Coastal Engineering Manual
The Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM) is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers'
(USACE) comprehensive technical coastal engineering manual. It includes the basic
principles of coastal processes, methods for computing coastal planning and design
parameters, and guidance on how to formulate coastal flood studies, shore protection, and
During the past five decades,
coastal engineering practice in
the USACE and throughout
most of the world has been
based on the Shore Protection
Manual (1974, 1984) and its
predecessor, Technical Report
#4 (1954, 1957, 1961, 1966),
which are now out of print.
These manuals no longer
reflect the most up-to-date
technology and knowledge of
coastal processes and engi-
neering. The U.S. Govern-
Erosion along the Morgan Peninsula, Alabama, shore
ment, through the Coastal
illustrate coastal diversity around the United States
(CHL), initiated preparation
of the CEM in the mid-1990s,
bringing in both in-house technical specialists and outside consultants who are all
recognized experts in particular subject areas.
The official CEM is a USACE Engineering Manual. It is available from the Corps'
Web page as a .pdf document that users can download and print on their own computers.
This version, as with other Engineering Manuals, is available for free to the general public.
These same .pdf files are also posted on the CHL Web site. An interactive version was
developed by Veri-Tech, Inc., a private company. This version is a commercial product
based closely on the CEM and includes interactive functions, formulas, and examples and
ties to other analytical tools.
The CEM provides a standard for the formulation, design, and expected performance of a
broad variety of coastal projects. This expanded replacement document provides a much
broader field of guidance and is designed for updates as needed to reflect the state-of-the-
art in coastal science and engineering.
Parts I-IV and Appendix A were officially released as a USACE guidance document in
2002, and Part V was released in 2003. Part VI is scheduled to be completed in 2005.
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center