Puerto Rico CSRM Feasibility Study

The Puerto Rico CSRM Study was initiated in October 2018 and was scheduled to conclude in October 2021, however a schedule extension was requested to re-evaluate the storm damage modeling and also to conduct environmental resource surveys. The extension was approved in October 2021 and the study’s new completion date is May 2024. The study team will produce a revised draft report which is currently scheduled to be available for public review  June 12, 2023. 

This study will assess the shoreline problems and provide possible Coastal Storm Risk Management alternatives to reduce risk to infrastructure located along specific areas of Puerto Rico. The study originally considered 13 locations identified by Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) to have potential for a feasibility study. These areas are located in San Juan, Carolina, Vega Baja, Arecibo, Aguadilla, Aguada, Rincón, Anasco, Mayaguez, Cabo Rojo, Loiza, Luquillo, and Humacao.

Narrowing of the study areas began with assessing areas of high density of infrastructure at risk from coastal storms which would be an indicator of high potential benefits under a Federal project.  Study scoping resulted in the following areas showing potential for Federal interest: the San Juan (Condado, Ocean Park and Isla Verde) and Rincón coastlines.



The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is Federal interest in a plan to reduce damages to property and infrastructure as a result of erosion, wave attack, and flooding from coastal storms and hurricanes along the Condado, Ocean Park, Isla Verde and Rincon coastlines. Following the study schedule extension, the study team will produce a revised draft report, which will be available for public review.  The report will consider an array of storm damage reduction alternatives and their effects under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.


Section 204 of the Flood Control Act of 1970, Public Law 91-611 granted authority for the Puerto Rico Coastal Study. Study funds are appropriated under Title IV, Subdivision B of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018, P.L. 115-123. The study will examine alternative solutions, and will recommend one plan that meets Corps criteria to be the Tentatively Selected Plan.  If the alternative is supported by Corps decisions makers, it will receive an approved Chief’s Report recommending it for construction.  The plan will then need to receive appropriations for construction.



This study considers the main problem within the San Juan and Rincon focus areas to be coastal storms causing damage to structures and infrastructure due to wave attack, flooding and erosion.

Hurricane and coastal storms are responsible for significant damages to structures and infrastructure due to wave attack, flooding and erosion for the entire island of Puerto Rico. These storm events threaten public and private properties, critical infrastructure as well as recreational and beach areas. Many structures are located along the majority of the study area, including commercial businesses, hotels, condominiums, single family homes,  in addition to roads, public parkland, and public beach access points. Loss of protective beaches and dunes, due to shoreline recession, threatens properties and infrastructure. Sea level rise and coastal storms will continue to exacerbate erosion in the study area, damaging structures and infrastructures and threatening recreational resources. Homeowners and businesses seeking to protect their property have constructed some shore protection measures, such as seawalls, large stone revetments and gabions. Some of the structures and materials used are inadequate to provide significant storm damage protection and are often constructed in an uncoordinated fashion without regard to system-wide coastal processes, exacerbating erosion on adjacent shorelines


Project Schedule  

  • December 2018 - Alternative milestone 

  • November 2022 - Tentatively selected plan milestone 

  • June  2023 - Draft report and NEPA - public technical and policy review 

  • October 2023 - Agency decision milestone 

  • April  2024 - Final report - State and agency review 

  • May 2024 - Chief of Engineers report 

  • 2024 - Initiate Pre-construction engineering and design (Tentative) 

  • 2026 – Initiate construction (Tentative) 


