The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) received funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Resiliency Grant Program to increase coastal resilience and reduce risk to people, infrastructure and natural resources in coastal communities by building and monitoring nature-based coastal infrastructure throughout New England. TNC raised additional matching funds with grants from 11th Hour Racing and the RI Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Trust Fund, administered by CRMC. The objective of the program is to identify and test living solutions to improve shoreline protection and monitor the results over time. The Rhode Island project included the construction and monitoring of two bluff erosion control treatments for the purpose of stabilizing the bluff and creating salt marsh for beach protection at Rose Larisa Park in East Providence, RI.
GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA) teamed with SumCo Eco-Contracting of Peabody, MA to provide engineering design, permitting support, and construction services for the design and construction of two bluff erosion control treatments including a biodegradable shoreline with appropriate plantings and an intertidal sill along the beach below the bluff at the park on the Providence River.
GZA completed a site visit and reviewed the provided topographic survey of the beach and bluff area to establish the base plan for the design of the treatments. Design plans were developed and reviewed with TNC and CRMC. GZA also provided sketches for inclusion in permitting documents prepared by TNC and CRMC. Following reviews and approvals, the construction of the proposed designs was completed. Construction was performed by SumCo Eco-Contracting under the watchful eye of The Nature Conservancy. Volunteers from CRMC, TNC and Save the Bay helped with planting efforts during construction.
The installation of the living shoreline protections will be monitored for their efficacy and resilience over time. The success of these treatments will help determine if these methods will be utilized more frequently for shoreline protection in Rhode Island and throughout New England.