Coastal Inlets and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The United States, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has national interest in the stability and evolution of coastal inlets. Almost $1 billion is expended annually to operate and maintain federal coastal inlet navigation projects including the inlet channel, associated jetties and breakwaters, and adjacent inland waterways.  The physical processes of coastal inlets span the navigation, shore protection, and coastal environmental missions of the Corps. 

Coastal Inlets are:

The Coastal Inlets Research Program (CIRP)

Because of the multiple interacting forces and the numerous scales of geomorphic change ranging in time from days of a storm to centuries for long-term adjustment, the physical processes of inlets are poorly understood. Little quantitative information is available to predict infilling of navigation channels, long-term change in the nearshore – affecting channel and jetty stability, short- and long-term migration trends and cycles of inlets, and the interactions among inlets, adjacent beaches, and estuary.

The Coastal Inlets Research Program, or CIRP, advances the state of knowledge and develops engineering technology for predicting the waves, current, sediment transport, and morphology change at and around inlets. Products of the CIRP improve management and design of coastal inlets through increased reliability of actions and reduction in operation and maintenance costs. The CIRP takes a variety of approaches, including developing concepts and theory for all relevant time scales, numerical simulation, field data collection, and laboratory experimentation. Reports and peer-reviewed articles as found on this web site provide the information gained from the CIRP to the Corps, scientific community, and public.

Points of Contact

HQ USACE Oversight
Navigation Business Line Manager
Jeffrey A. McKee

Technical Director, Navigation R&D
Eddie Wiggins, CHL

CIRP Program Manager
Tanya Beck, CHL -

What's New?

CIRP TD - Modeling Sediment Pathways around an Inlet, 10/23/2018

Fact Sheets

FY19 Fact Sheets

Recent Events

CIRP Numerical Modeling Workshop - Detroit, MI, 26-29 November 2018

CIRP Happenings

Long-Term Morphology Modeling technical report published - July 2018.
The CMS was validated for 100-year simulations of morphology change of nine representative idealized tidal inlets across the US.CHETN

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