Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It’s shoreline along the southern Chesapeake Bay extends from Little Creek Inlet eastward approximately 1.5 miles to the NAB’s eastern boundary. In 1997, a study and report entitled “LITTLE CREEK NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE, CHESAPEAKE BAY SHORELINE, SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN and OFFICER’S BEACH SHORE PROTECTION EVALUATION” was produced by VIMS’s Shoreline Studies Program (Hardaway et al., 1997). The purpose of that report was to assess the rates and patterns of beach change along the Chesapeake Bay shoreline at Little Creek NAB in order to develop a shoreline management plan, particularly for the Officer’s Beach (“O” Beach). Field surveys, historical aerial imagery, empirical models and computer models were used to address these objectives. Plan recommendations resulted in the construction of a headland breakwater system and revetments at the “O” Beach as well as a series of proposed breakwaters along the length of the Little Creek NAB coast.
In 2002, an update to the shoreline management plan was performed (Hardaway et al., 2004). The purposes of that effort were to update the Hardaway et al. (1997) study and to determine if additional management strategies should be implemented. Elements of the previous report were presented to provide the background perspective and bring the reader up-to-date. Generally, the shoreline subreach just west of the “O” Beach has continued to erode from the existing revetment westward toward the Enlisted Beach (“E” Beach). This trend was prevalent prior to 1997 and was predicted to continue in the previous study. The question is how long will this trend continue and what impact will it have on the Base’s shoreline, particularly the Bayfronting primary dune system which is eroding along much of the coast?
This report attempts to detail the potential impacts to Little Creek NAB Chesapeake Bay coast if the updated management plan is implemented. It was determine that the impact will be to the shoreline position and consequently to the associated beach/dune system. The management recommendations of the updated plan are to create headland features with large stone breakwaters and to allow the adjacent coast to continue to recede toward dynamic equilibrium. Dynamic equilibrium is a concept whereby shoreline embayments, whether natural or man-made, will attain a state where the shore planform is stable given the input and output of littoral sands. In the case of Little Creek NAB, the input of sand from ongoing beach nourishment efforts west of Lynnhaven Inlet is a significant factor.
PART 1 Shoreline Management Plan Update - 2002 PART 2 Beach and Dune Impacts of the Proposed Shoreline Management Plan - 2004
Little Creek (NAB), Shoreline Management, GIS, Aerial Photography
Hardaway, C. S., Milligan, D. A., Thomas, G. R., & Meneghini, L. M. (2005) Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base Chesapeake Bay Shoreline. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. https://publish.wm.edu/reports/586