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Linking Evaluation

,
Assessment, and Guidance
for Living Shorelines
Designs

Jon K. Miller
Research Assistant Professor
Stevens Institute of Technology

HR Sustainable Shorelines Webinar Series –
September 16, 2016

Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines
Project
Engineering Analyses
Literature
Review

• Phase 1 – Literature Review

What are the options?

• Phase 2 – Physical Forces Analysis

Where might they work?

Design
Guidance

Physical
Forces
Analysis

• Phase 3 – Forensic Analyses

How resilient are they?

• Phase 4 – Monitoring Protocol

How do we assess?

• Design Guidelines

Monitoring
Protocol

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Forensic
Analysis

Click to Insert Image

Forensic Analysis
(https://www.hrnerr.org/shorelinesforensicanalysis/)

Forensic Analysis - Objectives

Objective

Characterize the conditions at 6 sites impacted by
Irene/Lee/Sandy to better understand the determinants of
success/failure during extreme weather events

“Evidence”
• Shoreline history (photographs & anecdotal)
• Engineering data and drawings
• Hindcast storm conditions & physical forces
climatology
• Post storm photos and site surveys
• WEAKNESS – Lack of pre-storm information

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Forensic Analysis - Typical Evidence

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Forensic Analysis - Habirshaw Park
Conclusions

Sill crest height initially
under-designed

Adaptive management used
to correct problem

Maintenance essential to
project’s performance

Submergence and mild
slopes have limited storm
damage

Ice and wakes may
dominate design

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Forensic Analysis - Common Findings

Maturity of
Vegetation

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Slope
Compatibilit
y

Forensic Analysis - Common Findings

Debris
Impact

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Leeside
Erosion

Forensic Analysis - Common Findings

Maintenance
Adaptive
Management
Stone Sizing

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Forensic Analysis – Final
Recommendations
1.

More research needs to be done on the performance of
various approaches during heavy ice and debris conditions.

2.

More research is needed on plant material selection.

3.

Proper monitoring and maintenance is important to the longterm performance of all projects; however it is critically
important for ecologically enhanced shoreline projects.

4. Temporary stabilization measures should be provided to allow
vegetation to mature.
5. Terracing or other measures should be used to avoid unnatural
slopes.
6. Backside forces should be addressed in design/construction of
coastal structures.

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Monitoring Protocol
(https://www.hrnerr.org/hudson-river-sustainable-shorelines/assessingecological-physical-performance/)

Monitoring Protocol - Impetus

NRC – “Decision-makers should appreciate the costs and benefits of the spectrum
of potential solutions to shoreline erosion problems, including potential
cumulative impacts on shoreline features, habitats, and other amenities.”
USACE - “Consider the full array of measures and account for the full array of
benefits”
HRSSP – “Regional demonstration projects/case studies are needed”
NYCGIRP – “Conceptual models and monitoring protocol development”, “Pilot
project identification, implementation, and monitoring (living laboratory)”,
“Development of rapid assessment and ecosystem models”
HRSSP – “Developing a region-wide consistent set of “important” parameters would
assist comparisons between ecosystems as well as states. Specifically, but not
limited to the monitoring discussions, funding was identified as a barrier for
implementation of sustainable shorelines.”

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Problem: Time/Money
Solution: Rapid Assessment
Objective: Develop simple, cheap, but reliable assessment protocols which can be
carried out by a trained non-technical user.

• Vegetated Slopes
• Rocky Slopes
• Offshore Mounds

Terrace

Sill

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Basis: Cary Institute Ecological
Rapid Assessment Protocol
So simple even an engineer can do it…or not

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Developing an Engineering
Corollary

Integrity Param

Crest Elevatio

Slope Measurem

Stone Densit

Vegetation Den

Asset Displacem

Functional Parameters
Erosion Measurement
Visual Wave Assessment
Bulk Energy Assessment

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Integrating Ecological &
Engineering Protocols
Rapid Assessment Data Sheets
Rapid Assessment Field Guide
Satellite imagery/GIS information
Tidal Data
Clipboard
Tape Measure (100’)
Tape Measure (25’)
Camera
Waders
Stopwatch
Handheld GPS
Compass
Hula Hoop
Binoculars
Hand Level
Line Level
Marked Rope
Graduated Staffs
Plaster Spheres
Inclinometer

Italicized items may be replaced with a smartphone with appropriate apps loaded

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Step 2: Integrate Ecological &
Engineering Protocols

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Status Update/Schedule

Step 1: Develop preliminary engineering corollary to the ecological rapid
assessment
Step 2: Integrate the protocols
Step 3: Apply protocols at several sites
Step 4: Train an initial group of “Super Users” (guinea pigs) – Summer
2016
Step 4: Revise/refine protocol – Winter 2016/Spring 2017
Step 5: Independent application of protocol – Summer 2017
Step 6: Finalize training materials - 2018
Throughout, opportunities to link to/with other work will be evaluated.

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Design Guidance
(http://www.nj.gov/dep/cmp/docs/living-shorelines-engineering-guidelinesfinal.pdf)

Development/Refinement of Design
Guidance
New Jersey Living Shorelines
Engineering Guidelines (2015)
• Provides guidance to engineers
and regulators (and contractors,
land managers, ecologists…)on
the engineering aspects of living
shorelines design
• Intended to ensure
consistency with New Jersey’s
“Living Shorelines GP” and
reduce the number of
potential failures due to poor
design and construction
http://www.nj.gov/dep/cmp/docs/living-shorelines-engineering-guidelines-final.pdf

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

New Jersey Living Shorelines Design
Guidelines
Not intended to be prescriptive
Approach
1. Identify factors relevant to living shoreline design
– Provide guidance for selecting between alternatives*
2. Describe approaches for determining required parameters
– Consider different levels of rigor for different parameters and
projects
3. Provide example of how these parameters influence design
– Sills, breakwaters, joint planted revetment, reef balls, living reef
*Monitoring considered essential for refining this knowledge and
improving guidance for future projects

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Tiered Analysis Approach Recommended

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Project Selection Criteria

enotes critical parameters requiring level 2/3 analysis

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

TNC Restoration Explorer - NJ Living
Shorelines Design Guidelines – “Level 0”

http://www.maps.coastalresilience.org/newjersey

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Conclusions

• Much accomplished, much left to do
• Linking project monitoring back to design guidance is critical
– HUGE opportunity (NFWF, NOAA, USACE, HUD…)
– Likely that $$ & time will not be

• One size does not fit all – blessing & curse
– Innovation vs regulation (liability?)

• As we move away from traditional protection factors such as
wakes, ice, debris may become more important
• Linking engineering and ecology early on is critical

ustainable Shorelines Webinar Series – September 16, 2016

Jon K. Miller
jmiller@stevens.edu
@NJBeachProf