Project Profile:  Sediment Regulations Project

Project Partners: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, and CSO

Project Type: Policy, Permitting, and Planning

Project Status: In Progress

Project Region or Location: National analysis and regional scale analysis for: Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, and West Coast and the Pacific Islands

What is Regional Sediment Management

Regional Sediment Management (RSM) integrates watershed and shoreline management, using a systems approach to sand management to, among other purposes, minimize erosion, maximize shoreline accretion, enhance coastal ecosystems, and more efficiently use state and federal funds through efficient use of sediment in a coastal region.

Project Description:

This project aims to highlight coastal program successes in regional sediment management (RSM) and elevate effective regional sediment management policies in the national spotlight. Many states and federal agencies have prioritized implementation of RSM principles and are increasingly pursuing Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials (BUDM) opportunities, recognizing the cost savings and beneficial ecological outcomes these projects make possible. But challenges still remain. This project, funded by USACE Institute for Water Resources, aims to focus on the perceived challenge of conflicting state and federal policies and regulations around how dredged sediment can be used beneficially. To achieve these goals, ASBPA and CSO are working with coastal states, USACE, and key stakeholders to conduct a comparative policy analysis of state RSM policies and develop recommendations and best practices through expert interviews and regional practitioner workshops.

Stakeholders:

State Coastal Management Programs, local coastal planners, environmental NGOs, and participants in the dredge and coastal restoration industries. 

 

Project Components and Timeline

This project consists of four primary components:

(1) Regional workshops with state, federal, and local coastal officials, as well as industry and NGO stakeholders, to share, promote, and understand RSM & BUDM implementation challenges and success stories.

The following workshops have been completed:

  • November 15, 2021 – Southeast Region Workshop
  • January 17, 2022 – New England Region Workshop
  • February 24, 2022 – Great Lakes Region Workshop

The following workshops are upcoming:

  • April 25, 2022 – Gulf of Mexico Region Workshop
  • June 13, 2022 – Mid-Atlantic Region Workshop
  • July 2022 – Pacific Islands Region Workshop
  • September 13, 2022 – West Coast Region Workshop

(2) A comparative policy analysis of coastal state, territory, and federal regulations on sediment movement and placement, presented in White Paper format, for use at workshops, including

  • A profile summarizing each coastal state and territories’ sediment placement regulations and policy, and
  • Focused discussion questions on regulatory implementation and the scientific basis underlying policy priorities that will be addressed in the workshop.

The National White Paper is available here.

(3) Success stories highlighting states’ most effective regulations and practices furthering RSM and BUDM. The focus will be overcoming policy and regulatory hurdles in order to improve the systems approach to cooperative federal/state sediment management. To be completed Summer 2022.

(4) A final report on effective uses of sediment regulations to implement beneficial use of dredged material, synthesizing White Paper findings with lessons learned from workshop participants. The report will be tailored to an audience of coastal managers, stakeholders and policy makers. To be completed Summer 2022.

How does this project advance coastal management?

This project advances coastal management by developing a deeper understanding of the policies, regulations, and stakeholder needs of beneficially using and reusing sediment in coastal management projects. A systematic inventory of the policies and regulations on a regional and national scale can inform management plans that encourage beneficial use and/or identify sustainable sediment deposit/placement strategies.

What are some project impacts?

This project will benefit local, state, and federal coastal officials, as well as industry and NGO stakeholders to share, promote, and understand BUDM implementation challenges and strategies.

Project Importance

This project engages a variety of interdisciplinary professionals and coastal resource managers to inform management plans focused on the beneficial use (or re-use) of dredged materials along the nation’s coastlines. Project collaborators are actively working toward identifying systematic and logistical barriers in designing and implementing beneficial use of dredged material projects. This project aims to identify and highlight effective sediment placement project review standards, policies, and nationwide best practices.