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  • Application of Coastal Resilience Metrics at Panama City Beach, Florida

    Abstract: This study, for the first time, combines the Coastal Engineering Resilience Index (CERI) and Buffer Width (BW) metrics to better understand the historic, current, and future resilience of the coastal system at Panama City Beach, Florida. After the construction of the US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) project at Panama City Beach, the CERI resilience metric has increased up to 21.3%, while negative storm impacts in the same have been less than 8%. The frequency of nourishment efforts moving forward is justified by a 24.3% increase in the BW metric when comparing cases that are nourished frequently with cases that are not nourished frequently. Moreover, there is a 129.2% increase in the BW metric when comparing the frequently nourished cases with the cases that are nourished only on an emergency basis. While the CERI and BW metrics have both been considered previously, their combined application provides an understanding of a broader temporal view of how storm events, CSRM projects, and nourishments have played a part in the resilience of the system at Panama City Beach over the last two decades and how they may play a role in the next half century.
  • The Use of Native Vegetation and Natural Materials in Shoreline Stabilization: A Case Study of Bubble Gum Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

    PURPOSE: This technical note is the fourth in a series about using native plant communities to achieve engineering and ecological purposes such as shoreline stabilization, structural enhancements, habitat creation, and ecosystem development. In this series, we demonstrate the utility of natural materials (specifically, native vegetation, oyster reefs, and coir logs) in living shoreline projects. Plant species and plant communities play critical roles in wave attenuation and sediment accretion in coastal areas. The application of vegetation in the coastal areas, especially on the East and Gulf Coasts, has focused heavily on the creation of living shorelines—serving both environmental and engineering purposes. This technical note documents the workshop conducted by the US Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) and hosted by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Philadelphia District (NAP) and Center for the Inland Bays. The goals of this technical note are (1) to demonstrate the application of native plant communities, oyster shells, and coir (coconut) materials and their installation techniques along shorelines to the engineering community; (2) to demonstrate how targeted vegetation establishment can facilitate ecosystem development along shorelines to improve engineering and environmental outcomes; and (3) to provide native vegetation installation techniques for living shorelines projects’ purposes.
  • A Large-Scale Community Storm Processes Field Experiment: The During Nearshore Event Experiment (DUNEX) Overview Reference Report

    Abstract: The DUring Nearshore Event EXperiment (DUNEX) was a series of large-scale nearshore coastal field experiments focused on during-storm, nearshore coastal processes. The experiments were conducted on the North Carolina coast by a multidisciplinary group of over 30 research scientists from 2019 to 2021. The overarching goal of DUNEX was to collaboratively gather information to improve understanding of the interactions of coastal water levels, waves, and flows, beach and dune evolution, soil behavior, vegetation, and groundwater during major coastal storms that affect infrastructure, habitats, and communities. In the short term, these high-quality field measurements will lead to better understanding of during-storm processes, impacts and post-storm recovery and will enhance US academic coastal research programs. Longer-term, DUNEX data and outcomes will improve understanding and prediction of extreme event physical processes and impacts, validate coastal processes numerical models, and improve coastal resilience strategies and communication methods for coastal communities impacted by storms. This report focuses on the planning and preparation required to conduct a large-scale field experiment, the collaboration amongst researchers, and lessons learned. The value of a large-scale experiment focused on storm processes and impacts begins with the scientific gains from the data collected, which will be available and used for decades to come.
  • Current State of Practice of Nearshore Nourishment by the United States Army Corps of Engineers

    Abstract: This US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) special report prepared by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, provides an overview of the current state of practice for nearshore nourishment with dredged sediment. This special report was completed with responses and input from professionals across the dredging and placement teams from each of the USACE Coastal and Great Lakes districts, providing comprehensive overviews of the decision trees these districts utilize in the placement of their dredged sediment. This report describes the general practice of nearshore nourishment, the impediments and concerns faced by nearshore nourishment projects, and the practical methods utilized by the Coastal and Great Lakes districts for their nearshore nourishment projects. Understanding the current state of practice, along with the general and specific impediments the districts face, enables further research in and development of best practices for use across the USACE and better communication of the practice to other stakeholders.
  • Metrics of Success for Nearshore Nourishment Projects Constructed with Dredged Sediment

    Purpose: This Regional Sediment Management Technical Note (RSM TN) provides practical metrics of success for nearshore nourishment projects constructed with dredged sediment. Clearly defined goals and performance metrics for projects will set clear expectations and will lead to long-term project support from local stakeholders and the public.
  • Simulations of Shoreline Changes along the Delaware Coast

