North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Celso Castro-Bolinaga, Steve Hall, Nina Stark, Grace Massey, Melody Thomas, Sam Consolvo
Sediment erosion and scour have led to major societal challenges across the globe including scour around bridge piers, infrastructure collapse, and poor ecological function in streams and along the coast. Many engineering techniques employ the use of gravel and rock deposits to mitigate scour and erosion; however, these techniques are subject to frequent maintenance because coarse particles are prone to dislodge during strong velocities and storm events. Bivalve aquaculture (mussels, clams, oysters) has been identified as a promising long-term solution for coastal scour and erosion protection due to its resiliency, environmental impact, and contribution to the economy. The morphology and self-sustainability behaviors of these colonies have the potential to reduce the applied boundary shear stress of the flow on shoreline sediment. Bivalve colonies also produce adhesive proteins, which might be capable of increasing soil resistance to erosion through soil cohesion. This presentation will provide insights into a novel method of scour and erosion prevention using the Jet Erosion Test (JET) around three intertidal oyster reefs in the Rachel Carson Reserve, NC. I will also discuss the intrinsic value of bivalves and their potential to reduce coastal scour.