BARRIER ISLAND RESTORATION FOR STORM DAMAGE REDUCTION: WILLAPA BAY, WASHINGTON, USA

David R Michalsen, Steven D Babcock, Lihwa Lin

Abstract


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District has completed a feasibility study and determined barrier island restoration to be the most appropriate long-term coastal flood and storm damage reduction measure for the Shoalwater Indian Reservation. Over the last century, Cape Shoalwater has receded more than 2.8 miles. By 1990, the Shoalwater Reservation’s only remaining protection from storm wave attack was a series of barrier islands fronting Tokeland Peninsula. Extreme water levels coincident with strong winter storms have historically inundated this low lying topography and are responsible for the erosion and overwash of the protective barrier island known as Graveyard Spit. Here a simple risk assessment tool is presented for identifying flood risk to the Shoalwater Reservation infrastructure. Statistical analysis of extreme water levels and numerical modeling is utilized to determine the extent of inundation. From the analysis it was determined 54% of the inventoried infrastructure is at risk during a storm event equivalent to the observed event on March 3, 1999. With the barrier island restoration it was found that this risk is reduced to 7%.

Keywords


extreme water levels; barrier island restoration; flood risk; wave modeling

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