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$10M erosion control project proposed for East Agana Bay

Erosion and undermining of the existing seawall built to protect the roadway is visible in within the study area. Photos courtesy of the Bureau of Statistics and Plans

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Guam Department of Public Works are proposing to rehabilitate the deteriorating shoreline protection along South Marine Corps Drive in East Agana.

According to the USACE’s announcement, the tentative plan will address coastline erosion along a 2,100-foot stretch of Trinchera Beach along Agana Bay, which runs parallel to South Marine Corps Drive.

"The much higher than usual wave heights reaching the shoreline during severe storm periods have caused erosion to the shoreline and undermined the existing seawall along Marine Corps Drive," states a review plan submitted in January,

"This damage to the existing shore protection has put Marine Corps Drive and public utilities in the immediate vicinity of the project area at imminent risk. Future sea level rise will continue to exacerbate this condition and cause erosion and the resulting damage to accelerate," the review plan stated.

Army. officials said damage to Marine Corps Drive and associated public utilities "will result in significant traffic delays, inhibiting not only accessibility for residents and emergency vehicles but also the U.S. military’s capability to prepare for and respond to a crisis in the region in a timely manner."

The USACE said the study will cost $3 million and is anticipated to be completed in less than three years.

"Based upon estimated costs for the tentatively selected plan and costs to complete the feasibility study, total federal costs for the project are within the $10 million limit," the review plan said.

study area runs along a 2,100-foot stretch of Trinchera Beach at Hagåtña Bay, which runs parallel to South Marine Corps Dr. Photo courtesy of USACE

“Without protection, the road and associated public utilities will be at imminent risk of failure,” the army corps said, announcing the release of a draft integrated feasibility report and environmental assessment, which identifies its plan.

Officials said the East Hagåtña Emergency Shoreline Protection study is administered under the Flood Control Act of 1946, which authorizes USACE to study, design and construct emergency streambank and shoreline works used to protect public facilities.

"At this time the USACE understands that risks associated with environmental resources, if any appear, can be minimized or avoided during implementation," the USACE said.


"While Guam is home to several terrestrial endangered and threatened species and their critical habitat, it is unlikely that any of these species would be present in the project are protected."

The USACE noted that the Hagatna Bay benthic habitat includes broad areas of coral, seagrass and macroalgae.

"However," it added, "the seafloor within roughly 100 feet from the beach appears to be primarily uncolonized sand. No marine or terrestrial preserves exist in the project area."

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, USACE is seeking public input on the potential environmental effects of the shoreline protection project.

“USACE will use this information to meet other environmental laws and requirements including, but not limited to compliance with the CleanWater Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and National Historic Preservation Act,” the announcement said.

A 30-day public comment period runs from July 25 through Aug. 24. Officials said comments received during this review period will be incorporated into the plan formulation, environmental assessment of effects, and the administrative record.

Written comments may be submitted   as follows:
Postal Mail: U.S. Army Corps  of Engineers, Honolulu District ATTN: CEPOH-PPC (Hagåtña) 230 Otake St.Fort Shafter, HI 96858-5440

The public is invited to attend a meeting either in-person or virtually Tuesday,Aug.8,from 6 to 8 p.m. Chamorro Standard Time (ChST) at the Sinajana Mayor’s Office (117A Chalan Guma Yu'us, Sinajana, Guam 96910) to ask questions and provide comments on the 

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