Council OKs Study Into New Beach Protection Measures (USA)
The Avalon Borough Council voted unanimously on Wednesday evening, April 10th, to approve a new study that will examine feasibility of a groin field and other protective measures that would provide greater resiliency for the Borough during future coastal storm events.
The resolution to award the contract for the study was approved by a unanimous 5–0 vote.
“It is our responsibility to examine innovative ways to provide a greater level of protection for our community while preserving our beaches and dunes that often take the brunt of significant coastal storms”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “This new study will evaluate the effectiveness of a groin field and other alternative shore protection measures that will continue to keep our community as safe as possible from future significant storm events”.
The contract to conduct the evaluation study was awarded to the engineering firm of Hatch Mott MacDonald, which will employ the services of Moffatt & Nichol, one of premiere coastal engineering firms in the United States. Moffatt & Nichol was one of three coastal engineering firms that submitted responsive proposals to conduct the study in Avalon. Moffat & Nichol brings decades of expertise on mitigation strategies that can lessen the impact of storm wave conditions and inlet sediment transport processes in the North Atlantic.
Discussions have occurred between the Borough of Avalon and the United States Army Corps of Engineers regarding the possibility of the development of a groin field or alternate measure in Avalon. Should this new study reveal a feasible alternative to the Corps’ established plan of routine beach maintenance may provide greater protection for Avalon, the results of the study will be presented to the Corps with a request to incorporate the results into the federal management plan.
“The Borough of Avalon has put millions of its own dollars into various beach and dune nourishment projects which provided extraordinarily resiliency and property protection during Hurricane Irene and super storm Sandy”, Pagliughi said. “This study may show a path to even greater protection of our community while saving the Borough, along with our federal and state partners, a significant amount of money. Many shore communities learned an unfortunate lesson during the recent hurricane that continual attention towards storm mitigation needs to occur in order to lessen the impact of a significant storm event. In Avalon, we need to explore if a viable compliment to our beach and dune maintenance system exists”.
This study has a cost not to exceed $190,000 and includes seven elements: Review of existing data and studies; groin field performance analysis; design basis and preliminary design recommendations; alternative and supplemental measures; reporting; meetings and presentations; and project rendering and visualization.
The Borough of Avalon has received significant praise for its proactive approach to property protection through various beach, dune, seawall, and bulkhead efforts. On Thursday, February 7th, JoEllen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary to the United States Army in charge of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, testified before the United States Senate committee on Environment and Public Works. Ms. Darcy said “I few over the coast of New Jersey after Sandy hit. What I saw was the property behind the beaches of Avalon were well protected, while just a mile or so nearby where there had been no federal beach project, the community didn’t fare that well”.
Since 2005, Avalon has conducted various beach and dune restoration projects in the north end of the community with a total estimated cost of $26.1 million. The beach fills have been conducted by a hydraulic dredge, trucks, and by back passing. Avalon completed a beach fill project in January, 2013 that resulted in 302,000 cubic yards of sand being placed on north end beaches; that project was completely funded by the federal government and restored the beaches to conditions that existed before the two recent hurricanes.
Press Release, April 11, 2013