The Bell

Port Bay, NY

The stretch of small harbors between Great Sodus Bay and Little Sodus Bay are characterized by the drumlin bluff and baymouth barriers complex, and accordingly, have similar sediment management issues. Through a regional sediment management approach, key commonalities can be instrumental to understanding individual harbors’ needs. Additionally, DEC manages many key places along the shore, including baymouth barriers and actively eroding drumlin bluffs, suggesting an opportunity for holistic planning.

Working closely with Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Port Bay Improvement Association (PBIA), our research aids in the design, implementation, and monitoring of a passive dredge management pilot project in Port Bay, NY.  One of five small bay communities located in the drumlin field on the southeast shore of Lake Ontario, Port Bay offers an opportunity to rethink navigational and recreational infrastructure practices to widen shoreline barrier features, produce better beaches, and improve nearshore habitat through sediment management.  

Lorain Ring

Lorain, OH

Site selection and conceptual design of a cost-effective and ecologically diverse novel wetland. To meet state and federal stakeholder objectives, through the Healthy Port Futures project we developed a partially open-cell wetland created from the placement of dredged sediment– the Lorain Ring. The proposed Ring is an crescent-shaped sill-structure with a variable crest height that is open on the shore-side. The crescent shape and location optimizes for cost, sediment volume, and wetland area. It employs passive sediment management to create ecological complexity and maintain diversity while offering shoreline protection and the potential for recreation. The crest height and width as well as the extent of the sill is calibrated to the wave environment and varying water levels. Rather than positioning the wetland as something to be defended from the lake, the design allows for disturbances and the redistribution of sediment and seeds and rhizomes while still protecting selected areas.  This concept encourages wetland establishment while allowing for a range of occasional disturbances to create complexity.  Throughout this process, HPF utilized physical modeling, computation modeling by AnchorQEA, speculative drawings, stakeholder meetings, historical research, site photography, and wetland reference sites to advance the concept, refine the design, and calibrate it to Lorain.

The White Ribbon

Illinois Beach State Park

The objective of the project is to develop a low-cost and low-impact intervention to reduce erosion and upland habitat loss in a targeted area, and to maintain or improve the experiential qualities of the coast. This project positions itself between expensive, intensive capital projects, like armoring and breakwaters, and softer, less expensive, but more maintenance-intensive projects, like annual beach nourishment. It has the potential to work in concert with those methods or alone, thereby expanding the range of possible approaches. Healthy Port Futures developed these ideas through research, physical modeling and iterative design.tributes

Drainage Geoglyph

Hart-Miller Island, Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore Harbor

Topographic manipulations of dredge material and experiments with machine logic and hydroseed mixes within the bounds of the containment facility to create ecological diversity and improve hydrological performance. The aim is to find ways to convert this 1000-acre sediment facility into a state park that is thriving ecologically and providing rich recreational opportunities with minimum capital inputs. This project was undertaken in consultation with Mahan-Rykiel Associates in Baltimore, for the Maryland Port Administration.