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WASHINGTON- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington recently awarded a contract to Swift River Versar JV to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the effects of land subsidence, sea-level rise, groundwater change, coastal flooding/storm surge, and inadequate stormwater management at Naval Support Activity Annapolis (NSAA) and the United States Naval Academy (USNA).
In September 2020, NSAA launched the 16-month long project to develop the Military Installation Resilience Plan, which will address four distinct planning areas within NSAA and USNA: the Naval Academy lower yard and the upper yard, the north severn complex, and Greenbury Point. The plan will be developed through a joint effort between Commander, Navy Installations Command, NAVFAC headquarters, NAVFAC Washington, NSAA, USNA, and surrounding community stakeholders.
“This project will provide the plan, but more importantly, the execution strategy for protecting this historic installation and its mission from vulnerabilities associated with sea-level rise and extreme weather over the next 100 years,” said Capt. Homer Denius III, Commanding Officer, NSA Annapolis. “The project comes at a critical time. Impacts of sea-level rise and extreme weather already being observed and are projected to intensify over time.”
NSAA also plans to integrate The Military Installation Resilience Plan into a 3D virtual model to visualize potential adaptation measures in real-time and space. The plan will be developed using the existing Navy SPIDERS3D virtual environment toolset. SPIDERS3D is a state-of-the-art 3D visualization system that offers users a variety of ways to employ three dimensional (3D) visualization to better understand how new platforms could potentially impact facilities.
This will allow NAVFAC to benchmark and improve collaboration and shared visualization in support of planning alternatives for sea-level rise and flooding impacts affecting naval facilities worldwide. In addition, the pilot will inform NAVFAC digital strategies to leverage evolving 3D geospatial engineering technologies to innovate the delivery of its mission-focused products and services.
When complete, the resiliency plan will include three courses of action (COA) recommendations for addressing both current and long-term impacts associated with land subsidence, sea-level rise, groundwater change, coastal flooding/storm surge, and inadequate stormwater management for the installation’s four planning areas. The COAs will include a mix of structural, natural, and non-structural alternatives. COAs will also include temporary solutions to issues where long-term permanent protection may take several years to implement. Rough order of magnitude cost, engineering feasibility, risk reduction, historical/cultural significance, regulatory, and environmental and hydrologic factors will be also taken into account for the development of each COA.
COAs along with a proposed year-by-year execution strategy will be presented to Navy leadership for the four planning areas at the end of the study.
NSA Annapolis is located at the joining of the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay and is vulnerable to storm surge associated with major weather events and localized flooding that is primarily the result of high tides and sustained winds.
Zoë Johnson, Project Manager and Installation Community Planning Liaison for Naval Support Activity Annapolis, said impacts from storm surges and nuisance flooding affect daily operations through closures of flooded roads, sidewalks, and building entry points. With greater frequency and increased amounts of water, the negative impacts are being increasingly felt throughout Naval Academy operations. Long-term, without future action, many of USNA’s buildings and monuments as well as the effective execution of the mission of the Academy are at risk.
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