temporarily on-site during the first four months of data collection, and the platform nearest to the shipping channel (approximately 1-kilometer eastward) also contains an echo-logger tracking bed level dynamics. Compilation of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data for specifications on all passing vessels is ongoing. Dike profile evolution is also monitored as part of the study, involving pre-, during, and post-construction surveys consisting of Real Time Kinematics (RTK) measurements and light-detection and ranging (LIDAR) scans. Successful efforts in this study will culminate in a cost-effective new technique for dredge placement area protection to be used in shallow bays and navigation channels across the country.
Bio: William Fuller is a M.S. student at Texas A&M University in the department of ocean engineering with a concentration in coastal studies. He graduated from his beloved hometown college, North Carolina State University, in 2016 with a B.S. in environmental engineering. William is currently pursuing his passion for nature, especially the coast, by assimilating into the growing field of Engineering With Nature. He has enjoyed every moment of the journey thus far and hopes to leave a lasting impact on our cherished environment, providing future generations the priceless opportunity to experience it as he has.
Ibom Deep Seaport Navigation Channel Design
Ephraim Paul, Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden, Nigeria
Co-Authors: Ephraim Paul, David Brooks, James Kaihatu
A twenty-kilometer approach channel has been designed for the planned Ibom deep seaport in Nigeria. Hydrographic and geophysical surveys were conducted to gather wave, current, tidal, and sediment data for the project. These data were quality-controlled, analyzed, and used for numerical model development and model performance testing. Model results were evaluated against economic, environmental, technical, and operational feasibility, based on industry standards. The study produced a channel design that attenuated wave action, preserved the coastal beach, improved bay flushing, and minimized alteration of the natural bathymetry and ecosystem. The model estimates a five-year periodic maintenance dredging window for the approach channel. Operationally, it means that when the design is properly implemented during construction, the approach channel will not be a bottleneck to the deep seaport operations.
Bio: Ephraim Paul is an assistant professor and coastal engineer who combines laboratory and field observations with numerical-based methods to provide solutions to dredging and coastal engineering challenges in the society. His work encompasses hydro-graphic and geophysical surveys, navigation channel design, beach nourishment, dredging and beneficial uses of dredged materials, characterization of marine renewable energy resources for electric power generation, and coastal resources preservation and conservation. His papers have been published by professional societies, such as WEDA. His professional affiliations include: SNAME, WEDA, AGU, ASBPA, IEEE, ASCE, and ASME. He lives in Richmond, Texas with his wife, Mfon and children.
Mobile Harbor Federal Navigation Channel General Re-Evaluation Study: Examination of Vessel Generated Wave Energy in a Semi-Confined Channel
Richard Allen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, is completing a General Re-Evaluation Report (GRR) for the Mobile Harbor Federal Navigation Channel. The GRR will determine if it is justifiable to deepen and widen the channel. As part of the analysis, potential for environmental impacts must be assessed. Vessel generated wave energy (VGWE) is a source of potential environmental impacts. This presentation describes the data collection of VGWE in Mobile Bay, Alabama and assessment of potential impacts resulting from project improvements. Field data was collected to investigate VGWE using a suite of 5 pressure sensors located north of Gaillard Island. A unique and efficient method of data processing was employed using a continuous wavelet transformation (CWT) to extract the vessel generated disturbances from a continuous time series by utilizing frequency modulation or “chirp” signal produced. VGWE was computed on the extracted time series using a fast Fourier transformation which is widely accepted and used for describing energy of a time series and the method proved successful for this study with the exception of cases with higher background energy or weak VGWE signals. Potential impacts of VGWE were evaluated by comparing the relative difference of with and without project conditions using forecasted vessel calls for years 2025 and 2035. Vessel speed was obtained from a statistical summary of 2016 AIS data categorized by vessel length. VGWE was computed using regression analysis. No increase in VGWE was determined as a result of the proposed project. The confidence of this finding was tested with respect to the assumption of vessel speed which determined for realistic potential increases in vessel speed as a result of the project the relative difference in VGWE does not become impactful.
Bio: Richard Allen is a Coastal Engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District. Mr. Allen obtained a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of South Alabama. His primary research interest and Master’s Thesis topic is living shoreline wave attenuation technologies. Mr. Allen is recognized as a USACE South Atlantic Division Subject Matter Expert (SME) for field data acquisition and analysis. Mr. Allen has also received the ASBPA Student Education Award (2011) and the Nicholas Kraus Coastal Scholar Award (2012) for work on living shoreline wave attenuation technologies.
Barbours Cut Dock Expansion & San Jacinto Marsh Restoration Project
Mark Stroik, Atkins
Barbours Cut Terminal, located along the Houston Shipping Channel (HSC), has grown to become a leader in container handling facilities. Atkins was hired by a private client to expand one of the dock facilities within Barbours Cut and seized a unique opportunity that brought together the dock expansion with an environmental restoration project.
