Applied Coastal Research and Engineering

Uxbridge, MA, United States

Applied Coastal Research and Engineering

Uxbridge, MA, United States

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Dalyander P.S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Meyers M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Mattsson B.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Steyer G.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Coastal ecosystem management typically relies on subjective interpretation of scientific understanding, with limited methods for explicitly incorporating process knowledge into decisions that must meet multiple, potentially competing stakeholder objectives. Conversely, the scientific community lacks methods for identifying which advancements in system understanding would have the highest value to decision-makers. A case in point is barrier island restoration, where decision-makers lack tools to objectively use system understanding to determine how to optimally use limited contingency funds when project construction in this dynamic environment does not proceed as expected. In this study, collaborative structured decision-making (SDM) was evaluated as an approach to incorporate process understanding into mid-construction decisions and to identify priority gaps in knowledge from a management perspective. The focus was a barrier island restoration project at Ship Island, Mississippi, where sand will be used to close an extensive breach that currently divides the island. SDM was used to estimate damage that may occur during construction, and guide repair decisions within the confines of limited availability of sand and funding to minimize adverse impacts to project objectives. Sand was identified as more limiting than funds, and unrepaired major breaching would negatively impact objectives. Repairing minor damage immediately was determined to be generally more cost effective (depending on the longshore extent) than risking more damage to a weakened project. Key gaps in process-understanding relative to project management were identified as the relationship of island width to breach formation; the amounts of sand lost during breaching, lowering, or narrowing of the berm; the potential for minor breaches to self-heal versus developing into a major breach; and the relationship between upstream nourishment and resiliency of the berm to storms. This application is a prototype for using structured decision-making in support of engineering projects in dynamic environments where mid-construction decisions may arise; highlights uncertainty about barrier island physical processes that limit the ability to make robust decisions; and demonstrates the potential for direct incorporation of process-based models in a formal adaptive management decision framework. © 2016


Garrison S.,Woodard and Curran | Cameron D.,Woodard and Curran | Ramsey J.,Applied Coastal Research and Engineering
Journal of New England Water Environment Association | Year: 2013

The Ogunquit wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is in a regulated coastal sand dune system and coastal barrier resource system (CBRS), between the Ogunquit River estuary and the Gulf of Maine. The facility has flooded during major historic storm events and faces ever-increasing risks from such events because of rising sea levels and greater storm frequency. Adaptation options to address potential flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise (SLR) were desired. A study assessed the aforementioned risks, along with anticipated changes in regulatory requirements, aging infrastructure, changes in population demographics, and increased competition for funding. This study also outlined mitigation strategies. Regulatory limitations, aging infrastructure, and anticipated SLR impacts suggest that there is no practical long-term solution that would allow the town to continue using the existing WWTP site beyond 2032-2052, given Ogunquit Sewage District's current risk tolerance.


PubMed | U.S. Army, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, National Park Service and Applied Coastal Research and Engineering
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of environmental management | Year: 2016

Coastal ecosystem management typically relies on subjective interpretation of scientific understanding, with limited methods for explicitly incorporating process knowledge into decisions that must meet multiple, potentially competing stakeholder objectives. Conversely, the scientific community lacks methods for identifying which advancements in system understanding would have the highest value to decision-makers. A case in point is barrier island restoration, where decision-makers lack tools to objectively use system understanding to determine how to optimally use limited contingency funds when project construction in this dynamic environment does not proceed as expected. In this study, collaborative structured decision-making (SDM) was evaluated as an approach to incorporate process understanding into mid-construction decisions and to identify priority gaps in knowledge from a management perspective. The focus was a barrier island restoration project at Ship Island, Mississippi, where sand will be used to close an extensive breach that currently divides the island. SDM was used to estimate damage that may occur during construction, and guide repair decisions within the confines of limited availability of sand and funding to minimize adverse impacts to project objectives. Sand was identified as more limiting than funds, and unrepaired major breaching would negatively impact objectives. Repairing minor damage immediately was determined to be generally more cost effective (depending on the longshore extent) than risking more damage to a weakened project. Key gaps in process-understanding relative to project management were identified as the relationship of island width to breach formation; the amounts of sand lost during breaching, lowering, or narrowing of the berm; the potential for minor breaches to self-heal versus developing into a major breach; and the relationship between upstream nourishment and resiliency of the berm to storms. This application is a prototype for using structured decision-making in support of engineering projects in dynamic environments where mid-construction decisions may arise; highlights uncertainty about barrier island physical processes that limit the ability to make robust decisions; and demonstrates the potential for direct incorporation of process-based models in a formal adaptive management decision framework.


Byrnes M.R.,Applied Coastal Research and Engineering | Rosati J.D.,U.S. Army | Griffee S.F.,Applied Coastal Research and Engineering | Berlinghoff J.L.,Applied Coastal Research and Engineering
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2013

Historical shoreline and bathymetric survey data were compiled for the barrier islands and passes fronting Mississippi Sound to identify net littoral sand transport pathways, quantify the magnitude of net sand transport, and develop an operational sediment budget spanning a 90-year period. Net littoral sand transport along the islands and passes is primarily unidirectional (east-to-west). Beach erosion along the east side of each island and sand spit deposition to the west result in an average sand flux of about 400,000 cy/yr (305,000 m3/yr) throughout the barrier island system. Dog Keys Pass, located updrift of East Ship Island, is the only inlet acting as a net sediment sink. It also is the widest pass in the system (about 10 km) and has two active channels and ebb shoals. As such, a deficit of sand exists along East Ship Island. Littoral sand transport decreases rapidly along West Ship Island, where exchange of sand between islands terminates because of wave sheltering from the Chandeleur Islands and shoals at the eastern margin of the St. Bernard delta complex, Louisiana. These data were used to assist with design of a large island restoration project along Ship Island, Mississippi. © Coastal Education & Research Foundation 2013.

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