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Reminder: Shoreline Session on Tap

EA Engineering will present its recommendations to halt erosion at Latham Park and nearby Shore Drive in Barrington on Tuesday evening, Dec. 11, at the Bay Spring Community Center.

A reminder if you live in Bay Spring: The engineering firm coming up with some ways to stop erosion at the Latham Park shoreline in Barrington will present their recommendations at a public meeting tomorrow night, Dec. 11.

The meeting will run from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Bay Spring Community Center on Narragansett Avenue.

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc. has been identifying and evaluating measures to protect the Latham Park area from further erosion. An erosion study that includes suggestions for “a living shoreline, rock revetment repair, and new rock revetment, as standalone alternatives or combined with beach nourishment," will be presented.

The engineers are recommending these options, according to the study, “due to the proximity of the upland park to the high water line, the recent recession of the beach, and the exposed wave environment.”

The recommendations will not necessarily restore the beach lost to erosion over many years , said Town Planner Phil Hervey. But they are expected to maintain the park and nearby Shore Drive.

The alternatives to be suggested “approach shoreline stabilization in one of two ways or a combination of both: (1) harden the shoreline, and (2) restore the shoreline. Hardening the shoreline using a revetment will stabilize the shoreline with limited maintenance required; however, these options do not restore the beach and associated habitat. Beach nourishment restores habitat but has potential impacts to existing seagrass beds.

“Shoreline restoration with beach nourishment stabilizes the shoreline in the short-term, but continued erosion will cause the shoreline to recede to match the current condition or beyond. Beach nourishment coupled with offshore revetment construction will extend the stabilization duration by altering the currents along the shoreline and reducing the erosion potential. Beach nourishment coupled with revetment construction will erode at a rate slower than the existing beach erosion, but will require frequent re-nourishment to maintain the material behind the revetment until vegetation is established.”

Those options also will take into account the continuing rise in sea level -- a 3- to 5-foot rise by 2100. The rise in sea level, which has been happening since 1939, will mean higher high tides and the potential for more damage from storm surge.

EA Engineering was hired by the Town Council to come up with feasible solutions to erosion before it authorizes any improvements to the park, including the construction of a new playground that served as a catalyst for launching the erosion study. See Patch story.

EA Engineering held a separate public workshop at the park early last summer to come up with community concerns. Approximately 20-25 people attended.

The engineers will be presenting these recommendations before going before the Town Council with them.

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