State of the Beach/State Reports/CT/Beach Fill

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Connecticut Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access96
Water Quality95
Beach Erosion5-
Erosion Response-5
Beach Fill5-
Shoreline Structures5 5
Beach Ecology5-
Surfing Areas--
Website6-


Policies

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs, A National Overview (NOAA, March 2000) provides the following information:

"Policy Citation and Description

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-90 to 22a-112. Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA). Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-92(b)(2)(F). Coastal Hazard Areas: Development to minimize hazards to life and property and promote nonstructural solutions to flood and erosion except where structural alternatives are necessary to protect existing inhabited structures, infrastructure and water-dependent uses.

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-92(b)(2)(J). Coastal Hazard Areas: Maintain natural relationship between eroding and depositional coastal landforms; minimize adverse impacts of erosion and sedimentation on coastal land uses through nonstructural mitigation; structural solutions are permissible when necessary and unavoidable for protection of infrastructure, water-dependent uses, existing inhabited structures, and where not feasible, less environmentally damaging alternative and where all reasonable mitigation measures and techniques minimize adverse environmental impacts.

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-92(c)(1)(B). Tidal Wetlands: Disallows any filling of tidal wetlands and nearshore, offshore and intertidal waters for the purposes of creating new lands from existing wetlands or coastal waters unless adverse impacts on coastal resources are minimal.

Related Policies

Dredge and Fill Regulations

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-92 (b)(1)(D), 22a-92(c)(1)(D), 22a-359(a) as referenced by 22a- 92(a)(2). CCMA. Coastal Structures and Filling: requires that all structures in tidal wetlands and coastal waters are designed, constructed and maintained to minimize adverse impacts on coastal resources, circulation and sediment patterns, flooding and erosion, and to reduce to the maximum extent practicable the use of fill; filling of tidal wetlands and nearshore for the purpose of creating new land is disallowed; and, the commissioner of environmental protection shall regulate dredging and the placement of fill.

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-359 to 22a-363f. Structures, Dredging and Filling: regulates dredging and erection of structures and the placement of fill in the tidal and coastal waters to prevent or alleviate shore erosion, preserve wildlife habitat, development of adjoining uplands, etc. Requires state permit for placement of structures, fill or dredging below High Tide Line (HTL) consistent with CCMA policies. Incorporates regulation of commercial excavation of in-water sand and gravel, which requires $2.00/cubic yard royalty payment. Activities that may be consistent include: a) Filling along beach/dune for beach nourishment depending on quality of sand, minimizing water quality impacts, fill beach slope to maintain same natural beach slope, and limit destruction to dune vegetation/shore bird nesting/breeding habitat; b) Disposal of appropriate dredged material for beach nourishment or dune management.

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-92 (c)(1)(C), 22a-92(c)(1)(D), 22a-92(c)(1)(E), 22a-383 as referenced by 22a-92(a)(2). All of these citations are part of Connecticut’s Coastal Management Program Policies on Dredging and Navigation.

Sand Scraping/Dune Reshaping Regulations

Yes, but only as part of beach/dune nourishment/filling.

Dune Creation/Restoration Regulations

Conn. Gen. Stat §22a-92(b)(2)(C). Beaches and Dunes: Encourage the restoration and enhancement of disturbed or modified beach systems.

Public Access Regulations

Connecticut Coastal Management Program. Part IV. Coastal Policies and Use Guidelines. Coastal Recreation and Access. Public access is encouraged and required as a condition in permitting new beach stabilization structures.

Beach Nourishment Funding Program

There is state funding for beach nourishment. Conn. Gen. Stat §25-69 to 25-95. State Assistance. Flood and Erosion Control Program.

Amount of State Funding

Flood and Erosion Control Program funds $1.5 million annually in projects, but not much beach nourishment.

Cost Share Requirements

Beach nourishment is mostly an Army Corps of Engineers activity, but the state does provide some matching funds.

Conn. Gen. Stat §25-71. The state is authorized to pay for the total cost of flood and erosion control projects benefiting state property, 66% of the cost of such projects benefiting municipal property and 33% of the cost of such projects benefiting private property."

The Connecticut Coastal Management Act and coastal policies are available online. They are also accessible through the CDEP website.

Another useful document is the Connecticut Coastal Management Manual.

Connecticut has no established beach fill program. The Army Corps of Engineers occasionally replenishes beaches on a case-by-case basis, most often with sand trucked from upland sources. Fill with sand pumped from offshore could be undertaken as the opportunity arises, most probably in conjunction with harbor and channel dredging activities. In all cases, suitability of sand for use in beach fill would be based on chemical analysis for contamination and on physical analysis for compatibility with the existing beach material.[1]

Inventory

Information on dredging and beach fill projects in Connecticut is available on the website of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. See the Update Report for Connecticut

The state bonded a $2 million beach erosion study/restoration project at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, where most of the sand at the west beach had been eroded away. Sand that was placed on the beach in May 2005 reportedly held up well during early "nor'easter" storms in October 2005, however erosion has continued since that time and further restoration and erosion control are being considered. Specifically, the DEP is considering a 600,000 cubic yard project, potentially getting the sand from the Housatonic River and Clinton Harbor Federal Navigation Projects. The estimated cost for this project is between $6 million and $20 million, depending on where the sand comes from and whether the Army Corps of Engineers is involved. See the Update Report for more info.


Information on beach fill in Connecticut is also available through Western Carolina University's Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. State-by-state information is available from the pull-down menu or by clicking on a state on the map on this page.

In 2017 the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) announced a new online National Beach Nourishment Database – featuring data on projects comprised of nearly 1.5 billion cubic yards of sand placed in nearly 400 projects covering the continental U.S. coastline. In addition to the total volume and the number of projects, the database includes the number of nourishment events, the oldest project, the newest project, the known total cost, the total volume and the known length. The information is broken into both state statistics and those of local or regional projects. Every coastal continental state is included (so Alaska and Hawaii are still being compiled), and projects along the Great Lakes are similarly waiting to be added.

A report National Assessment of Beach Nourishment Requirements Associated with Accelerated Sea Level Rise (Leatherman, 1989) on EPA's Climate Change Impacts and Adapting to Climate Change websites notes that the cumulative cost of sand replenishment to protect Connecticut's coast from a 50 to 200 cm rise in sea level by 2100 is estimated at $516 million - $1.8 billion.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Civil Works Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides $4.62 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program. This budget lists proposed projects and the associated budget justification by state.

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs: A National Overview (2000) is a report NOAA/OCRM that provides an overview of the problem of beach erosion, various means of addressing this problem, and discusses issues regarding the use of beach nourishment. Section 2 of the report provides an overview of state, territorial, and commonwealth coastal management policies regarding beach nourishment and attendant funding programs. Appendix B provides individual summaries of 33 beach nourishment programs and policies.


Contact

Office of Long Island Sound Programs
Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
Phone: 860-424-3034

Footnotes

  1. Tom Ouellette, CTDEP (OLISP), personal communication. July 19, 2000.



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