Shoreline Enhancement and Restoration Project (SERP) Final Environmental Assessment (EA)




Individual Appendices


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for its proposed Shoreline Enhancement and Restoration Project (SERP) at Wallops Island, Virginia. The EA has been prepared to satisfy NASA's obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and also serves as a means for ensuring compliance with a variety of other Federal statutes, including the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The purpose of the SERP is to restore the Wallops Island shoreline infrastructure protection area in order to reduce the potential for damage to, or loss of, NASA, U.S. Navy, and Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport assets on Wallops Island from wave impacts associated with storm events. The SERP EA is the second such document tiered off of the February 2010 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Shoreline Restoration and Infrastructure Protection Program (SRIPP PEIS), available at

In the SRIPP PEIS, NASA evaluated the potential environmental effects from various alternatives, including: extending the existing seawall; recurring nourishment (every 3-7 years) of the beach on Wallops Island, Virginia; constructing a parallel nearshore breakwater; and constructing a southern-end perpendicular groin. The preferred action at that time consisted of extending the seawall and nourishing the beach. Following the first round of beach nourishment in 2012, Superstorm Sandy struck the U.S. East Coast. While the newly expanded Wallops Island beach successfully protected NASA, Navy, and MARS assets, it suffered significant damage. In June 2013, NASA released the Wallops Island Post-Hurricane Sandy Shoreline Repair Final Environmental Assessment (Shoreline Repair EA), available at

The Shoreline Repair EA built upon (or tiered from) the SRIPP PEIS and evaluated potential environmental impacts associated with restoration of the shoreline beach berm and dune system, established to protect NASA's Wallops Island launch range infrastructure, that has been eroded through storm wind and wave damage. Since the last renourishment, the beach adjacent to WFF's launch infrastructure experienced substantial sand loss from Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 and Winter Storms Jonas and Riley in 2016 and 2018. Therefore, the existing beach cannot provide the level of storm damage reduction for which it was originally designed.

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Cooperating Agencies

As the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be involved in permitting certain aspects of the SERP, both are serving as cooperating agencies and, as such, have assisted NASA in preparing the EA and in participating in all regulatory consultations during the NEPA process.

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Current Analysis

NASA has tiered the SERP EA from its previous analyses and evaluated the potential environmental impacts associated with the following actions:

  • Dredging of offshore sand from either Unnamed Shoal A or an alternative marine sand source;
  • Placement of dredged sand on Wallops Island beach; and Construction of a series of parallel, offshore breakwaters.

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Public Involvement

During the scoping period from February 27 to March 29, 2018, NASA solicited input from all interested parties. This input informed the preparation of the current Draft EA.

NASA and its Cooperating Agencies published a Notice of Availability (NOA) in the Eastern Shore News, Chincoteague Beacon, Eastern Shore Post, and The Daily Times to announce both the 30-day public comment period of the Draft SERP EA and the details of the public meeting. The public meeting was held at the WFF Visitor Center from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. The public meeting presentation is available online. Also available for viewing are the posters displayed at the public meeting, as well as the Fact Sheet distributed to attendees.

The Final SERP EA and FONSI are available for review at the following locations:

Chincoteague Island Library, Chincoteague Island, VA
Eastern Shore Public Library, Accomac, VA
Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center, VA Rt. 175 near Chincoteague Island, VA

For any questions regarding the SERP EA or FONSI, or NASA WFF's NEPA program, please contact:

Shari Miller
NASA Wallops Flight Facility
Mailstop: 250.W
Wallops Island, VA 23337
Fax (757) 824-1819


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