Shallow Draft Coastal Port Design

by Jeff Lillycrop, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,
Monica A. Ippolito, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: World Marina '91


One of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer (USACE) missions is to construct and maintain shallow draft coastal ports and harbors. Defined as less than 20 ft, shallow draft projects number over 600 and can be found in all coastal regions including the Pacific west coast, the Atlantic east coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. The USACE maintains the entrance channels, inner harbor channels, and protective structures associated with many shallow draft ports. Within these Federal projects, State, local, and private organizations construct and operate a variety of businesses including recreational marinas, fishing communities, light commercial shipping, support services such as the U.S. Coast Guard, and transportation facilities with commuter ferries and offshore support vessels. Current design practices incorporate research conducted for deep draft vessels and rules-of-thumb developed over the past 50 years. However, shallow draft vessel characteristics differ considerably from the larger deep draft vessels and thus do not always represent adequate or complete designs. The USACE has initialed an effort to modernize design criteria for shallow draft harbors. The current program is linking state-of-the-art research in coastal processes and structures with small boat motion characteristics, which are being determined from tank experiments and analytic approaches. When completed in 1996, the program will produce an engineering design manual for shallow draft coastal ports. The manual will cover all aspects of the Federal government's involvement in these projects, namely the protective structures and channel designs. This paper presents a detailed summary of progress to-date and outlines the overall program effort.

Subject Headings: Ports and harbors | Shallow water | Federal government | Water-based recreation | Small craft | Ships | Protective structures | Gulf of Mexico | Great Lakes | United States

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