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Sediment Dynamics, Dredging, and Ecosystem Restoration PIANC Navigation and the Environment New Orleans, LA October 28, 2009 Dr. Donald F. Hayes, PE (Mississippi),

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Presentation on theme: "Sediment Dynamics, Dredging, and Ecosystem Restoration PIANC Navigation and the Environment New Orleans, LA October 28, 2009 Dr. Donald F. Hayes, PE (Mississippi),"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sediment Dynamics, Dredging, and Ecosystem Restoration PIANC Navigation and the Environment New Orleans, LA October 28, 2009 Dr. Donald F. Hayes, PE (Mississippi), BCEE Endowed Professor of Civil Engineering Director, Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering

2 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette The LA Coast is a Dynamic Environment http://www.nola.com/speced/lastchance/multimedia/flash.ssf?flashlandloss1.swf

3 Louisiana Land Loss (1956 to 2006) Barras, J.A., Bernier, J.C., and Morton, R.A., 2008, Land area change in coastal Louisiana--A multidecadal perspective (from 1956 to 2006): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3019, scale 1:250,000, 14 p. pamphlet.

4 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette LA Coastal Land Loss Causes Natural Processes Edge erosion Subsidence Sea-level Rise Anthropogenic Channelization (multiple effects) Levees Mineral extraction Reduced sediment load Vegetation loss

5 LA Land Loss Patterns (1932-1990) Edge Erosion Interior Channels Interior Ponding

6 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Caused by Navigation? Only indirectly Channels facilitate flow Deeper depths Fewer bends Results in increased Storm surge Salt water intrusion Off-shore discharge of storm-induced sediment loads Not just navigation channels

7 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Baptiste Collette South Pass Southwest Pass Tiger Pass Baratari a Houma Atchafalaya Freshwater Mermentau Calcasieu GIWW Mississippi River Fourchon GIWWGIWW Major Navigation Channels 60 - 70 MCY/year Maintenance Sediment

8 Problem Summary Historical sediment loads no longer delivered through natural conduits across Deltaic Plain Natural land loss continues Subsidence, Erosion Anthropogenic influences increase loss rate Does a sustainable solution exist?

9 Developing a Sustainable Plan for Restoring Coastal Louisiana Natural systems, such as coastal Louisiana, are dynamic by nature. Static designs will not be sustainable.

10 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sustainable Solution Requires a comprehensive approach that mimics the dynamics of the natural system Effectively use available resources Bifurcated approach required One-time projects to repair historical damage Perpetual projects to offset on-going coastal loss

11 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Master Plan Focused on repairing historical damage Project-based Ambitious

12 Available Tools River Diversions Coastal Protection Sediment retention e.g. terracing Dredged Sediments

13 River Diversions Partially mimic historical condition Provide long-term sediment source Low maintenance cost Concerns Limited sediment load in upper water column Downstream transport Channel Clogging

14 Coastal Protection Edge Erosion represents a 30% of land loss Barrier islands historically protect the coastline Structural measures must fit with the ecosystem

15 Passive Sediment Retention Terracing has been used with some success in the Chenier Plain Long-term sediment growth Design can be optimized and may be a useful maintenance measure

16 Navigational Dredging Logical long-term sediment source Requires transportation and delivery system to replace historical system Cost will be an issue Increased pumping distance Increased coordination Additional management required Increased costs likely beyond the Federal Standard

17 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sediment Resources MVN Maintenance Dredging Total Dredged Sediment67.7 MCY/yr Fluff (Considered Unsuitable)16.0 MCY/yr Not Available18.0 MCY/yr Suitable & Available for BU33.7 MCY/yr Current Beneficial Use16.4 MCY/yr Other Dredging State Channels Private Docks ????

18 Sediment Demand Land loss as equivalent volumetric loss Land loss = 30 to 40 km 2 /yr (Barras et al 2008) 40 km 2 /yr 10,000 ac Area determined by loss of vegetation, not depth of subsidence or erosion Each 1 ft of depth = 12 MCY of volume Sediment volume required to backfill these losses Effectiveness reduced by Lack of confinement, Consolidation, Dessication, Dewatering Efficiency factor of 0.5 24 MCY/yr per foot of vertical loss

19 Tractable Problem? Problem is likely tractable, but will require efficient use of sediment resources Much more than a volume issue Must match Temporal and spatial availability Sediment Characteristics Sediment Quality With BU Demand

20 Designing BU Projects Extensive guidance available Understand sediment pumping and placement Predict retention requirements and water quality impacts Long-term consolidation Hydrology requirements All BU projects are not equal

21 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dredged Sediment Value The value of dredged sediment depends upon its availability in the quantity and quality necessary to provide a specific beneficial use, the preparation of the site to accept the sediment for the desired beneficial use, and the value of that beneficial use.

22 Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineering University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sustainability Paradigm Requires development of coast-wide restoration plans that will result in a sustainable condition, offsetting on- going land loss Sediment recognized as a resource Must move from sediment disposal (convenience) to sediment placement (purpose)

23 Sustainability Paradigm Plans must be integrated with navigational dredging to ensure Spatial and temporal sediment availability Sediment quality Infrastructure required Long-distance pipelines Sediment retention structures Temporary sediment storage areas Likely beyond the Federal Standard

24 Conclusions Sediments from navigational dredging could possibly offset LAs coastal land loss if used correctly Requires an orchestrated approach that integrates sediment availability and transportation with BU designs that serve the long-term goals May require innovative sediment management approaches Properly done, this could potentially offer long- term sediment management solutions for LA navigation channels Need to characterize beneficial uses based upon value provided

25 Questions and Discussion


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