The dock expansion called for the dredging of 475,000 yd3 of material to connect the slip with the existing federal channel. Dredged material was transported nearly 9.5 miles inbound along the HSC to the San Jacinto Historical Battleground site. The San Jacinto marsh is a 350-acre tidal wetland complex at the confluence of the HSC and San Jacinto River. The site is preserved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) as the location of the Battle of San Jacinto, which is credited as the pivotal event that won Texas independence from Mexico in 1836. It is designated a National Historical Landmark and stands as one of the few functioning tidal wetlands among the industry-heavy area in Houston.
The San Jacinto marsh has undergone a series of changes through the years due to coastal erosion and subsidence. The primary goal of the marsh project was to restore San Jacinto marsh to historically accurate conditions, while creating an inter-tidal habitat that promotes native marsh grass growth. This allows visitors to visualize the events that took place during the 1836 battle.
The project faced a host of challenges that Atkins helped overcome including an expedited schedule, substantial transport distance, material quality, and construction among abundant cultural resources. Atkins completed the design and permitting from March to September 2015 and the project was constructed by Weeks Marine Inc. from January to June 2016. This navigational dredging project included restoration of 150 acres of inter-tidal marsh habitat at the San Jacinto Battleground which effectively met the goal to mimic the conditions of the battlefield in 1836. Project success is credited to the collaborative effort by all participants, exceptional ingenuity and excellent communication. The project was completed not only on time, but ahead of a very aggressive schedule. The project received an Environmental Excellence Award for Navigational Dredging from the Western Dredging Association (WEDA) in June 2017.
Bio: Mark works with Atkins’ Coastal division out of Sarasota, FL. His area of specialty is dredging and all that encompasses dredging such as dredging techniques, dredge equipment, disposal & placement, hydrographic survey, operations, cost estimating, environmental factors, production, and contract administration. Prior to Atkins employment, Mark was a Project Engineer/Project Manager with a large dredging and marine construction company. He participated in large-scale dredging projects (federal, local, and private) at most major Gulf and SE Atlantic Ports. Mark continues to actively maintain a presence in the dredging community.
THE 2019 TEXAS COASTAL RESILIENCY MASTER PLAN
Chris Levitz, AECOM
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Vargas, Kate Saul, Taylor Nordstrom
In 2017, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) released the first Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, an ambitious coastal planning effort to restore, enhance and protect more than 367 miles of coast and some 3,300 miles of bays and estuaries for the State of Texas. The lynchpin of the planning effort is its emphasis on shoring up the coast by using the latest coastal technology backed by research on Texas coastal environments, coastal hydrodynamics and morphology, and sediment supply, among others, in conjunction with federal, public, and private entity coordination. By championing a statewide Plan to guide the future of coastal management, the GLO will assure that Texas continues to restore, enhance, and protect its coastlines and communities.
THE FUTURE OF COASTAL MANAGEMENT
The coast of Texas is home to over 6.5 million people and $600 billion of real property. Texas ports pass over 22 percent of the nation’s annual port tonnage, and are the backbone of the nation’s energy industry, supporting Texas oil and gas extraction, which totals 57 percent of the country’s value added in that market. Working towards the second publication of the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan in 2019, the GLO, in collaboration with AECOM and the Harte Research Institute, will look at coastal data and trends in areas such as shoreline erosion, freshwater inflows, and sediment transport to plan and begin policy advancement, beach nourishment, and ecological restoration to advance coastal community resiliency. In addition to working with coastal and marine scientists and engineers, the GLO will also coordinate with a Technical Advisory Committee to advance responsible coastal community planning to better prepare for and respond to coastal hazards. By presenting results from data collection and stakeholder feedback, the 2019 Plan will help local, state, and federal decision makers to understand the value provided by the coast, the inherent risks these coastal communities and resources face and the associated opportunities to manage a dynamic coastal environment in a more resilient manner.
ADVANCING COASTAL RESILIENCY
The Texas General Land Office understands that the Texas Gulf Coast is a dynamic and changing environment. In order to plan for changing future scenarios, the GLO will look towards understanding probable changes to the coastal environment that can be addressed by forward thinking ecological planning, monitoring, and adaptive management. Additionally, the 2019 Plan will enhance the 2017 Plan by addressing community infrastructure improvements through the lens of coastal resiliency. Taking current and proposed coastal infrastructure projects, such as coastal highway and evacuation route improvements, the GLO will work to promote ecologically resilient construction elements that allow future infrastructure to provide multiple lines of defense enhancements to the Texas coast.
Bio: Chris Levitz is a coastal engineer at AECOM, where he has worked on an array of coastal planning and design projects for more than a decade. Mr. Levitz currently serves as the engineering consultant project manager for the Texas General Land Office on the Coastal Resiliency Master Plan.
