Fishers Island Shoreline Breakwater Project
10/23/14 9:25am
By: Linda Bean


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the entire south shore of Fishers Island was adversely
impacted by increased erosion as storm surge damaged the public docks, the wastewater
treatment plant, the airport, several roads, private residences and beaches.
The intense wave action and storm surge scoured beaches, reducing their width and eroded
shorelines precariously close to homes and infrastructure. As predictions for increasing
storm intensity appear all too true; ‘Super Storms’ appear to be a taste of things to come in
the ‘era of the New Normal’. Hurricane Sandy has increased the vulnerability of the island’s
shoreline to the next set of major storms as natural shoreline defense features are
weakened, damaged or completely destroyed.

The most significant and consistent Post Sandy impact reported throughout the Northeast
US coastal region was beach erosion caused by the extreme storm surge and wave action.
At the eastern end of Long Island Sound, Great Gull Island was breached in two places and
Falkner Island off Connecticut lost nearly 1/3 of its entire land mass. Griswold Point in Old
Lyme was hit by the storm surge with such force that it is no longer attached to the mainlandi.

The immense storm surge and dune erosion has lowered elevation of beaches and near
shore areas all along the southern coastline of Fishers Island now more vulnerable to
additional storm impacts and future hurricanes. The general consensus from surveys
conducted after the storm was that natural barriers such as intertidal and near shore
habitats, sand dunes, salt marshes thus speeding their recovery. The proposed Bio-Rock
shoreline living reef will improve shoreline resilience as the Eccosolution – Bio-Rock
Technology Team effectively constructs and seeds the development of these natural

Scope of Work

The proposed project is designed in three (3) phases. Phase I will complete the survey,
design, and interact with permitting agencies. It will include curriculum development for
Fishers Island STEM teachers and students including meetings with school staff. Phase II
will model, and permit the system. Phase III will install and monitor the innovative yet tested
permeable near shore bio-rock living reef.

Phase I will commence an interactive and iterative process with all relevant resource
agencies to both guide and inform updated standards for shoreline protection enabling living
reefs of proper design and specifications a clear path to permitting.
Phase II of the project will be to model, permit and prepare bid specifications for the
proposed breakwater structure(s).

Phase III will be to actually install and monitor the breakwater living reef. A monitoring
program will assess and document effectiveness. Project monitoring will be accomplished by
the project team in cooperation with the Fishers Island School (k-12) with special focus on
adapting the monitoring process to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
requirements of middle and high school science and math course curriculum and field

For additional information see the attachment on November 11.


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