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Using nature to create coastal resilience is a major priority.

3 Examples of Coastal Resilience in Action

Coastal resilience is an effort to support our planet’s coastlines and help them survive. Nothing is so destructive that a healthy coastline can’t bounce back from the brink of disaster - not even a Category 5 hurricane or a man-made ecological catastrophe.

Preserving shorelines and waterways requires input from the planet’s top ecological risk management experts. When a crisis occurs, it takes tremendous effort to halt the destruction, then manage the process of restoring the natural balance.

Below, we’ll examine three water management projects that show the impact of coastline preservation and waterway risk management. These success stories come from Versar, one of the world’s foremost authorities on coastal resilience and a top government contractor for billion-dollar environmental preservation projects.

Nearshore Surveys - Coastal Resilience Mid-Atlantic

Versar's' Environmental Management Team worked through an iterative process to select and established a variety of intertidal and subtidal sites.  Our team of Coastal Resilience experts

conducted seasonal surveys for each of the identified parameters.

Project Details

Versar performed complicated wildlife surveys simultaneously at multiple, geographically separated installations and produce detailed reports of results and management recommendations, along with accurate geodatabases.

Versar compiled a team of fisheries, marine mammal, and other specialists to conduct a series of field surveys from spring 2016 to winter 2017 within the nearshore and marine environments. The purpose of the surveys was to characterize the nearshore community and marine environments documenting the floral and faunal species composition, shoreline type and anthropogenic features, and water quality information.

Specifically, the seasonal surveys were designed and executed to record data and analyze:

  • Fish and invertebrate community assessment, including state and federally listed threatened and endangered species
  • Benthic habitat, species, and sediment characteristics
  • Nearshore water quality conditions
  • Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV)
  • Intertidal flora and fauna
  • Marine mammals and sea turtles

Possum Point Shoreline Restoration, Naval Support Activity (NSA)

This coastal resilience ecological restoration project will control erosion, enhance habitat, and improve water quality. Water quality benefits are achieved through stormwater pollutant load reductions—eliminating 113.8 pounds of nitrogen, 103.2 pounds of phosphorus, and 207,829 pounds of sediment from entering the Chesapeake Bay each year.

Versar's Environmental Services Group and Environmental Management Team was awarded this project in Annapolis Maryland as part of preservation and restoration efforts where the U.S. Naval Academy is located, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

Project Details

NAVFAC Washington awarded Versar a Cooperative Agreement to implement shoreline restoration activities (i.e., revetment and living shoreline) on a 1,517-linear foot segment of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis. We performed shoreline studies, designed and implemented restoration, navigated regulatory permitting requirements, and managed the work of specialized sub-contractors from project design to completion.

Possum Point is located at the northeast end of Greenbury Point (part of Northern Severn Annex), it is bordered by Mill Creek on the west and the Chesapeake Bay on the east. This restoration project stabilized the shoreline which facilitated recreational uses of the site, enhanced habitat for wildlife use, and reduced sediment inputs to Mill Creek.

Prior to implementation of this project the western shoreline along Possum Point was eroding and unstable with a patch of Phragmites australis (common reed; a non-native, invasive plant species). There was no beach and minimal protection resulting in the potential for substantial erosion, particularly during large storm events. The eastern shore of Possum Point consisted of an old, failing timber bulkhead with discrete areas of erosion along its length. The restoration project controls erosion, enhances habitat, and improves water quality through stormwater pollutant load reductions, which prevent nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from entering the Chesapeake Bay.


Biazzi Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation at Naval Support Facility

This coastal resilience project presented the opportunity to accomplish the full cycle of services to support an ecological restoration project from concept to design, permitting to construction, and finally through to delivery. This successful project restored 250 linear feet of stream channel and created two small seasonal pools that are providing water quality and wildlife habitat benefits.

rose during this project, the team discovered degraded underwater foundation blocks that threatened the entire structure of the naval base’s waterway. Versar’s project engineer developed a sound solution that provided strong support for the pier and breakwater while respecting environmental concerns.

Project Details

NAVFAC Washington awarded Versar a Cooperative Agreement to prepare a design package and secure necessary permits to implement 250 linear feet of voluntary stream restoration and wetland creation at 2 locations on Naval Support Facility Indian Head (NSFIH) located in Charles County, Maryland.

The stream restoration site was south of the terminus of Nitramine Way in the Agile Chemical Facility. The site had a degraded perennial stream channel with areas of unstable stream geometry and eroding banks. The stream reach received input from an existing storm drain upstream of the site and flowed to the east to the forested wetland floodplain of Mattawoman Creek. There were signs of previous efforts to stabilize the left bank perhaps associated with construction work in the vicinity. If left unaddressed, the unstable eroding stream banks would have continued to release sediments to Mattawoman Creek, which was listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as impaired under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act for excess nutrients, sediment, and loss of living resources. Restorative measures in this watershed would help reduce these impairments.

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Versar Embodies Coastal Resilience in Action

Here in the United States, tremendous funding is now allotted for programs to manage the looming threat of climate change. Versar is uniquely qualified to manage environmental programs that require a superior level of ecological risk management expertise.

For almost 50 years, Versar has handled large-scale waterway and coastal resilience program management, engineering, staffing, construction, hazardous materials handling, munitions disposal, and ecological remediation activities. Our clients are in the governmental, municipal, military, and industrial sectors and we operate in some of the world’s harshest environments and most dangerous zones.

At Versar, we're dedicated to fostering awareness and education about the emerging field of coastal resilience. Visit our site to learn more about how coastal risk mitigation is helping our planet’s coastlines survive and thrive.

Visit Versar.com