Gulf of Mexico Shoreline Beach Monitoring Program, Baldwin and Mobile Counties, Alabama
Stephen Jones, Geological Survey of Alabama
The mission of the Alabama Beach Monitoring Program, a cooperative effort between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA) made possible through Section 306 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, is to provide information for wise management of Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico (GOM)-fronting beaches. Alabama has about 53 miles of sandy beaches that front the gulf. The beaches are located on the mainland in Baldwin County and Dauphin Island in Mobile County. Three main GOM-fronting parks are the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Morgan State Park, and Alabama’s Gulf State Park, each located in Baldwin County. From a point starting at the Alabama-Florida State line and extending about 15 miles westward across the Cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores and Gulf State Park, beaches are engineered and monitored by the Engineer of Record (Olsen Associates, Inc.) using beach orthophotography and surveys. Inherent in this mission is the responsibility of collecting data that accurately describe the physical characteristics of these beaches. These data include, but are not limited to, the acquisition of beach orthophotography, beach and nearshore topography acquisition through the use of real-time kinematic satellite-based position system and echosounder technology, theme development and modeling through geographic information system (GIS) software, and harvesting orthophotography and beach surveys acquired by the Engineer of Record for Alabama’s engineered beach segments. The GSA has used the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and LiDAR analysis in a GIS environment to model GOM-fronting beach shorelines and features to better understand shoreline and beach dynamics in response to natural disasters and fair-weather conditions. Alabama’s GOM-fronting beaches are divided into 14 unique reaches that illustrate various beach processes through land use, beach management, and hydrodynamics. Variations in littoral system and beach geomorphic changes in response to human activity and natural dynamics render assessing change detection across much of Alabama’s beaches as inconclusive. Where results are valid, erosion rates between 5 ft/yr to 40 ft/yr, and accretion rates ranging between 1 ft/yr to 20 ft/yr were documented.
Bio: Stephen Jones works for the Geological Survey of Alabama and has served both in the Geological Investigation and Groundwater Assessment Program Divisions. Stephen received his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Master of Science degree in Geochemistry from the University of Alabama and is a Licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Alabama.
Prior to 2002, Stephen was a consulting environmental and geotechnical geologist for international consulting firms. His principle areas of investigation included the assessment of contaminated surface water, groundwater, and soils, environmental site assessments, National Environmental Policy Act documentation, and geotechnical. In 2002, he joined the Geological Survey of Alabama in the GIS / Remote Sensing Division supporting geospatial data development, modeling, and hydrology interest. Currently his duties include the supervision and support of research related to environmental geology, GIS, remote sensing, hydrology, beach and nearshore monitoring, nearshore sand sources, and Natural Resource Damage Assessments. Stephen resides in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Jamie, and their three daughters, AnnaCarrol, Laura-Katherine, and Olivia.
North Carolina Beach and Inlet Management Plan Update
Nicole VanderBeke, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Johnny Martin, Nicole Elko
To project future funding needs for maintaining North Carolina’s coastal systems, the BIMP update focuses on beach nourishment and channel maintenance quantities and costs for projects occurring since 2008. North Carolina’s beaches and tidal inlets provide an overwhelming contribution in preserving the State’s cultural heritage while also providing a significant economic benefit. NC recognized that to better maintain and enhance these valuable coastal communities, a management strategy was necessary that would evolve with future changes to the State’s beaches and tidal inlets. The BIMP update highlights the importance of coastal infrastructure, beaches and navigable channels, along with the need to increase the State’s involvement to preserve them.
The BIMP update required additional data acquisition from 2009 to 2015 which was combined with the original dataset to update the volumetric and cost projections necessary to sustain the current and future managed shorelines across the NC coast. The socio-economic impact study of the State’s beaches and inlets were conducted to highlight the importance of these vital resources and the need for the State to increase their participation in preserving them. The economic value of the State’s coastal resources are dependent on maintaining the beaches and inlets. The direct expenditures of coastal activities provided the basis to determine the return on investment in comparison to the cost of maintaining beaches and inlets.
Funding options were identified to create a dedicated beach preservation fund for future beach initiatives. Similarly, the funding needs for appropriations to the State’s deep draft navigation fund were also identified. Statewide dredging activities average between $25 -35 million annually, while nourishment projects average $50 million annually. These results justify a dedicated funding source of $25 million annually for beach nourishment and restoration. There are three preferred options to generate revenue for the beach preservation fund including; single and combined source, new taxes, or the reallocation of existing State sales tax within the eight coastal counties. Each recommendation provides a viable revenue source for the beach preservation fund. The study also recommends a recurring general fund appropriation of $17.5 million annually for deep draft navigation. Finally, GIS maps of property ownership of NC’s eight oceanfront counties was completed to show the far reaching economic effect of its coastal infrastructure. The North Carolina General Assembly is now tasked with deciding how to move forward with the recommendations and providing guidelines for managing and distributing the funds to project sponsors.
