Katie Finegan, Chris Dumas, and Nicole Elko
To support the creation of a dedicated state beach nourishment fund, benefits and costs of beach nourishment were assessed in order to determine the anticipated funding need and propose adequate funding sources. A Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis calculated a $600.8 million reduction in property at risk when comparing 1998 setback factors, to represent a period when beach nourishment was not widely implemented, and 2012 setback factors, to represent a period when beach nourishment was widely implemented. A socio-economic study assessed the economic impacts of activities dependent on beach recreation. These activities support $1.7 billion annually in direct expenditures, with economic multiplier effects included these direct expenditures support $3.3 billion in total output/sales within the coastal counties ($4.7 billion statewide) and over 39,000 jobs within the coastal counties (49,000 statewide). These economic impacts are large compared with the costs of maintaining the beaches. Beach nourishment costs for projects from 2009-2015 were used to project future funding needs for maintaining coastal systems. Future statewide nourishment project costs are anticipated to average $50 million annually; considering a federal state/local cost share of 50/50, this justified a dedicated state funding source of $25 million annually for beach nourishment and restoration. North Carolina recognized that to better maintain and enhance valuable beach resources, a management strategy was necessary that would evolve with future changes to the state’s beaches. Funding options were identified to create a dedicated state beach nourishment fund of $25 million for future beach initiatives. The three preferred options to generate revenue for the beach nourishment fund include: a single source of new taxes, a combined source of new taxes, or the reallocation of existing state sales tax within the eight coastal counties. Each recommendation provides a viable revenue source for a dedicated state beach nourishment fund.
Maritza Barreto-Orta, Rafael Méndez-Tejeda, Ernesto Rodríguez, Nahir Cabrera, Elizabeth Díaz, and Kevián Pérez
A rapid response assessment of the state of the beaches in Puerto Rico (PR) was conducted after the occurrence of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Geoindicators were used as a guide to assess the impact of the hurricane on beach response. Field campaigns and high-resolution imagery analysis were used to identify erosional and accretional geomorphological features along the coastline after the hurricane. Findings indicated that most beaches suffered a loss of beach elevation. In addition, beach width changes were highly variable along the coastline of PR. Major losses in beach width were identified in beaches located in the west-northwest, north central, and southeast municipalities of the main island. An increase in erosion was observed mainly in beaches with previous erosion history and/or with high levels of human intervention along the coast. Minor beach changes and accretion were identified in beaches with natural barriers, such as coral reefs and mangroves, mainly located in the northeast and southwest of the island. Beach progradation and retreat may affect the enhancement and/or reduction of the beach resilience capacity of these geographic areas. This new geomorphic state of the beaches in PR will be important to define the buffer capacity of beaches when facing future extreme meteorological and oceanographic events.
Jesse McNinch and Josh Humberston
Challenges to maintaining safe, navigable tidal inlets across the U.S. while minimizing deleterious effects to adjacent property and the environment, can be daunting, and often encompasses many government agencies and stakeholders with varying interests and missions. When this maintenance requires dredging of the navigation channels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is typically the responsible agency, while the U.S. Coast Guard dictates placement of the various aids to navigation. These missions alone (and there are many others) are difficult to accomplish on a continual, up-to-date basis across many of our shallow, wave-dominated tidal inlets because the position of the channels and associated shoals can be incredibly dynamic, and the volume of infilling sediment can stretch available resources. The Radar Inlet Observing System (RIOS), introduced here, is designed to provide near real-time navigation and engineering support at tidal inlets over extended, hourly time periods, and to do so cost-effectively in remote locations. Specific RIOS products include shoal migration and encroachment into navigation channels, wave conditions in the navigation channel, and sediment transport pathways over event and seasonal time scales. An eight-month RIOS deployment at Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, from August 2016 to April 2017 indicates: 1) Three dominant pathways of sand-sized sediment transport expressed by shallow, migrating bedforms around Oregon Inlet; 2) Asymmetry in alongshore input largely from Bodie Island which is consistent with substantial growth in the Bodie Island recurved spit and persistent narrowing of the inlet channel width since 1962; 3) Importance of ebb flows, particularly during strong sub-tidal events, in exporting sediment seaward to the ebb shoals along the flank of the ebb channel; and 4) Substantial recirculation of sediment around a large, southern ebb shoal and back into the inlet sediment budget with a smaller amount ultimately reaching Pea Island and completing the inlet bypassing.
Nicole Elko, Casey Dietrich, Mary Cialone, Hilary Stockdon, Matt W. Bilskie, Brandon Boyd, Bianca Charbonneau, Dan Cox, Kendra Dresback, Steve Elgar, Amanda Lewis, Patrick Limber, Joe Long, Chris Massey, Talea Mayo, Kathryn McIntosh, Norberto Nadal-Caraballo, Britt Raubenheimer, Tori Tomiczek, and Anna Wargula
In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused more than $200 billion dollars of damage in the United States, as well as the incalculable cost of the loss of life and mental trauma associated with these disasters (Sullivan 2017). In a changing climate, sea level rise and the potential for increasing tropical cyclone intensity can result in even more devastating damages (IPCC 2013; Knutson et al. 2010). Therefore, engineers, community planners, and coastal residents need accurate, timely, and accessible forecasting of storm processes and their impact on coastal communities to bolster national resilience and reduce risk to life and property during these events. However, along with uncertainties in understanding and modeling of storm processes, there are complex challenges associated with determining and meeting the needs of end users who rely on these forecasts for emergency management decisions.
To determine needed advancements in storm forecasting, the U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP) hosted a Storm Processes and Impacts workshop for coastal stakeholders 16-18 April 2018, in St. Petersburg, Florida. The attendees included local coastal managers, emergency managers, state and regional agencies, federal agency scientists and engineers, academics, and private industry scientists and engineers. Workshop objectives were to synthesize present capabilities for modeling storm processes and forecasting impacts and to prioritize advancements. In addition, the workshop provided an opportunity to bridge the apparent gap between the research of coastal scientists and engineers and the information being distributed publicly and to emergency managers before, during, and after storm events. Finally, plans for a large-scale, extreme-event field experiment, DUNEX (During Nearshore Event eXperiment), anticipated in 2020-2021, were presented to encourage continued engagement of coastal researchers across disciplines.
This paper represents a synthesis of the forecasting challenges, research needs, infrastructure improvements, and communication challenges presented and discussed during the workshop. Each section includes a table of prioritized challenges or needs based on the workshop participants’ feedback.