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Shinnecock Inlet Seminar

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On February 9, Bill Schwab, Geophysicist at Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC), was invited to speak at a seminar hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. The seminar focused on engineering plans designed to manage Shinnecock Inlet, southern shore of Long Island, and mitigate coastal erosion caused by past inlet stabilization efforts. The seminar was attended by members of the Corps (and their consultants), CERC, New York State Department of State, and New York Sea Grant.

Most of the presentations were related to the littoral sediment budget and numerical modeling efforts being conducted to assess sediment transport rates. Bill Schwab was asked to present the results of USGS sea-floor mapping efforts along southern Long Island.

Although the Corps' rather impressive numerical modeling efforts suggest that a number of different sediment transport directions and rates can be used to explain the coastal behavior in the vicinity of Shinnecock Inlet, few hard data were presented to support the modeling results. However, as a result of the USGS findings, the Corps is including a net component of sediment transport (rates as high as 65,000 m3 per year) from the inner shelf to the shoreface in their model coastal-sediment budget. Whether this sediment transport rate is correct is unknown, but it is refreshing that the Corps of Engineers is considering geologic findings in their coastal-erosion mitigation plans.

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