    Abstract: This technical report presents two applications of the GenCade model to simulate long-term shoreline evolution along the Delaware Coast driven by waves, inlet sediment transport, and longshore sediment transport. The simulations also include coastal protection practices such as periodic beach fills, post-storm nourishment, and sand bypassing. Two site-specific GenCade models were developed: one is for the coasts adjacent to the Indian River Inlet (IRI) and another is for Fenwick Island. In the first model, the sediment exchanges among the shoals and bars of the inlet were simulated by the Inlet Reservoir Model (IRM) in the GenCade. An inlet sediment transfer factor (γ) was derived from the IRM to quantify the capability of inlet sediment bypassing, measured by a rate of longshore sediments transferred across an inlet from the updrift side to the downdrift side. The second model for the Fenwick Island coast was validated by simulating an 11-year-long shoreline evolution driven by longshore sediment transport and periodic beach fills. Validation of the two models was achieved through evaluating statistical errors of simulations. The effects of the sand bypassing operation across the IRI and the beach fills in Fenwick Island were examined by comparing simulation results with and without those protection practices. Results of the study will benefit planning and management of coastal sediments at the sites.
  • Evaluation of Unmanned Aircraft System Coastal Data Collection and Horizontal Accuracy: A Case Study at Garden City Beach, South Carolina

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) aims to evaluate unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology to support flood risk management applications, examining data collection and processing methods and exploring potential for coastal capabilities. Foundational evaluation of the technology is critical for understanding data application and determining best practices for data collection and processing. This study demonstrated UAS Multispectral (MS) and Red Green Blue (RGB) image efficacy for coastal monitoring using Garden City Beach, South Carolina, as a case study. Relative impacts to horizontal accuracy were evaluated under varying field scenarios (flying altitude, viewing angle, and use of onboard Real-Time Kinematic–Global Positioning System), level of commercial off-the-shelf software processing precision (default optimal versus high or low levels) and processing time, and number of ground control points applied during postprocessing (default number versus additional points). Many data sets met the minimum horizontal accuracy requirements designated by USACE Engineering Manual 2015. Data collection and processing methods highlight procedures resulting in high resolution UAS MS and RGB imagery that meets a variety of USACE project monitoring needs for site plans, beach renourishment and hurricane protection projects, project conditions, planning and feasibility studies, floodplain mapping, water quality analysis, flood control studies, emergency management, and ecosystem restoration.
  • Framework Geology of Cape Shoalwater and Northwest Willapa Bay, Washington: Assessing Potential Geologic Impacts on Recent Shoreline Change

    Abstract: The shoreline along Cape Shoalwater and northwest Willapa Bay has experienced the highest rates of erosion along the entire Pacific Coast of the United States, due in part to rapid northward migration of the navigation channel. Recently, channel migration and shoreline erosion in this region have slowed, but the cause of this relative stabilization, and thus the longevity of these new patterns, is unknown. Given the complex neotectonics and geologic framework of the southern coast of Washington, it is possible that underlying, erosion-resistant geologic units have become exposed along the channel and/or in the nearshore, and are acting to reduce or halt channel migration and/or shoreline erosion. Conversely, the apparent reduction may be due to subtle, short-term changes in regional hydrodynamics and/or sediment transport, and thus future rates of channel migration and/or shoreline erosion might increase back to historical rates. The purpose of this special report is to detail the geologic and neotectonic framework of the northern Willapa Bay region, and determine how the underlying framework geology might be impacting channel stability and adjacent shoreline erosion rates. Suggested research questions to quantify potential geologic control are also presented, including the potential benefits of the research to the district.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Computer-Based Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of GenCade: Description and Proof of Concept

    Purpose: This Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Note (CHETN) provides a description of a methodology for the computer-based calibration or Parameter Estimation (PE) and corresponding Uncertainty Analysis (UA) for the shoreline change model GenCade developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This work demonstrates the suitability and benefits of applying the proposed PE and UA methods to GenCade studies using an idealized case as well as a simple field study as a proof of concept. This document is primarily for engineers and decision-makers interested in the implementation of PE and UA in one-line shoreline change models such as GenCade.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Sediment Sorting by Hopper Dredging and Pump-Out Operations: Conceptual Model and Literature Review

    Abstract: Dredged sediment placed on beaches or nearshore environments is customarily evaluated for compatibility with the native beach sediment to avoid unintended impacts to economic, environmental, or recreational resources. Consequently, some state regulatory authorities establish limits upon the fine-grained content for sediment designated for placement on certain beaches and nearshore environments. Hopper dredging operations for beach and nearshore placement typically include periods of overflow, which is recognized to produce some degree of separation between the size fractions of the dredged sediment. The degree of separation and the controlling factors of separation are presently poorly known and are the subject of this research. This report provides a conceptual model of the hopper dredging and placement processes, including the relevant processes associated with hopper dredge-associated sediment dynamics, generation and transport of the overflow sediment plume, and sediment winnowing at the beach outflow. Prior research is described, and knowledge gaps are identified. Finally, a research plan to validate prior research and to address knowledge gaps is presented. An annotated bibliography of relevant literature is given in an appendix. Documentation of the planned research presented herein will appear in future publications associated with this study.