Long Beach, CA (PressExposure) February 16, 2009 -- Moffatt & Nichol was selected by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC Pacific) to perform an emergency shoreline evaluation to protect the island's critical infrastructure from storms and sea-level rise. Diego Garcia, a low-lying island in the Chagos Group Archipelago (also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory) located in the Indian Ocean, is a critical strategic location for the United States Military ship and aircraft deployments to five different continents.
Moffatt & Nichol performed extensive on-site investigations and historical research to determine the causes of the erosion and evaluate the level of threat to the infrastructure. Ironically, Moffatt & Nichol identified the potential for this erosion when designing the shipping wharf on the island 30 years ago.
The site inspection included a detailed environmental characteristics development, identification of potential shoreline protection materials, wave modeling and wave return period analysis.
Subsequent work included developing a 5-year funding-design-construction plan, initiating a comprehensive Shoreline Monitoring Program, assisting in the procurement of coastal armoring materials, developing an Emergency Response Plan and coordinating environmental approvals, emergency and long-term coastal erosion protection.
The Shoreline Monitoring Program established more than 50 permanent monitoring locations and provided training for the island's Public Works department in shoreline monitoring techniques. The Emergency Response Plan defines the island's critical risk areas, identifies action criteria, estimates the required response material quantities and provides response procedures for minimizing damage.
In addition the entire shoreline plan required environmental approvals from both the United States and the British governments, because the US leases the land from the British. The archipelago has also been declared "Wetland of International Importance" in accordance with the Ramsar Convention guidelines.