Gulf Island National Seashore Dredging Project

The Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) was implemented to facilitate recovery in coastal Mississippi counties following the 2005 hurricanes, including Katrina. Part of MsCIP was a comprehensive barrier island restoration plan. The plan involved placing sand to close the “Camille Cut” breach that separated Ship Island into two in the Gulf Island National Seashore. The barrier island restoration plan for Ship Island was implemented by the Corps in four phases, three of which were awarded to GLDD. In Phase 1, GLDD used its hopper dredges Ellis Island and Liberty Island to transport more than 7.5 million cubic yards of sand excavated from open-ocean borrow sources on a 25-mile journey to the distant island. GLDD then hydraulically pumped the sand into open water, forming an above-water surface where dozers and excavators shaped the imported sand into a 500-foot-wide strip of land that would eventually reconnect the East and West Ship Islands. Phases 3 and 4 were constructed under a single contract awarded to GLDD. The hopper dredge Ellis Island constructed Phase 3, transporting more than 2 million cubic yards of sand from distant offshore borrow sources to restore and reinforce the beachfront at the easterly extents of Ship Island. The cutter suction dredge Alaska was used for construction during Phase 4, borrowing more than 1.5 million cubic yards of offshore sand materials to widen and strengthen the north side of the “Camille Cut” closure and to provide needed protection to the historic Civil War-era Fort Massachusetts.