Project Overview: East Shore Park Living Shoreline
East Shore Park
New Haven, CT
East Shore Park (New Haven, CT) is a public park located along approximately 3,000’ of the eastern shore of New Haven Harbor in Long Island Sound. The shoreline is eroding to where access to the water is near impossible; storm surge is carving steep bluffs and invasive vegetation grows aggressively. Previous attempts at shoreline stabilization via structural measures provided limited protection with little environmental benefit.
The City of New Haven was awarded grant funding from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) to protect the property while enhancing the local ecology through an integrated nature-based management approach. The City contracted RACE to advance conceptual design plans and prepare permit applications for the proposed living shoreline improvements.
RACE performed site reconnaissance activities including hydrographic and topographic surveys. Our coastal engineers worked with ecological and wetland specialists to identify botanical and benthic habitats of interest to protect and/or enhance these resources.
Based on our findings and consultation with regulators and community stakeholders, RACE performed coastal analyses and developed preliminary designs that considered areas suitable for intertidal and high marsh planting and locations where stone sills are required to protect and enhance the marsh, and in turn, the shoreline.
2-D numerical wave model analysis at East Shore Park
The blueprint includes removal of ineffective sections of revetment and repurposing the stone for the intertidal sills along with re-grading the eroding shoreline to a more stable slope and vegetating with native species. In addition, the RACE Team designed a 2.3-acre intertidal marsh to be connected to Long Island Sound to transform an upland area currently serving as a drainage ditch consisting of poor soils and phragmites into viable wetland habitat with pedestrian access and interactive educational opportunities.
In addition to providing much needed erosion control, the project will provide the public with a more stable shoreline with beach access and will remove invasive species while stimulating intertidal wetland vegetation growth.
RACE obtained a permit from CT DEEP and is currently coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The next phase of the project will include preparation of final design and detailed construction bid documents.