Poplar Island is a landmark project for the beneficial use of dredged material and serves as an example of solutions to dredged material placement issues.
In 1847, Poplar Island provided approximately 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat, but years of steady erosion reduced it to four islets totaling less than five acres. Island restoration will create more than 1,100 acres of wetland, Including intertidal and perched, and upland habitats. These habitats will provide vital nesting and nursery areas for many of Chesapeake Bay’s fish, shellfish, wildfowl, and other birds.
Moffatt & Nichol and its joint venture partner completed engineering design services and relevant components of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE) and participating federal and state resource agencies. These services included dredged material placement and coastal engineering design. Among coastal engineering services provided, Moffatt & Nichol developed an optimized design for the protective armor stone that rationally selects the most cost-effective project design. An additional part of the project design was evaluation of tidal flows for existing conditions, circa 1847 conditions and “with-project” conditions. Moffatt & Nichol constructed a two-dimensional finite-element numerical model to evaluate the potential effect of island construction on tidal flow and water quality in conjunction with wave-induced erosion around the island perimeter. Moffatt & Nichol also provided construction phase services to the MPA, specifically related to issues regarding armor stone quality and placement technique.