CLE Engineering, Inc. (CLE) is currently providing consulting services to the Town of Oak Bluffs for the development of a long-term coastal resiliency management plan for the shoreline area that extends approximately 3,950 feet north to south, commencing at the Jetties Barrier Beach and extending past the entrance to Oak Bluffs Harbor, North Bluff, Pay Beaches and down to Inkwell Beach. The project is essential to providing coastal and economic resiliency by re-building coastal resource areas and restoring existing structures that will assist in the protection of the shoreline from storm damage and flooding, climate change and future sea level rise impacts. Restoration of the eroded beach areas, through a combination of nourishment and rehabilitation of the existing groins and jetties, will help stabilize shoreline areas that protect existing infrastructure located along Sea View Avenue/Extension, including but not limited to, the roadway, public utilities, the Steamship Authority ferry terminal, the Town public fishing pier and bathhouse, public parking and sidewalk areas along with the multitude of business and residences. Nourishment efforts will also benefit and enhance recreational opportunities at the 4 Town beaches, which are free and open to the public. Collectively, the aforementioned infrastructure and recreational activities are vital components for generating revenue for the Town as well as many private businesses situated along the waterfront and within the downtown area. The size, diversity and intensity of the current user base serves to demonstrate the potential economic and public benefits (including public safety and access) that will be gained through the long-term coastal resiliency efforts proposed.
Services currently being provided to the Town by CLE include field survey, eelgrass and habitat assessments, design and environmental permitting. As part of the initial investigations performed for this project, CLE has partnered with Applied Coastal Research & Engineering, Inc. (ACRE) to develop a coastal sediment transport model to assess the longevity of various beach nourishment alternatives as well as to assess the sand trapping of existing jetties and groin structures. The ACRE sediment transport model was utilized by CLE to establish the baseline criteria for designing beach nourishment templates and rehabilitating existing shoreline structures.