The New England District, in response to a request from the city of Saco and state of Maine, is undertaking a study under the authority of Section 111 of the River and Harbor Act of 1968 to find a remedy to the ongoing erosion of Camp Ellis Beach. The Corps meets periodically with state and city officials and local interests to discuss ongoing computer modeling efforts being conducted by the Woods Hole Group (WHG) under contract to the Corps. The models are examining effects of coastal structures on wave climate, currents and erosion. Initial modeling and evaluation of alternatives determined that a spur jetty, an offshore breakwater, a combination of the spur jetty and breakwater, or T-head groins offered the best protection. However, with identification of soft clay under a large portion of the study area, the offshore breakwater was not feasible and additional breakwater alignments situated closer to shore were evaluated. Additional subsurface investigations were completed in 2005, and the results were used to develop and model additional alternatives. The results of these efforts were provided to the sponsor, state and public in January 2006.
These efforts indicated that a plan involving a 750-foot long spur jetty and periodic beachfill was the optimal Federal plan. Local interests prefer a plan for a 500-foot spur jetty and two or more nearshore breakwaters that require less frequent periodic beachfill. Modeling of this locally preferred plan has been completed and has been reviewed by the city and the state.
As this project will exceed the $5 million statutory cap under Section 111 authority, Congress provided specific authority in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 to exceed this limitation. This Act authorized a maximum Federal expenditure of $26,900,000 for work under Section 111 at Camp Ellis. Ongoing activities will include completion of design efforts, and preparation of a decision document and environmental assessment (EA). The decision document and EA are under review and must be approved before release for public review. The Corps and city anticipate beginning the Federal and state regulatory approval process for the project in 2012. Once environmental approvals are secured for the final proposal, and Congressional funding for the project is received, then preparation of plans and specifications would be completed. A construction contract would then be sought in the subsequent two to three fiscal years. The last effort under this project will include beach nourishment of Camp Ellis Beach.
For more information, please contact the Project Manager, by e-mail or by calling 978-318-8513.