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Littoral Drift Restoration Project

Benson Beach, Pacific County, Washington, USA


Client US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District; Washington State Department of Ecology; Pacific County, Washington
Industries Transportation
Services Coastal and Offshore, Surface Water/Sediments

Assignment:

In view of the apparent deficit of littoral sediment (sand) along the southwest coast of Washington, regional stakeholders are searching for opportunities to implement regional sediment management (RSM) at the Mouth of the Columbia River (MCR). Objectives for implementing RSM at the MCR are to beneficially use dredged sediment to sustain the inlet and adjacent coastal zone by a) minimizing landward recession of the coastal zone north and south of the inlet, b) stabilizing the inlet's morphology, and c) reducing the rate of foundation erosion affecting navigation infrastructure at the inlet.

The over-arching RSM opportunity is that each year approximately 3.5 million cubic yards of sand is dredged at the MCR to maintain the deep-draft federal navigation channel though the inlet. The challenge for implementing RSM at the MCR is to find locations for placing the dredged sand where the sand will provide the most benefits to the littoral zone without creating adverse consequences to the environment or navigation at the inlet.

Our Role:

The Southwest Washington Littoral Drift Restoration project is a collaborative RSM initiative established to address erosion and to manage the placement of dredged sediments from the federal navigation channel at the MCR. A pilot beach fill project, executed during the summer of 2010, was cost-share funded by the State of Washington and the National RSM Program administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)- Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).

A vigorous field data monitoring program was performed during and following the beach placement (August-December). Approximately 350,000 cubic yards of dredged sand from the lower Columbia River was pumped over the north jetty and onto the nearshore area of Benson Beach at Cape Disappointment State Park. The objective was to assess dredged sand placement and its ability to beneficially augment the littoral sediment budget along Long Beach peninsula.

Golder's coastal services was contracted to assist Pacific County, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Portland District with conceptual design of the project, including selecting the candidate RSM location, designing the monitoring program to ensure the site meets RSM objectives, and conducting the in-situ physical coastal process monitoring effort.

Associated Services

Coastal & Marine Services
Golder’s coastal & marine services group encompasses environmental planners, scientists, and engineers with broad experience...

Water Services
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