‘Living shoreline’ project to break ground in East Providence

Effort attempts to address erosion at Rose Larisa Park

Posted 4/24/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The Nature Conservancy and the Coastal Resources Management Council are partnering with the City of East Providence to address beach erosion at Rose Larisa Park with the start …

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‘Living shoreline’ project to break ground in East Providence

Effort attempts to address erosion at Rose Larisa Park

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The Nature Conservancy and the Coastal Resources Management Council are partnering with the City of East Providence to address beach erosion at Rose Larisa Park with the start of a construction project on Monday, April 27. The project is expected to run for approximately three weeks.

According to the Nature Conservancy, the goal of the project is to test the effectiveness of “living shoreline” erosion controls — using a combination of stone, biodegradable materials and native plants to absorb wave energy — instead of using seawalls and riprap. The practice is common elsewhere in the U.S., but only a few of these treatments have been permitted, built and evaluated in New England.

The steep coastal bluffs at the site of the former Crescent Park and the adjacent shoreline rise 20 to 30 feet above the narrow beach. Erosion has carved out the lower third of the bluff in several areas. Fallen trees, whose root systems have been undermined, are common features at the base of the bluff. Previous efforts to reduce erosion through traditional practices, such as the placement of riprap and seawalls, have failed.

The construction contract was awarded to SumCo Eco-Contracting of Salem, Mass. through a competitive bidding process. The project is funded in part through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Resiliency Fund. TNC raised additional matching funds with grants from 11th Hour Racing and the R.I. Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Trust Fund, administered by CRMC. Total construction cost is $232,000.

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