FEMA Engineered Beaches: Management and Restoration


Location: Various

Client: Multiple

Tasks: Document storm damages to dune systems and engineered beach projects from FEMA-declared disaster events; design, permit, and oversee construction of post-storm repairs to eligible projects; create and maintain Beach Maintenance and Monitoring Programs for engineered beach nourishment projects.


OAI has provided numerous clients with post-disaster (hurricane, tropical storm) assistance in the documentation of storm damages and the reporting of losses and anticipated construction repair needs to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the subsequent post-storm repairs to beaches.  Engineered beach nourishment projects are eligible for assistance under FEMA Category G guidelines, while Category B emergency berms can be constructed with or without an engineered beach in place pre-storm if they are needed for immediate protection of the upland from further damage.  As the Engineer-of-Record and coastal engineering consultant to numerous public non-Federal beach nourishment project sponsors, OAI has designed and maintains numerous engineered beach nourishment projects in the Southeastern United States.  These projects, by virtue of their public and locally-constructed non-Federal project status, are eligible for post-disaster assistance from  FEMA in the event the project is damaged by a declared storm event.

OAI assists clients in documenting and maintaining the eligibility of their beach infrastructure through the implementation of Beach Maintenance and Monitoring Plans, the annual and post-storm surveying and documentation of beach conditions, and the processing, review and management of FEMA Project Worksheets for its Clients.  OAI likewise has successfully appealed FEMA PW closeout decisions, protecting the reimbursements of millions of dollars rightfully expended by its Clients on declared post-storm recovery activities.

Several examples of projects reconstructed and maintained with the assistance of FEMA funding include the Pensacola Beach, FL, Beach Restoration Project and the Orange Beach/Gulf State Park/Gulf Shores Beach Restoration Project.  Both projects were significantly impacted during the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons, most notably by Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina.  These projects involved multi-million dollar Project Worksheets, significant upland sand recovery, screening, and replacement operations, and beach nourishment through offshore dredging.  In many cases the Project Worksheets included multiple storm impacts as well as improved-project elements.

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