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Corps of Engineers proposes shoreline erosion protection project on Enders Island in Stonington

Published July 6, 2017

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing a shoreline erosion protection project on Enders Island in Stonington, Conn. A masonry seawall protects the Enders Island facility (St. Edmund’s Retreat) and associated property and facilities from storms, but the wall is currently in poor condition, especially on the southeast side.


The purpose of the proposed project is to stabilize the existing seawall and prevent further erosion of the island behind the seawall. Waves have damaged the existing seawall during storm events and have, on occasion, overtopped the wall, causing erosion on the landward side. The erosion threatens the stability of the wall and function of the septic system serving St. Edmund’s Retreat. Without permanent protection of the seawall, the landward property will continue to erode, the septic system will cease to function properly and the wall will collapse. Once the wall collapses, the entire island will be exposed to eroding wave energy and will cease to function as a retreat and public passive recreation area.


Enders Island is located on the southwestern portion of Stonington, Conn., in Fishers Island Sound. It is connected to Mason Island by a causeway. It is used by many church and non-church related groups as a retreat center and is open to the public on an equal basis regardless of religion. In addition, many community groups host events at Enders Island. The majority of the island is surrounded by a masonry seawall originally built for protection against eroding waves.


The plan proposed for the shore protection for Enders Island is a stone revetment approximately 30 feet wide (including toe), 8 feet tall and extending approximately 700 linear feet along the east and southern portion of the seawall. The revetment along the toe of the existing wall will consist of two benches, a 12 foot wide bench (including sloped section) with a height of approximately 2.3 feet mean low water (MLW) with a 6-foot wide crest and a 17-foot wide upper bench forming the top of the revetment at approximately 8 feet MLW with a 10-foot wide crest. This tiered revetment will require approximately 260 cubic yards of crushed stone and 4,400 cubic yards of 2,000 to 3,000 pound armor stone.


Section 14 of the 1946 Flood Control Act (as amended) provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to participate in the planning and construction of shoreline erosion protection projects in situations where public facilities (and facilities owned by non-profit organizations that are used to provide public services that are open to all on equal terms) are in imminent threat of damage or failure by natural erosion processes on shorelines, and are essential enough to merit Federal participation in their protection.


The proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; National Marine Fisheries Service; Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse and Bureau of Natural Resources; Connecticut Historic Preservation Office; Office of Connecticut State Archaeology; Mashantucket Pequot  Museum and Research Center; Mohegan Tribe Cultural Department; Stonington Conservation Commission; Stonington Board of Selectmen; St. Edmund’s Retreat; and Bocchino Consulting.


The public notice, draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), with more detailed information, are available for review on the Corps website at

The public notice also is available for review at


Public comments on this proposed project for shoreline erosion protection at Enders Island should be forwarded no later than Aug. 6, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Planning Division (ATTN: Ms. Judith Johnson), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 17-069