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Title: Strategic placement of mixed sediment in the form of a nearshore berm along Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Authors: Brutsche, Katherine E.
Pollock, Cheryl E.
Keywords: Sedimentation and deposition
Littoral drift
Coastal sediments
Beach nourishment
Fort Myers (Fla.)
Publisher: Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (U.S.)
Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC;TN-EWN-17-1
Abstract: Purpose: The Engineering With Nature (EWN) program explores the partnering of engineering with naturally occurring physical processes to achieve a desired benefit. This technical note (TN) documents the application of EWN practices as applied to the strategic placement of a nearshore berm at Fort Myers Beach, FL, to accommodate sediments that exceed regulatory limits for the percentage of fine material that can be used for beach placement yet still allowing the dredged materials to be used to benefit the nearshore region. EWN practices exhibited by this study include the following: 1. The winnowing of sediments by waves and currents reduces the percent fine content of the placed sediment and modifies the nearshore material such that it may comply with regulatory\ requirements for beach compatibility. 2. The onshore migration of the sediment nourishes the nearshore profile through wave and current processes. 3. Sediments that remain at a nearshore placement site are naturally sorted and winnowed to potentially build a storage supply of acceptable material that may be mined and placed on the beach at a future time. 4. Fine grain sediment that is sorted from the placed material will not move onto the beach due to the higher energy, thus yielding beach quality material. 5. Some designs of nearshore placements can result in the placed material slowly migrating from the placement area, yielding a reusable and sustainable placement site. 6. The nearshore berm will allow increased shore protection from large waves breaking and attenuating on the berm rather than at the shoreline. Detailed in this EWN TN are the sediment characteristics and morphological evolution of the strategic placement of a nearshore berm consisting of mixed sediment placed just offshore of Fort Myers Beach, FL, based on a series of field data collection efforts from construction through the equilibration of the berm with the natural system. Pre-placement vibracores taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District (SAJ), indicated that the composite silt material was not within the allowable limits for beach placement of dredged material in the state of Florida, but by placing the material in a nearshore berm in the active nearshore profile, SAJ’s expectation was that the fine material in the berm would move offshore while coarser, beach quality sediment would move onshore1. Additionally, it was expected that the berm sediment would migrate onshore and nourish the beach while sustaining the usability of the strategic placement site. Supplemental technical details can be found in Brutsché (2011), Brutsché and Wang (2012), Wang et al. (2013), and Brutsché et al. (2014). The Fort Myers Beach nearshore berm project provided an excellent example of utilizing EWN practices for strategic design and placement along with EWN practices to gain benefit from sediments that otherwise would have been relegated to placement in offshore or upland sites.
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