Bio: Nicole VanderBeke has been serving as a Coastal Engineer with Moffatt & Nichol for over 13 years. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering as well as completed numerous masters level courses in Coastal Engineering/Water Resources at North Carolina State University. During her tenure at M&N, she has spent a majority of her time involved in coastal engineering design and modeling projects along the US East and Gulf Coasts.
THE LA, MS, AL COASTAL SYSTEM (LMACS) RESTORATION ASSESSMENT & PLANNING DOMAIN
George Ramseur, Jr., Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Co-Authors: Carl Ferraro, James Pahl
The LMACS (EL-max) is an estuarine function-based analytical assessment and restoration planning area that spans three states, from Lake Borgne in Louisiana to Mobile Bay in Alabama. The main goal of this effort is to understand the water quality and other estuarine restoration parameters needed to revive and sustain historic oyster and other fisheries. A key question is the role of historic shoreline, barrier island and marsh erosion that currently exceeds two hundred acres annually in Mississippi.
The relationships supporting this cooperative approach have been fostered in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Habitat Resource Team (HRT) over the past decade. Although the structure and potential funding mechanisms for this effort are still being developed, significant headway has been made through an extensive series of calls, meetings, and other communications.
Currently, we are working to identify sources of data that can support physical/dynamic and water quality modeling of current, historic and future conditions. We believe that modeling the LMACS as it existed in the past, such as 1900 or even 1850, may clarify historic functions that can serve to guide current restoration efforts. To this end, Mississippi has already began sharing water quality data with the Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation at no cost. Efforts also are underway to align this domain with Monitoring and potential Modeling Community of Practice groups and we’re also looking for ways to support more uniform data collection and distribution across the three-state area.
The anticipated work product of the assessment and modeling of the LMACS is a restoration “main plan” for the estuary. This plan, currently named the “Restoration Framework for Sustainable Fisheries” (RFSF), will assess geomorphic and anthropogenic changes in the LMACS over time with the intent of prioritizing restoration approaches that will best support the long-term recovery and stability of water quality, including ranges, variabilities and buffering potential that can help us restore our traditional oyster, shrimp, and fin fisheries. This plan would also detail anticipated economic performance and consider resiliency aspects of the built environment and human communities that depend directly on these resources will also be addressed. The RFSF is intended to guide restoration project development, prioritization, and implementation focused on a 50-year horizon to improve negotiations, coordination and leverage with the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan and long-term restoration priorities in Alabama.
Erosion and fragmentation of the LMACS barrier appear to be driving increasingly unsuitable water quality and marine conditions in the estuary. This geomorphic instability means that the primary restoration goals for the LMACS will almost vary from those in similar class estuaries such as the such as the Galveston and Chesapeake Bays.
At this time, LMACS is being developed with state and GOMA resources as a “cross-pit” project between the Habitat Resource and Coastal Resilience Teams with increasing and greatly welcomed input from a broad range of federal and non-governmental organizations.
Bio: George Ramseur Jr. has directed the Office of Coastal Restoration and Resiliency at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) since 2014. He has been implementing ecological restoration in coastal Mississippi for the last 20 years, initially with The Nature Conservancy and since 2006 with the MDMR. In 2008, he began development of the MDMR beneficial use of dredged material (BU) program and is now focused on large scale strategic restoration to help sustain coastal Mississippi’s extraordinary quality of life. He holds a B.S. in Geology and Anthropology from Tulane University and has lived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi since 1997.
Nature-Based Approaches in Coastal Resiliency: Dune Enhancement & Stabilization Pilot Study, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
Robert Walker, Shoreline Science & Engineering, LLC
Co-Authors: Robert Walker
Beach erosion along the Ehukai-Sunset Beach region of the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii threatens the public beach, private homes, coastal infrastructure, coastal habitat, and recreational resources. The State of Hawaii has adopted a coastal management policy that opposes the construction of new armoring such as seawalls and rock revetments, acknowledging that the installation of such man-made structures along eroding coastlines ultimately leads to beach loss. Other common approaches to mitigating the impacts of coastal erosion such as managed retreat and large-scale beach nourishment are particularly challenging to implement in this tropical island environment, which consists of narrow carbonate-sand beaches where sediment supply is limited and spatial constraints challenge relocation efforts. As a result, stakeholders seek to identify and prioritize adaptive management strategies that will increase coastal resiliency in short, intermediate, and long-term time scales in hopes to preserve this unique coastal environment for future generations.
A prominent feature of the beach in this region is the existence of a natural storm berm, which was built up by wave overwash during high wave events. Providing the primary natural coastal protection feature for the region, stabilization of this storm berm by routine sand-pushing (i.e., strategic movement of sand within the littoral cell) has been an effective approach to mitigating the impacts of erosion both in high-wave winter conditions and trade-wind dominated summer conditions. While native vegetation has been observed to help significantly in stabilizing the storm berm, the planting and preservation of native plants seaward of the “certified shoreline” (jurisdictional line) is contrary to current State policy. This pilot study seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of three native plants (Scaevola taccada, Sporobolus virginicus, and Ipomoea pes-capre) in stabilizing the storm berm as by implementing a variety of planting schemes and controls along a newly rehabilitated section of the storm berm between Rocky Point and Ehukai Beach Park on the North Shore of Oahu.
