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Cedar Island Marsh Creation

How do you protect a rapidly eroding barrier island, using only natural and nature-based solutions?

  • 200+

    Acres of Marsh

  • 500K

    Cubic Yards of Sand

  • Accomack County, Virginia

    Accomack County, Virginia

We collaborated with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on a novel approach to barrier island stabilization

Cedar Island is one of the most low-lying, dynamic, and rapidly eroding islands along the Virginia barrier-island chain. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s (VIMS) ultimate goal was to enhance the resiliency of Cedar Island, a protected habitat, as well as the Town of Wachapreague located nearby, which would benefit from the barrier island’s protection. VIMS led our collaborative team—a group of Stantec consultants alongside experts from multiple universities—to develop recommendations for a marsh along the bayside of the island. They wanted to provide a platform that would enable the island to stabilize and grow laterally and vertically, while it continues to undergo natural barrier island migration.

The preliminary plans and specifications proposed over 200 acres (80 hectares) of high and low marsh which would be planted with native, desirable marsh grasses. The result will lead to a complete, contiguous back barrier marsh habitat for southern Cedar Island that allows for natural barrier island rollover and enhanced resilience against storm events and continued sea level rise.

Hydrodynamic modeling of the proposed marsh is currently underway to demonstrate its expected performance, including better definition of the protection it would provide to the mainland. The results of the modeling and design will be used by project partners to solidify stakeholder support and secure funding for final implementation.

At a Glance

  • Randolph Macon College
  • George Mason University
  • VIMS
National Coastal Resilience Grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Competitive State Wildlife Grant (C-SWG) through the Fish and Wildlife Service
Meet Our Team

Todd DeMunda, Associate, Senior Coastal Engineer

The future of coastal engineering is sustainability—we must design with a recognition and understanding of long-term changes and impacts.
Todd DeMunda Associate, Senior Coastal Engineer Read More

Daniel Proctor, Principal, Water Resources Engineer

I’m an engineer not only to help the environment and solve problems, but also to care for my community, clients, and teammates.
Daniel Proctor Principal, Water Resources Engineer Read More

Chuck Roadley, Principal

I help clients realize their dreams through the application of science and an understanding of the regulatory landscape.

Jeff Tabar, PE, D.CE, Senior Principal, Senior Coastal Engineer

We take a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to coastal communities—it’s the key to our success and exceeding client expectations.
Jeff Tabar, PE, D.CE Senior Principal, Senior Coastal Engineer Read More

Todd DeMunda

Associate, Senior Coastal Engineer

Daniel Proctor

Principal, Water Resources Engineer

Chuck Roadley


Jeff Tabar, PE, D.CE

Senior Principal, Senior Coastal Engineer

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