Marine Habitat Saved from Erosion with Oysters and Marine Mattresses
by Steve Williams, P.E., on March 01, 2022
Over the past decade, Florida’s gulf coast has seen numerous challenges. The oil spill from BP Discovery and Hurricane Matthew were two historic events that caused major damage to Florida’s shoreline. Fortunately, innovative solutions were developed to make Florida’s coastal region more resilient to future disasters like these.
In the aftermath of these disasters, Cat Point was experiencing damaging erosion that was destroying critical habitat. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) sought to stabilize approximately 1,600 ft of eroding shoreline and enhance the salt marsh habitat. Existing preliminary regulatory consultations and natural aesthetic expectations set the design criteria for accomplishing certain goals. Specifically, the breakwater was required to be emergent and incorporate the use of “oyster bags.”
Given site conditions, regulatory conditions, and owner preference, Taylor Engineering performed wave attenuation analyses of structure alternatives and produced an innovative solution to the ongoing shoreline erosion. The final design incorporated a low-crested emergent breakwater, constructed from stacked Triton marine mattresses from Tensar. By using the mattresses, Taylor Engineering designed an extremely stable structure capable of dissipating wave energy, reducing the anticipated differential settlement due to the extremely weak soils present at the project site and promoting long term oyster growth. Florida DEP will be monitoring the performance of this project long term.
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Tensar marine solutions can help with a wide variety of projects from erosion control and scour protection to innovative living shorelines and underwater foundations.
Visit our website for a resilient solution that will protect shorelines for decades to come.