Hugh E. (Trey) Ruthven III, M.S.E.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Numerical modeling of estuarine hydrodynamics and water quality
  • Coastal processes analysis
  • Analysis of tidal inlet dynamics and sediment transport

Education

1997  M.S.E., Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, University of Michigan
1996  B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Purdue University


Project Experience

Coastal Processes Evaluation and Development of Shore Protection Alternatives for Ram Island, MA

  • Long-term erosion of Ram Island, located in Buzzards Bay, has decreased the available habitat for the endangered Roseatte Tern population.  As part of funding established to evaluate shoreline damages associated with a recent oil spill, NOAA hired Applied Coastal to evaluate local coastal processes that are causing erosion of the fringing marsh, as well as loss of upland sediments associated with storm wave overtopping.  A detailed numerical wave modeling analysis using SWAN was performed to determine the dominant forces controlling the erosion process.  In addition a long-term shoreline change analysis was utilized to determine the island’s longevity.  Based on the coastal processes analysis, regulatory constraints, constructability, sustainability, maintenance requirements, and cost, a series of engineering alternatives ranging from beach nourishment to near-shore stone breakwaters were evaluated relative to selection of a final conceptual design.  Mr. Ramsey served as project manager and lead coastal engineer for this project. The work was performed for NOAA under a contract with IEC.

Technical Project Review for State of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (MCZM)

  • Served as the coastal engineering consultant to MCZM. Provided coastal engineering expertise, analysis, and design guidance during the regulatory review process for projects including cobble nourishments, beach nourishments, dune design, coastal and sediment transport analysis, coastal structures, and wave-induced flood damage assessments. 

Hydrodynamic and Water Quality Modeling Study of Oyster, Salt, and Little  Ponds, Falmouth, MA

  • Performed hydrodynamic and water quality analyses for the three salt ponds.  Based on residence time predictions from the hydrodynamic flushing study, all three ponds were determined to be rapidly flushing systems. The rapid flushing rate of a system typically is an indicator of good relative water quality; however, each pond clearly shows signs of ecological stress, indicative of poor water quality.

Hydrodynamic Modeling of Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts

  • The project involved two-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality analysis of the estuary and tidal marsh system including the design of the field instrumentation program, the analysis of physical and water quality data, and the hydrodynamic modeling.  The analysis provided an in-depth study of the impacts of existing and future nitrogen loading on the trophic status of the estuary.  This analysis formed the basis for long-term nitrogen management strategies within the estuary’s watershed. 

Sesuit Marsh Restoration, Dennis, MA

  • Sesuit Marsh is located along the southern coastline of Cape Cod Bay the upper portion of the system was divided from the lower marsh by a roadway embankment and connected through a small culvert resulting in very   limited tidal exchange. The health of the upper marsh system suffered significantly, to address the problem a data collection program was conducted followed by a hydrodynamic and water quality study to examine various alternatives for restoring the natural tidal exchange to the upper marsh in order to assist in the restoration of the marsh system. The developed model provided the necessary tools for evaluating the impacts to the system and ensuring the restoration of the marsh was successful. The project was awarded the 2008 Coastal America Partnership Award.

Round Hill Marsh Restoration, Dartmouth, MA

  • Conducted a wave transformation study along the shoreline fronting Round Hill Marsh for NOAA, to examine the sediment transport characteristics along the shoreline. The goal of the study was to assess the impacts that the existing offshore breakwater and groins have upon the inlet to the marsh system and to examine alternative to improve the inlet stability for an ongoing marsh restoration project within Round Hill Marsh. The inlet is unconstrained and migrates along the beach face requiring periodic relocation of the inlet to avoid impacts to downdrift properties and improve the flushing in the marsh system.

Green Harbor Marsh Restoration, Marshfield, MA

  • A preliminary hydrological and ecological study of the tidally restricted region of the Green Harbor River ecosystem was undertaken for the Massachusetts Wetland Restoration Program.  This work was undertaken in collaboration with The Louis Berger Group Inc. This focus of this study considered the impacts of altering the flow through the tide gates located on Dike Road (Route 139) at the mouth of the Green Harbor River marsh system in Marshfield. The present tide gates configuration limits tidal exchange flow between upper and lower Green Harbor River, a major estuary discharging to Cape Cod Bay. The study aimed to identify if the opening of additional tide gates would improve tidal excursion and water quality.  Also of major importance is the impact that raised water levels might have on neighboring developments.  Of particular concern is the Marshfield Municipal Airport along the northwest edge of the system and the residential neighborhoods adjacent to Bass Creek along the northeast edge of the system. The overall study included field data collection and modeling to support analysis of potential changes within the tidal river and to the historical emergent tidal marsh areas, which now exist mainly as low lying forest, fields and fresh and brackish water wetlands.

Design and Hydrodynamic Study of Poplar Island Cell 3D, Chesapeake Bay, MD.

  • Evaluated hydrodynamics and design criteria for a new marsh being constructed within a dredge disposal cell on Poplar Island. To guarantee the health of newly created marsh, a series of marsh systems were characterized to establish design parameters. Using channel and marsh plane characteristics, tidal lag times, and vegetation types, a 2-D hydrodynamic model of the new marsh was developed for the design of Cell 3D.

Hydrodynamic Study of Poplar Island Cell 4DX, Chesapeake Bay, MD.

  • Evaluated the proposed estuary design to ensure hydraulic efficiency through the marsh channels and inlet would provide the necessary water quality and flushing conditions within the marsh cell to provide for the creation of a healthy and stabile marsh system.  

Hydrodynamic and Water Quality Modeling Study of Oyster, Salt, and Little  Ponds, Falmouth, MA

  • Performed hydrodynamic and water quality analyses for the three salt ponds.  Based on residence time predictions from the hydrodynamic flushing study, all three ponds were determined to be rapidly flushing systems. The rapid flushing rate of a system typically is an indicator of good relative water quality; however, each pond clearly shows signs of ecological stress, indicative of poor water quality.

Calcasieu Ship Channel and Pass, Lake Charles, LA

  • Performed a study of hydrodynamic and sediment transport process in Lake Calcasieu to support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District DMMP and SEIS for the Calcasieu Ship Channel and Pass.  The numerical analysis evaluated physical processes governing circulation and sediment transport necessary to develop long-term solutions for dredged materials management. The modeling effort afforded a thorough understanding of the sediment sources and sinks, as well as the associated sediment transport pathways, while taking into account the complex circulation patterns that dominate the Lake Calcasieu estuarine system.

Hydrodynamic and Wave Study of St. Lucie Inlet, Martin County, FL

  • As part of the USACE General Design Memorandum for St. Lucie Inlet, a hydrodynamic, sediment transport and wave study was undertaken to provide design recommendations for mitigating downdrift impacts and navigation issues resulting from shoaling within the inlet. The study updated and refined the existing sediment budget, providing important information that allowed for the assessment inlet features including the navigation channel and impoundment basin along with structural modifications and various dredging alternatives.

Tidal Attenuation Study, Swan Pond River, Dennis, MA

  • A tidal attenuation study was completed for the three bridges crossing over Swan Pond River tidal estuary. The objective of the study was to determine the degree to which the existing waterway openings for Lower County Road, Route 28, and Upper County Road restricted or impeded the propagation of the tidal signal from Nantucket Sound to Swan Pond and then recommend design solutions for the redesign of the bridges so that design of the replacement structures minimized impacts upon the tidal system.