Bio: Robert Walker is a coastal engineer and researcher based on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He holds master’s degrees in coastal engineering and coastal geology and has been a practicing coastal engineer in the private sector since 2004. Robert is President of Shoreline Science & Engineering, LLC and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Hawaii, California, and North Carolina. Robert is actively engaged with the coastal community both in Hawaii and at a national level and maintains research partnerships with a variety of organizations related to coastal zone management.
Applying the “Living Shoreline” Approach to California’s High Energy Bluff-Backed Coastline
Jeremy Smith, Moffatt & Nichol
Some of California’s narrowest beaches are backed by coastal bluffs. Sea level rise and low sediment inputs pose great threats to both the beaches at the water’s edge and bluff stability. Because of this, California’s bluff-backed coasts are now some of the most contested shorelines in the state, with property, surf, and habitat at stake.
Nationally, the benefits of using natural approaches to shoreline management have been proven time and again, but where are the living shorelines for bluffs on the open-coast? This presentation will focus on the application of natural solutions to high energy, high stakes conditions.
First, we will look at why and how living shorelines have been effective tools for shoreline management, through looking at some of the most innovative applications on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Next, the presentation will explain what we know about the key dynamics of narrow, bluff-backed beaches, including the benefits and limitations of modeling these dynamics with sea level rise.
The presentation will then analyze the living shoreline approach within the frame of a high energy environment, looking at ecosystems that have thrived in bluff environments for centuries. The presentation will highlight potential points of inspiration from these ecosystems including species such as Giant Kelp, and those found in the rocky intertidal zone.
Lastly, the presentation will end with potential ideas for how to address these narrow, high-relief, and highly contested shorelines. These ideas will draw on case studies using mechanically stabilized earth, take a critical look at what we’ve learned about artificial reefs, and explore how integration with policy such as regional sediment management and how natural approaches may inform strategies regarding managed retreat.
Communities such as Pacifica, CA are already experiencing how dynamic coastline’s can pose risks to coastal access and high value development. This presentation aims to leverage the interdisciplinary expertise of the ASBPA by energizing important discussions and innovating the living shorelines approach where it is desperately needed.
Bio: Jeremy has worked with Moffatt & Nichol on coastal adaptation projects and sea level rise vulnerability assessments since 2017. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University in California where he studies environmental fluid mechanics and coastal engineering.
Implementing Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Highway Resilience
Scott Douglass, South Coast Engineers
Co-Authors: Tina Hodges, Bret Webb
There are over 60,000 miles of roads in the United States exposed, or occasionally exposed, to storm surge, waves, and erosion in the coastal environment. These coastal highways, consisting of roads and bridges, are vulnerable to extreme events today. Those vulnerabilities may increase over time as sea levels rise. Strategies for improving the resilience of coastal highways today can lead to enhanced resilience to future changing ocean and weather conditions. Such strategies may involve structural, hybrid, and non-structural (i.e., policy, regulation) measures for protecting critical highway infrastructure. Of these, hybrid measures combining traditional engineering approaches with nature-based solutions offer resilience enhancements with the added benefit of adaptive capacity. However, transportation professionals operating across the spectrum of project delivery (e.g., planners, scientists, engineers, maintenance staff) lack guidance on the implementation of nature-based solutions—marshes, mangroves, maritime forests, reefs, beaches, and dunes—when considering design, repair, restoration, or resilience alternatives for their infrastructure. The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration is currently developing an Implementation Guide for Nature-Based Solutions that seeks to address this shortcoming. Thus far, that effort has produced a White Paper on Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Highway Resilience, and has conducted four regional peer exchanges in Mobile, Alabama; Oakland, California; Lewes, Delaware; and Wilmington, North Carolina. The presentation proposed for this conference will provide an overview of the broader effort to develop the implementation guide, pertinent results from the white paper, and relevant information summarized from the four peer exchanges.
Bio: Dr. Webb is a Professor of Coastal Engineering at the University of South Alabama whose research focus is on resilience of the built and natural coastal environments, and is the acting director of the Center for Applied Coastal Engineering and Science at USA. Dr. Webb is a licensed Professional Engineer in Alabama and Florida, is endorsed by ACOPNE as a Board Certified Coastal Engineer, and serves as President of the Central Gulf Coast Chapter of ASBPA.
A coastal sediment crisis of dust bowl proportions: why we need a new deal for beneficially using sediment.
