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Murky Waters: Carbonate Sand Beach Nourishment Challenges
Article Contributed by: Chuck Blay, PhD (TEOK Invesitgations, LLC; HSBPA Board of Directors, Hawaii Island Representative)
The future of beach preservation of Hawaiian beaches may lie with replenishment; however, nourishing carbonate sand beaches has its challenges. Obstacles include the release of silt and clay-size carbonate fines from the replenishment sand, having the potential of harming nearshore marine fauna and flora, as well as cement-like hardening of the nourishment deposit itself, adding another hazard for beach goers...GET FULL STORY HERE.
USACE Brings Regional Sediment Management to American Samoa
Article Contributed by: Jessica Podoski (USACE Honolulu District; HSBPA Ex-Officio)
The objective of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Regional Sediment Management (RSM) Program (http://rsm.usace.army.mil/) is to optimize the use of sediments and management of projects through a systems-based approach. RSM supports sustainable navigation and dredging, flood and storm damage reduction, and environmental restoration practices to increase overall benefits and reduce costs. RSM strives to enhance the planning, construction, and operation and maintenance of projects where the exchange of sediments would occur naturally. RSM is also a means to involve stakeholders to leverage resources, share technology and data, identify needs and opportunities, and develop solutions to improve the utilization and management of sediments. RSM has been utilized within Hawaii for over a decade in locations around Oahu (Mokapu to Makapuu, Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor, Haleiwa, and Sunset Beach), Maui (Kihei, Kahului, and West Maui), and Kauai (Kekaha, and Poipu).
The USACE Honolulu District’s RSM program (http://rsm.usace.army.mil/Hawaii/) has recently broken new ground by bringing the systems approach concept to civil works projects in the U.S. Territory of American Samoa (AS) for the first time. The USACE Honolulu District has a rich history of providing civil works assistance to the territory for enhancements of navigation, shore protection, flood control, emergency management capabilities and life safety measures. The USACE has constructed and maintains small boat harbors on the territory’s main islands (Tutuila, Aunuu, Tau, Ofu and Olosega). Shore protection projects have been constructed by the USACE along many miles of the shoreline within the territory to reduce the impacts of storms on critical infrastructure and upland development.
The existing federally authorized shore protection projects in AS all consist of “hard” structural features, such as rubblemound revetments. In addition, the American Samoa Government (ASG) has constructed similar projects that have reduced the amount of sandy shorelines in the territory. This trend will continue into the future in response to coastal storms and sea level rise impacts unless “soft” solutions to the problem are implemented. The ASG has expressed concerns for the loss of sandy shorelines as it impacts subsistence and quality of life for the people of American Samoa. ASG Department of Commerce (DOC) will be the non-federal sponsor of this and future RSM initiatives in the territory. The DOC is in strong support of implementing RSM measures to maximize beneficial use of sediment on a regional scale in the territory and in particular at Utulei Beach.
This study will investigate sediment related problems and opportunities in the Utulei Beach region on the island of Tutuila in the village of Pago Pago. The Utulei Beach region extends from Tulutula Point through Utulei Beach Park, approximately 0.8 miles of shoreline. The Utulei Beach RSM initiative will evaluate recent changes and existing condition of the shoreline, potential sediment sources, examine coastal processes, engage stakeholders, and identify potential RSM projects in the region.
The Honolulu District and the DOC conducted a stakeholder workshop on July 27, 2016 in the Utulei Beach region, consisting of attendees from the Federal and territorial government, the National Park Service, the American Samoa Coral Reef Advisory Group, as well as representatives from local businesses and the village of Utulei. The workshop illuminated several relevant concerns relating to sediment management in the region, including environmental resources present, observed historical sediment transport patterns, and historical sand mining in the region, to name a few. The attendees discussed potential environmental concerns, engineering challenges, and potential future funding sources, all of which will need to be considered as potential RSM projects for the Utulei region are developed.
Image: Typical shoreline within the Utulei Beach Region, American Samoa.