Living Breakwaters

Staten Island, NY

Back in October of 2012, Staten Island was devastated from Superstorm Sandy. The eastern and south shore neighborhoods were pummeled from the driving wave action, damaging or destroying many Staten Island homes and businesses. The Living Breakwaters, an innovative coastal green infrastructure project, was engineered to increase the physical, ecological and social resilience of Staten Island, and ensure that future storms do not produce the devastation like Superstorm Sandy did to the region.

The Living Breakwaters function as a system of elements that work together to reduce risk and enhance habitat in the Raritan Bay. Approximately 2,400 LF of near-shore “breakwaters” will be installed, designed to reduce the risk of future coastal storms with destructive wave attenuation. This layout was refined through the process of design and computer modeling, where scenarios were iteratively developed, modeled to evaluate impacts on shoreline change and storm wave attenuation, and the results analyzed to help inform the design refinement and optimize the design to reduce or reverse erosion (grow beach) and reduce coastal storm risk through wave attenuation.

Partnered with Weeks Marine, our team provided multiple roles and services for this project. We acted as the geologist of record and provides construction material inspection and oversite services at the breakwater materials extraction source (Carver Johnstown Quarry). Our role at the quarry is to ensure that specifications for soundness and gradation are adhered to prior to material shipment down the Hudson River to Raritan Bay.

In addition, our team provided survey, bathymetric and UAV mapping services. We are the primary bathymetric surveyor providing pre, and post construction bathymetric survey services on Raritan Bay and breakwater construction. We also performed twice annual erosion monitoring and mapping services to evaluate of the impact to on bathymetry and shoreline erosion associated with breakwater construction. During these biannual events we provided traditional shoreline survey combined with bathymetric and mobile LiDAR survey along prescribed transects. Our team also provide biannual shoreline and tide elevation monitoring utilizing UAV mapping techniques.