NASA Wallops Island Coastal Reconstruction Project to Begin Soon with OCS Sand


We would like to bring you up to date on the status of the coastal restoration project at NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia; construction on the project will begin this month. BOEM’s partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to restore the shoreline at Wallops Island, which was eroded by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, will use much of the 1 million cubic yards of Outer Continental Shelf sand that BOEM authorized in November 2013 to protect these coastal launch assets. The three agencies signed an agreement last year, and since then, have made arrangements to start the project.

The effort is part of President Obama’s continuing commitment to help restore coastal areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy and build coastal resilience against future storms. The project will provide material to restore more than 2 miles of beach and dunes that protect some of NASA’s most critical launch assets. In addition, the ecosystem restoration project will create new shorebird and sea turtle nesting habitat.

Dredging operations will take place at an offshore sand borrow area managed by BOEM about 14 miles east of Wallops Island. USACE’s Norfolk District, working with NASA, anticipates the project will take from two to three months to complete.

For additional background on the project, click here, and to learn more about BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program, click here.

Wallops Flight Facility Sandy Before Wallops Flight Facility Sandy After

NASA Photos, left and right, showing the beach before and after Hurricane Sandy. Note extensive erosion on South Wallops Island, looking south, post-storm.