Derek Brockbank, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association
In the 1920s, new farming techniques and technology was expanding farm production, but undermining the agricultural sustainability of America’s breadbasket. When a 100+ year draught hit the Midwest, black blizzards blew topsoil for thousands of miles creating the “dust bowl” and America’s first modern climate migrants. Many leaders, including President Roosevelt thought Midwest farms may be irredeemable and would need to be bought out, but under the direction of Hugh Hammond Bennet, the Soil Conservation Service (later the Natural Resource Conservation Service), put scientific and economic reforms in place to conserve soil and reclaim Midwest farmland for America. The Dust Bowl was technological and economic disaster, exacerbated by climatic changes, that was solved through a political commitment to save farmland and a federal investment to make it happen.
Our nation’s coasts – and Louisiana more than anywhere else – is facing a parallel plight with the loss of coastal sediment, leaving coastal (rather than farming) communities in existential uncertainty. Do we have the national political commitment to counter our coastal sediment crisis and will there be the necessary federal investment to prevent catastrophic coastal erosion in the face of sea level rise?
As with the Dust Bowl, we are losing sediment at an alarming rate – over 100 million tons of sediment is lost every year out of the mouth of the Mississippi River. As with the Dust Bowl, engineering advancement and perverse economic incentives are driving this soil loss – studies (Dean & Houston) have demonstrated that in some coastal areas shoreline recession is 70% due to human engineering of the coast. Steps are being taken to address coastal erosion: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a growing focus on Regional Sediment Management; Congress authorized a pilot program for beneficially using dredged material (Sec. 1122 of the 2016 WIIN Act); state and community adaptation plans around the country are integrating structural and non-structural protection with coastal restoration and “natural” infrastructure.
But is it enough? Will individual policies and cobbled together funding sources be the New Deal to put sediment on our beaches, dunes and wetlands where it’s needed and save US coastlines? The U.S. has taken the first few steps, but our coastal sediment needs to be used at a much greater level and prevented from blowing in the wind (waves?).
Bio: Derek Brockbank is the Executive Director of ASBPA. He has been an organizer and run conservation campaigns around the country and, for the past 15 years, in Washington, DC. His focus has been on climate change adaptation and restoring natural resources, most recently directing a campaign to restore the Mississippi River Delta and Coastal Louisiana through a coalition of conservation organizations including National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society and Environmental Defense Fund. He grew up in New York City and the beaches of Long Island, and ran along the Lake Michigan beach while at the University of Chicago getting a degree in political science and environmental studies.
Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Projects in Southern California
Kim Garvey, Moffatt & Nichol
Co-Authors: Chris Webb
Several projects have been conducted in southern California in which dredged material has been beneficially used in a variety of applications. The dredged/excavated source material has come from harbor navigation maintenance, flood channel maintenance, coastal lagoon restoration, and debris basin clearing. The beneficial uses of this material have included placement as a thin layer to restore an existing salt marsh and for beach nourishment. Beneficial use applications retain the dredged sediment in the coastal littoral cell, instead of disposing it in an offshore open ocean site outside of the littoral bounds.
Some of the projects which will be highlighted are Huntington Harbour / Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, Lower Santa Ana River, Dana Point Harbor, Bolsa Chica, Goleta Beach, and San Elijo Lagoon. There are many other beneficial use of dredged material projects in southern California which will be cited. The sediment testing, regulatory permitting, environmental, engineering and construction aspects of these completed projects will be discussed so as to help guide future beneficial use projects.
Bio: Since joining Moffatt & Nichol in 2003, Ms. Garvey has worked on and led a variety of coastal projects involving shoreline protection, dredging, and beach nourishment. Her coastal engineering experience includes regulatory permits acquisition, environmental review, wave uprush analyses, shore protection design, dredge design, sand studies, water and sediment quality analysis, compensatory mitigation development, and monitoring of projects. Prior to joining Moffatt & Nichol, Ms. Garvey was an Engineering Director at Boeing, where she managed several large, technically complex space systems projects. Ms. Garvey is also currently the president of the California Shore and Beach Preservation Association.
Increasing Sediment Management Efficiencies, A Local Sponsors Approach to Innovative Bypass and Backpassing Systems
Nic Kirk, Freese & Nichols, Inc.
Co-Authors: Reuben Trevino, Coraggio Maglio, Randall Tucker
The Galveston Park Board of Trustees (GPB) was the local sponsor for the field deployment of a scale-model evaluation of an innovative sediment management system for bypassing and back-passing. Using developing technologies, GPB is investigating non-traditional methods to support sustainable beach nourishment programs on Galveston Island to make projects more efficient as dredging costs continue to increase.
The Bedload Sediment Collector (BCS) allows energy of streams and coastal longshore currents to selectively capture bedload sediment using simple physical principles. Coarse-grained sediment, fine sands to gravel, migrates as bedload, passes through the grate system to collect within hoppers. Finer sediments, silts and clays, and other organic matter, remain in suspension passing unimpeded over the hopper grates. As the hoppers fill, sediment is pumped to a placement area or dewatering site for beneficial reclamation of harvested sediments. The grated hopper of the collector systems allows operators to target particle sizes captured in the internal hoppers of the collector. Multiple series of hoppers can be built into a collector system allowing the Sediment Collector to act as a natural classifier in the water and selectively capture migrating bedload at its natural flow and movement.
