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Technical Support for Long Island Sound/Block Island Sound Environmental Impact Study

Applied Coastal provided technical support to ENSR during preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for dredge material disposal sites located in Long Island and Block Island Sounds. The EIS is being prepared for the US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, and reviewed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 and Region 2. Applied Coastal provided expertise to ENSR to analyze the hydrodynamics of Block Island Sound relative to the EIS process (i.e., in terms of suitability for siting dredged material disposal sites). The characterization was based on historical literature and data sources, and included discussion of tidal currents, wave-induced currents, and storm-driven currents. Applied Coastal also collected wind data for several locations surrounding Long Island Sound to evaluate 'worst case' storm conditions as related to storm-driven sediment transport processes at disposal sites.

The report analyzed wind-induced bottom circulation within the Sounds, and how storms affect bottom currents. This analysis included identification of specific characteristics of the worst-case storm, including wind speed, direction, and duration. Analysis of sediment characteristics and bottom current estimates at selected monitoring locations was also performed. The purpose of the effort was to refine sampling locations to areas possessing sediment characteristics consistent with low-flow regimes. Applied Coastal also provided technical assistance and support for physical oceanographic data acquisition programs scheduled for Spring and Fall 2001. Assistance included moored instrument programming and preparation, field installation and recovery, as well as providing operational expertise for synoptic current surveys.

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