The 2013 class took a one-week course on Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM). The course covered all aspects of planning for coastal storm risk management, including CSRM authorities, guidance, and each step of the planning process. Current policy is principally defined by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, which established cost sharing rules based on purpose and ownership.
The key difference between the USACE Flood Risk Management business line and the USACE Coastal Storm Risk Management business line is that CSRM studies must account for three different sources of damage: inundation, wave attack and erosion. CSRM alternatives can consist of non-structural measures (e.g. raising or relocating structures), hard structural measures (e.g. seawalls, bulkheads, and revetments), soft structures (e.g. dunes and berms), and innovative solutions (e.g. submerged breakwaters and reef balls). In the last 20 years, beaches and dunes are the type of projects most commonly constructed under the CSRM mission.
The course included visits to Cape May Point and Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore to see sites where beach nourishment had been completed and those where the beaches and dunes were still under construction. Beaches constructed by USACE often have significant recreation benefits. Beaches must meet the public access requirements for federal participation, meaning the beach must be open to all and have no more than half a mile between access points.