NAS Patuxent River Shoreline Protection Projects
The severe shoreline erosion at the Patuxent River Maryland Naval Air Station was threatening facilities, destroying marine habitat, and allowing sediment to ﬂow into the Chesapeake Bay, further degrading its already-fragile ecosystem. Because of the scale and complexity of the problem, the U.S. Navy formed a partnership called the Southern Maryland Coastal and Aquatic Resource Team under a Sikes Act Cooperative Agreement. Partners included Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, NAS Patuxent River, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Board, St. Mary’s Soil Conservation District, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Alliance for Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Biological Lab, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Each partner agreed to build upon the stabilization project’s basic design by bringing specialized expertise in shoreline design, habitat restoration, archaeological resources and other aspects of Chesapeake Bay ecology. Cooperation reduced overall costs and advanced each partners’ goals. Uniquely, The National Aquarium staff and members of the Aquarium Conservation Team organized a group of trained volunteers who together stabilized more than 3,500 feet of shoreline, created 1.5 acres of wetlands, planted 5,000 submerged aquatic plants, installed 2 oyster reefs, and planted 30,500 units of marsh grass. The Navy estimates it saved 22% in project costs. In addition, The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay obtained the funding to complete a submerged vegetation planting project and development of artiﬁcial oyster reefs using more than 100,000 oyster spat provided by The Oyster Recovery Partnership. To support this innovative project, Atkins prepared a design report defining shore and asset protection options for each facility, which included modifying and upgrading the plans to include details for construction drawings, providing cost estimates and quantities, and assisting with construction and bidding documents.