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Abstract: Session H  3:50 pm (Back to Session H)
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Shoreline Protection of Historic and Coastal Resources at Brunswick Town/ Fort Anderson

Phillip Todd
Atlantic Reefmaker
Wilmington, NC

Author(s): Phillip C. Todd, Atlantic Reefmaker, Devon Eulie, PhD., University of North Carolina Wilmington

The shoreline at the State of North Carolina’s historic site, Brunswick Town/ Fort Anderson (BTFA), was in need of protection from constant tide forces and dynamic wave action. Colonial-era wharves are being destroyed, and precious artifacts from these buried colonial-era wharves are being washed into the Cape Fear River. Additionally, valuable coastal resources were being eroded.

Erosion on the banks of BTFA was first noted in 2008. In 2012, the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) attempted to arrest the shoreline erosion. The initial attempt was unsuccessful in arresting the erosion, and the NCDNCR struggled to protect these sensitive and historically significant resources from the adjacent high energy wave environment.

The Reefaker concept was identified as a potential solution for the shoreline erosion in place of a traditional breakwater structure. The Reefmaker product provides several ecoservices and works in horizontally limited area whereas the breakwater structure does not provide these services nor would have worked in horizontally limited areas.

In summer 2017, Phase 1 was implemented involving 220’ of RM along the highest eroded area of BTFA. Construction for Phase 2 (240’) was completed in early August 2018, prior to Hurricane Florence battering the project area for several days. The shoreline in these areas has been stabilized, and a new shoreline is being formed as the Reefmaker structure disrupts wave energy and allows for flushing which enables accretion.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) conducts project monitoring for the State of NC. Monitoring components include sediment accretion, vegetation establishment and wave energy measurements; including the approaching wave, wave transmission through the structure and reflected wave energy. UNCW established the project’s baseline documentation in 2016 and began monitoring Phase 1 in August 2017. Quarterly monitoring reports are being generated by UNCW through summer 2018.

This presentation will describe past stabilization methods of the historic site, document why the Reefmaker concept was the best solution for the BTFA site over a rock breakwater structure, note Phase 2 adjustments from lessons learned on Phase I and describe the monitoring results the project to date.