EM 1110-2-1100 (Part V)
31 Jul 2003
nor answer the questions listed by Pope (1997). Alternative technologies for beach preservation was the
theme for the 7th National Beach Technology Conference (Tait 1994, ed.).
(b) Section 227 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 authorized a National Shoreline
Erosion Control Development and Demonstration (NSECDD) program. Emphasis is on "... the development
and demonstration of innovative technologies" to advance the state of the art in coastal shoreline protection.
Funding the 6-year effort began in fiscal year 2000. A minimum of seven projects on the Atlantic, Pacific,
Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes is mandated by this legislation. Pope (1997) discusses many issues
surrounding the application of nontraditional and innovative technologies. The ability to perform their
promised function, survive for a predictable life, impact on the environment, and total costs (initial and long-
term maintenance) must be carefully examined. Pope (1997) then raises many questions that should be
addressed, when considering innovative, alternative, shore protection approaches including:
Is it heavy enough, particularly considering storm waves?
Will it be properly anchored so that it doesn't fall apart?
If the structure does fail, could the loose components become an environmental or public safety
Will the installation be tolerant of erosion or scour effects around its base?
Will the material from which it is being constructed last?
What are the design criteria in terms of events for longevity?
How will it perform and will it do what we want it to do?
If it does perform as promised, could there be adverse impacts to adjacent areas?
How much will constructing the nontraditional or innovative system cost compared to more
What will it cost to maintain and can it be repaired when damaged?
What is its effective (functional and economic) life?
What will it cost to remove the system, if necessary?
(c) All of these questions and more will be addressed for the nontraditional and innovative technologies
deployed in the National Demonstration Program. The search for new and innovative approaches has
primarily been driven by the shift from hard to soft alternatives for shore protection (Figure V-3-3) and the
need to reduce long-term costs of beach nourishment projects by increasing the time interval between
renourishment events. As an example, precast, concrete modules, serving as nearshore breakwaters could
replace conventional, rubble-mound breakwaters at some locations, and serve the same function of increasing
the fill life of the renourished beach. If properly sited (see Part V-3-3) and set on a proper foundation, these
units are attractive to permitting agencies because they have a smaller footprint on the bottom and can be
adjusted or removed easily, if downdrift impacts are detected, by monitoring. Nontraditional and innovative
technologies are subject to all the same design constraints previously discussed (Part V-3-1) plus the extra
need to overcome previous shortcomings and prove that they work. The National Demonstration Program
will greatly aid in this effort.
Shore Protection Projects