The demonstration project used a scale modeling of a system designed to harvest beach quality sand using a hybrid, closed system for transported bedload material collection using gravity and natural coastal processes. As sediment is mobilized along the shoreline through wind and wave generated cross shore and alongshore currents, the mobilized sediments were collected in a collection hopper at regular and consistent time intervals, with field production volumes determine through measure of the quantity of collected sediments evaluated over an annualized time frame and considering metocean data during field deployment. The volume was then extrapolated to a larger, full-scale deployment. The analysis and results of the field deployment will be presented.
Our team deployed the BCS during the summer deployment at two locations on Galveston Island: East Beach, and the Point San Luis, and deployed one system at Stewart Beach during the winter deployment. The purpose of the field effort was to collect multiple samples of transported sediments at various locations throughout the East Beach and Point San Luis zones and use the scale modeling experiments to determined bedload sediment migration vectors within the littoral zone and quantify total sediments transported by the wave energy. The data provides the baseline for analysis of sediment transport characteristics for extrapolation to full-scale harvesting system within the nearshore coastal system for the purpose of beneficially using the harvested sediments for beach renourishment projects and increasing nourishment project efficiencies.
Bio: Nic Kirk is a Coastal EIT at Freese and Nichols. He has been with FNI for over a year after working for the Navy as a moorings engineer. Nic is tasked with assisting in project management, coastal and hydraulic modeling, and client relations. He has worked in developing living shoreline protection solutions that will aid in marsh creation, designing rookery islands, hydraulic modeling of flood events, and computational fluid dynamics modeling. Nic loves the ocean and enjoys the fact that his career brings him closer to it while also giving him the chance to make it better.
History of the CMP
For several decades, authority for coastal resource management in Texas was distributed among many state and federal agencies, with no formal coordinated mechanism in place to ensure a consistent approach. Overlapping or conflicting authorities and policies among these agencies compounded the difficulties in effectively managing the Texas coast. The Texas legislature originally responded to this concern with the Coastal Public Lands Management Act of 1973, which more broadly defined the state’s coastal zone as “the geographic area comprising all the counties of Texas having any tidewater shoreline, including that portion of the bed and waters of the Gulf within the jurisdiction of the State of Texas.” In that same year, Governor Dolph Briscoe directed the Texas General Land Office (GLO) to develop a coastal management program to be known as the Texas Coastal Management Program and which was to meet the standards of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. Despite much effort and outreach by many, this effort ultimately failed and Texas withdrew from the federal effort in 1981. The Texas Legislature did not address comprehensive coastal management again until 1991 by charging the GLO with coordinating the development of a networked coastal management program meeting the requirements of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. The need to coordinate the many agencies, all of which had permitting or management policies and differing philosophies on environmental protection and economic development, required the Land Office to establish a relationship of communication and trust with the agencies and with the general public. To do this, the GLO had to reconcile its seemingly conflicting mandates of generating revenue from state-owned lands to help finance public education and protecting these lands from the environmental impacts of their economic development.
Since approval of the Texas CMP in 1997, the program has undergone many significant changes including the elimination of the Coastal Coordination Council and the state agency Executive Committee. Under these changes, GLO was given sole authority on state and federal consistency review with advisory input from other state agencies. This elimination of a public forum with the relevant state agencies for comment and questions on coastal policies and consistency issues remains a question, as does the lack of GLO authority to enforce water quality wetland consistency issues. This presentation addresses the evolution of the CMP since its inception to present day.
Bio: Ms. Davenport has over 40 years of experience in managing projects and working with the resources on the Texas Coast. She is a nationally known expert in coastal management, coastal erosion, and beach management. As former Associate Deputy for Resource Management at the Texas General Land Office, she is experienced in every phase of resource management from designing and implementing major programs, such as the Texas Coastal Management Program, to aiding individual entities in gaining permits for projects on the coast. During her tenure at the General Land Office, Sally managed the agency’s permitting program and directed its Beach Access and Dune Protection Program, including enacting its first set of rules and regulations. She also established the Permitting Assistance Office on the Texas Coast, a unique effort to streamline the complex permitting process. As a retiree from the GLO, she joined Coastal Tech in 2003 where she served as Director of Coastal Management. During this time, she served as Project Manager on beach restoration projects, erosion response solutions projects, and the opening of the recreational outlet into West Matagorda Bay.
