International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

Three years after Hurricane Sandy the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the 25th and final flood control and coastal emergency project in October 2015.

Together with its federal state local and industry partners the Corps’ North Atlantic Division which extends from Maine to the Virginia-North Carolina border has completed work on 95 coastal storm damage risk reduction projects. By December 2014 all 25 previously constructed beach nourishment projects under the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program had been fully restored. After Sandy the North Atlantic Division also repaired 69 of 86 Sandy-impacted navigation channels and structures along the coast with the balance to be complete by this summer.

The Corps has placed more than 33 million cubic yards of sand on beaches in Connecticut Rhode Island New York New Jersey Delaware Maryland and Virginia to restore dunes and berms to their authorized specifications.

Work continues on 16 federally funded coastal storm risk management studies (including execution of feasibility cost-sharing agreements) – each of which will potentially result in new project construction.

Construction continues on nineteen “authorized but not yet constructed” beach nourishment projects similar to those already constructed. These were designed and congressionally authorized prior to Sandy but had not been built or only partially built. One of these is now complete nine more are in construction with the remainder ready to be built pending coordination with state and local officials.

Under with the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 the Corps collaborated with 90 federal state local government and nongovernmental agencies tribal partners and academic organizations on the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) to assess the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. This study which applied a regional framework to reducing risk for vulnerable coastal populations was submitted to Congress and released to the public in January 2015.

The North Atlantic Divsion said nine new study focus areas resulting from the NACCS will analyze the coastline as a system to develop the most effective solutions in the future. The NACCS framework can be used not only in planning the future protection of the 31000- mile coastline affected by Sandy but also for customization by other U.S. coastal areas or even other countries managing similar risks.