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Designing a Stronger, Resilient Marina to Provide Storm Protection in Florida

Aerial view of the Fort Pierce Marina artificial island complex that Tetra Tech designed
Tetra Tech, working with the City of Fort Pierce, provided the field investigations, design of the reconstruction and expansion of the storm-destroyed marina, permitting, coordination with FEMA on public assistance and hazard damage mitigation grant funding, construction oversight of the City’s marina, and five years of post-construction performance and environmental monitoring.
Fort Pierce City Marina—a vital component of the City’s waterfront redevelopment efforts—was destroyed when Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne moved through Florida’s central east coast in 2004. To provide wave and current protection for the marina, Tetra Tech developed a 15-acre island breakwater system designed to perform under existing conditions and adapt to projected sea level rise conditions. The protection system includes a first-line artificial island complex incorporating beneficial reuse of approximately 150,000 cubic yards of dredged sand, structural stability, and functional performance enhancement through mangrove plantings, tidal lagoon features, and oyster reefs. 
I was very impressed by the breakwater habitat islands—I’ve never seen a proposal with such a well-designed net environmental benefit before; you really did a great job.
Alexis Meyer, NOAA – NMFS Protected Resources Division

Our team conducted extensive numerical and physical modeling to configure the breakwater system to work in concert with existing flow and sediment transport patterns in the dynamically active flood delta. We provided extensive diver assessment and underwater video surveys, construction oversight services, engineering inspections, water quality monitoring, manatee observation, mitigation components construction, and all regulatory-required monitoring. We also completed extensive planning, providing nine individual plans to cover monitoring, mitigation, and maintenance of the island protection system and its 21 acres of onsite environmental enhancements.

Our team coordinated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on a public assistance grant to fund the replacement of the marina docks and a hazard damage mitigation grant to fund the storm protection elements of the project. 


  • New breakwater system adapts to projected sea level rise conditions
  • Numerical and physical modeling integrated breakwater system with flow and sediment transport patterns


  • Project received the National Association of Environment Professionals 2017 National Environmental Excellence Award
  • Tetra Tech received the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers COPRI Project Excellence Award for this project
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