CMP Coastal Resources-The Argument for Creating a General Concurrence Before the Next Big Storm
Jacquelyn Boutwell, Texas General Land Office
Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, both FEMA and HUD are tasked with providing federal financial assistance to state and local governments in federally declared disaster areas. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) has been working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist with recovery efforts in the federally declared disaster areas along the Texas coast, including in areas subject to the Texas Coastal Management Program (CMP). In states like Texas with an approved CMP, federal agencies providing financial assistance must conduct a review of how their proposed activities might affect any Coastal Natural Resource Area (CNRA) to determine whether they are consistent with the state’s approved CMP. FEMA and HUD are thus required to provide Texas with consistency determinations indicating whether their financial assistance activities will be consistent with Texas’ CMP and enforceable policies.
To assist FEMA with expediting consistency reviews in Texas, the GLO and FEMA agreed to a General Concurrence in November 2002. The General Concurrence with FEMA is intended to minimize the overall number of federal consistency reviews conducted by the state and allow for direct funding of emergency response activities along the Texas coast after a federally declared disaster. The General Concurrence benefits coastal communities because it expedites FEMA’s overall response time by not requiring consistency determinations for activities that are identified as minor in scope and those which do not have any significant adverse effects on Coastal Natural Resource Areas (CNRAs) within the Texas CMP boundary.
In this presentation I will discuss how a general concurrence may be utilized to minimize the number of required federal consistency reviews allowing for expedited financial assistance to coastal communities recovering from major disasters. I will also provide an update on the GLO’s work with FEMA to update their current General Concurrence as well as GLO’s partnering with HUD to create a general concurrence to assist Texas’ coastal areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Bio: Jacquelyn Boutwell is the Coastal Resources attorney for the Texas General Land Office. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa with a degree in Political Science with a specialization in Natural Resources. Jacquelyn obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the GLO, she was in environmental enforcement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The Texas Coastal Management Grant Program – An Overview and Success Stories
Julie McEntire, Texas General Land Office
The Texas General Land Office (GLO), in partnership with eight networked state agencies and four commissioner-appointed representatives, administers the Texas Coastal Management Program (CMP), a program designed to improve the management of the state’s coastal resources. As one of the few coastal states that implements its CMP through a grant program, Texas receives approximately $2.5 million in Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) each year. The GLO passes 90% of the §306/306A monies to local governments and other entities to implement projects that address environmental needs and promote sustainable economic development along the coast.
The GLO solicits grant applications annually, hosts a series of grant workshops to educate interested parties on the application process, provides comments on pre-proposals to all applicants, and coordinates with networked agencies and appointed representatives to competitively score, rank and, award CZMA funds based on CMP priorities and initiatives.
Since its implementation in 1997, the CMP has funded over 500 projects that address coastal needs, including public access, applied coastal research, data collection, community resiliency planning, and stakeholder engagement. The grant program provides a very public connection to the CMP and has built a strong sense of constituency within coastal communities; empowering coastal citizens by helping them plan for their futures and implement those plans. It has also helped the state identify which coastal issues are of importance to coastal citizens; solving coastal problems from the bottom up. This presentation provides an overview of Texas CMP grants and showcases success stories.
Bio: Julie McEntire is a Project Manager for the Texas CMP Grant Program in the Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Resources Division. Julie earned a Master of Science in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2009. She previously worked at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as a ? for the Water Quality Standards and Clean Rivers Program teams.
Programmatic Approach to CZM in Texas
Julie McEntire, Texas General Land Office
Co-Authors: Melissa Porter
With 367 miles of Gulf beaches and more than 3,300 miles of bays and estuaries, it is important that the Texas General Land Office (GLO) have a strategic plan for allocating its state and federal funding for coastal projects. With the increase of GOMESA funding, end of the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), and creation of the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan (Master Plan), the Coastal Resources Division is working on initiatives to more efficiently and effectively advance the coastal priorities outlined in the Master Plan, including integrating grant programs. Previously, each GLO grant program (CMP, CIAP, GOMESA, and CEPRA) functioned independently under its own set of policies, procedures and timelines. This system created “silo programs” that prevented effective collaboration between program areas and often prohibited programs from working together to complete comprehensive, large-scale projects, such as those identified in the Master Plan. Conversely, streamlining and integrating grant programs, policies and their associated funding sources under one mission will allow for the efficient execution of the goals and priorities in the Master Plan.
To integrate the grant programs within Coastal Resources, the following program changes will be implemented: 1) creation of a standardized, integrated programmatic guidance document to aid in decision-making and project selection and reporting, 2) creation of a streamlined grant applications process and associated management and reporting system; and 3) development of a stakeholder outreach plan to inform interested applicants to funding availability and gather feedback to continuously update the Master Plan with projects addressing resiliency concerns.
This presentation will provide an overview of how the GLO plans to integrate its coastal grant programs for a more comprehensive and efficient method of allocating funding and managing grant projects.
Bio: Julie McEntire is a Project Manager for the Texas CMP Grant Program in the Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Resources Division. Julie earned a Master of Science in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2009. She previously worked at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as a ? for the Water Quality Standards and Clean Rivers Program teams.