If We Lose Folletts Island, We Lose Coastal Communities and Christmas Bay: A Geological Framework and Numerical Model Study of the Sustainability of Folletts Island

Duration: January 2014-December 2015
Sponser: Texas Sea Grant/NOAA
Funding Amount: $261,793
PI: Jens Figlus
Co-PI: Timothy Dellapenna

Abstract:

Folletts Island (FI) is the most culnerable section of the Texas Coast and experience alarming rates of erosion, with shoreline retreat ranging from 30-320m since 1978. As the main goal of this study we propose to modify and calibrate a process-based numerical model to predict cross-shore morphology changes of entire barrier island systems. We intend to quantify historic morphology changes of FI as well as hypothetical future changes based on numerical model simulations. This will be accomplished using an existing cross-shore morphology change model in combination with the collection and evaluation of high-resolution bathymetry, topography, hydrodynamic, and sediment concentration data. One of the main results from this study will be the provision of a decision-making tool for coastal managers and stakeholders to assess local risk vulnerability of a barrier island system and aid in long-term planning for development and beach nourishment, as well as dune and marsh restoration efforts that will keep the entire system at a healthy balance to protect the Texas coast and preserve the barrier island-bay ecosystem.

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