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Atlantic Sand Will Be Dredged to Replenish NASA's Wallops Facility

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has authorized the use of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sand resources for the Shoreline Restoration and Infrastructure Protection Program project at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island off the mid-Atlantic coast.

BOEMRE signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with NASA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge nearly 3.2 million cubic yards of OCS sand for construction of the project. The sand will replenish the entire 3.7 miles of the Wallops Flight Facility shoreline.

The facility is on Wallops Island, on Virginia's Atlantic coast, inland of the southern tip of Assateague Island.

Through the MOA, the Corps Norfolk District will dredge the sand from an area in federal waters approximately 12 miles from the project site. The project also includes extending an existing seawall by an additional 4,600 feet southward.

The launch facility is owned by NASA and is also used by the U.S. Navy and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The facility includes launch pads for NASA and Department of Defense rockets, along with Spaceport pads for commercial satellite launches. For safety reasons, launch pads need to be located as close to the coast as possible, and the coastline must be maintained to prevent storm damage to the facilities.

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