EM 1110-2-1100 (Part V)
31 Jul 2003
Ecosystem restoration projects result from habitat lost due to a previous activity such as construction
of jetties at a tidal inlet and the long-term, downdrift erosion of the beach. Restoration and protection
of unique species habitat could also be the objective. Normally, beach nourishment projects can be
designed to meet these project objectives. Methods to quantify these environmental benefits are
discussed in Part V-8 as applied by the Corps.
(4) Institutional, political, legal. A fourth area that has a formidable influence on the design process are
the institutional, political (social), and legal requirements for all projects.
(a) Institutional (policies and guidelines). The Federal objective of water and related land resources
project planning is to contribute to the national economic development (NED) consistent with protecting the
nation's environment. Applicable executive orders and other Federal government policies and guidelines as
planning requirements are discussed fully in Part V-8. The Corps is responsible for shore protection designs
of the Federal government. The Corps District Office engineers with the possible aid of the Coastal
Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), do most of the design
work. Some design work is performed by the private, civil engineering consulting firms. No general
guidelines exist as to when and how the private sector, coastal engineering community participates in the
design process for the Federal government.
Other Federal agencies are responsible for some aspects and alternatives for shore protection. A
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established in 1968 to help reduce the Federal share
of costs in connection with flood losses. The NFIP is operated by the Federal Insurance
Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). An
essential component for implementing the NFIP is the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) which
delineates special flood hazard areas and insurance risk zones. These maps are prepared by FEMA's
level are designated as special flood hazard areas. The associated recurrence interval is the so-called,
100-year flood. Use of the 100-year flood designation is discouraged. Many people believe that a
100-year flood happens only once every 100 years. Some areas have experienced flooding at this
probability level in consecutive years. The FEMA flood hazard zone maps include special V-zones
for both flooding and significant wave energy to cause structural damage. Construction standards
(where applicable) and flood insurance rates are usually higher for structures located in V-zones.
Zoning laws and improved building standards are then implemented by coastal communities based
on the FIRM and designated hazard-prone areas. One common standard is the requirement that all,
first-floor living quarters of new construction be set at least one foot above the mapped elevation of
the one percent chance flood.
Since 1982, all NFIP policies are actuarial, i.e., the flood insurance policy's annual rates fully reflect
the buildings risk of flooding. No taxpayer subsides are required. Presently, about 23 percent of
structures vulnerable to flooding damages are covered by the NFIP. And, only 3 percent of these
NFIP policies are in coastal communities. These coastal communities generate more premium
income that they have received in loss claims (Houston 1999).
Beaches serving as flood protection works are eligible for disaster relief from FEMA provided the relief
is assigned public beach facility status. To qualify, it must have a period renourishment program for
long-term maintenance. The local government project sponsor must restore the beach to its normal
design shape (template) and pay for the cost of replacing sand eroded prior to the storm. Since natural
beach rebuilding begins after the storm, it is not clear what time frame is employed to define the storm
Shore Protection Projects