The Block Island Beach Profile Project
Four beach profiles (BI-CN, BI-WB, BI-CB and BI-SB) were initiated on Block Island in June 2013 by myself and two Eastern Connecticut State University students (Samantha Boyle and Mike Manzi). Three additional profiles (BI-CR, BI-CH and BI-WP) were added later in the summer of 2013. These profiles were initiated to help understand the short-term response of the Block Island shoreline to storms (hurricanes and extra-tropical cyclones), with a long-term goal to develop a decadal scale record of shoreline change of the Block Island shoreline. Profile locations were chosen specifically to examine shoreline change at various locations around Block Island, including two areas identified as part of the Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan as ‘at risk’ (Corn Neck Road and West Beach).
This endeavor would not be possible without four outstanding volunteers, who collect profiles once a month, year round at spring low tides. Profiles are collected using the modified Emery method (Emery 1960), following the protocols developed by Jon Boothroyd, University of Rhode Island Department of Geosciences and Rhode Island State Geologist.
An eighth profile (BI-MB) was initiated in 2007 by David Vanko of Towson University near his family’s property, and was being measured annually in May and August. This profile will now be monitored by volunteers monthly, with Vanko continuing to measure the profile in May and August. Volunteer based profiles allow the collection of data year-round at a relatively remote location, and have been utilized in other parts of New England (Hill et al., 2002).