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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes restoration of Misquamicut Beach in Westerly; Public comments due by Dec. 5

Published Nov. 6, 2013
aerial view of Misquamicut Beach, located in the Misquamicut section of Westerly, RI in August 1988

aerial view of Misquamicut Beach, located in the Misquamicut section of Westerly, RI in August 1988

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to restore the Misquamicut Beach, Beach Erosion Control Project in Westerly, Rhode Island, to its authorized design profile after the project area was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Misquamicut Beach is a state beach located approximately halfway between Weekapaug Breachway and Watch Hill Point in Westerly. It is owned by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and managed by the Division of Parks and Recreation. It includes the beach, beach pavilion, public parking, and a public campground.

During the period of Oct. 28-31, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused significant erosion along the Rhode Island shoreline. The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (PL 113-2) provides the Corps with the authority to restore Federally authorized and constructed shore protective works that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy. PL 113-2 restoration assistance is applicable to this project as public property (beach pavilion, parking lot, recreational facilities, campground, and Atlantic Avenue) is in danger of being severely damaged during any future storms.

Misquamicut Beach was initially constructed in late 1959 and early 1960 as a beach erosion control project. The project was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of July 14, 1960. The beach erosion control project was designed and constructed to provide protection to the bathhouse, public parking lot, roadway (part of the evacuation route system) and utilities, and reduce backshore flooding during coastal storms. It also restored recreational aspects of the beach by providing usable dry beach width of approximately 150 feet shoreward of the mean high waterline.

“The proposed work involves the placement of sand fill at the Misquamicut Beach Erosion Control Project in order to restore the beach to its authorized design profile,” said Project Manager Christopher Hatfield, of the Corps’ New England District, Engineering and Planning Division in Concord, Mass. The sand will be purchased from a local supplier, trucked to the site and spread on the beach using earth moving equipment. The deposited sand will be placed in piles above mean high water and then graded to the elevations required. The project will require up to 90,000 cubic yards of sand to be placed on the beach.

A Draft Environmental Assessment for this work has been prepared and is available for review. The proposed work is being coordinated with the following Federal, state and local agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council; Rhode Island Historic Preservation Officer; the Narragansett Tribe; and the town of Westerly town engineer.

The public notice for this proposed work, with more detailed information, is available for review on the Corps website at:

Public comments on this proposed work should be forwarded no later than Dec. 5, 2013 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Engineering and Planning Division (ATTN: Mr. Christopher Hatfield), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751 or by email to

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2013-108