The Recommended Plan in Rincón is Alternative 4, which proposes acquisition of the most vulnerable structures along the shoreline, which are predicted to fail from erosive forces and be condemned by local government due to safety issues in the near future.  With this plan, 71 high-risk structures along approximately 1.1 miles of shoreline would be included for fee acquisition and residents would be given compensation to leave their homes prior to complete structural failure of their homes, and they would be provided relocation assistance. The structures would be removed, and the land would be returned to its natural sandy state which would involve filling in the newly acquired properties with beach-quality sand (if needed) and revegetation with native species.  With this restored shoreline buffer, the local government along with the community would be afforded space and time to establish a long-term shoreline management plan and put that plan into effect. This plan would not require mitigation and additionally would re-establish habitat, eventually creating 17 acres of beach and small dune habitat for nesting sea turtles, shoreline birds, and other species. The sandy shoreline would be allowed to naturally recover and would ensure that the tourism-based regional economy could thrive into the future by maintaining local tourism spending.  The plan uses nature-based and non-structural solutions and is also supported by the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Mayor of Rincón, and the Secretary of DNER.  The plan would positively affect the town of Stella, in large part as it would increase natural aesthetics and restore cultural identity of the community. The cost to benefit ratio for this plan is less than 1.0, and as such per USACE policy, an exception has been requested approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works.  

In Ocean Park, where coastal flooding is the primary problem, Alternative 2 was the tentatively selected plan in the June 2023 draft report.  However, Alternative 5 is now the recommended plan.  Alternative 5, which was included in the final array of alternatives, is the same as Alternative 2, with additional fee acquisition of six townhomes and one vacant property west of Barbosa Park. Since the release of the Draft Report in June 2023, USACE determined the initially-proposed flood protection levee easements over these properties were likely insufficient and fee acquisition is required due to the uncertainty of duration of property inaccessibility (if floodgates are not removed in a timely manner by the local government) and for the potential to induced flooding,. The expanded fee acquisition and relocation assistance to those homeowners, changes the recommended plan from Alternative 2 to Alternative 5. This change results in a cost increase and a benefit to cost ratio less than 1 but is identified as the total benefits plan. Additional analyses will be performed during Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) to confirm if the assumptions still warrant acquisition of these properties, and if needed, design changes could be made at that time. This plan would greatly reduce the risk of coastal flooding to Ocean Park, with the installation of the floodwalls at the most critical areas, Barbosa Park and the skate park. This plan would continue to allow for use of the beach in front of the floodwall at Barbosa Park, and also allow public access over it to maintain existing accessibility to the beach park. Additionally, business disruption due to coastal flooding is reduced and life safety risk is reduced as a result of this plan.  Fee acquisition of the 8 properties west of Barbosa Park and restoration of them to a natural environment would increase beach and small dune habitat by approximately 1 acre.  The cost to benefit ratio for this plan is less than 1.0, and as such per USACE policy, an exception has been requested by the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works and is pending approval. 

Frequent Asked Questions 


Study Status and Updates The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Puerto Rico Coastal Study is investigating the coastal storm risks in the areas of Ocean Park and Rincon to identify long-term solutions to impacts from coastal storms and sea level rise. The USACE released a Draft Report in November 2020 with a tentative plan to reduce coastal storm risk due to erosion, coastal flooding, and wave attack. Since then, the study schedule has been extended to conduct additional technical analyses and environmental resource surveys.   USACE released a revised Draft Report for public review and comment in June 2023. The June 2023 revised Draft Report  introduced tentatively selected plans in both Rincon, where the primary problem is erosion, and Ocean Park, where the primary problem is coastal flooding. The tentatively selected plan (TSP) in Rincon was Alternative 4, Acquisition of vulnerable structures; the tentatively selected plan in Ocean Park was Alternative 2, Floodwalls (Barbosa Park and Las Marias Skate Park). 

Since the draft report was released, feedback from the non-federal sponsor (DNER), communities, and policy reviewers have led to refinements of the TSP in both reaches and an endorsement of a recommended plan.  The recommended plan in Rincon is Alternative 4, and the recommended plan in Ocean Park has changed from Alternative 2 (as presented in the draft report) to alternative 5 (Floodwalls with expanded acquisition).  More information on these plans can be found in the “Recommended Plan” tab on this website.  

The 2022 benthic habitat and species (environmental) surveys conducted illustrated the high quality and diverse nature of the nearshore coral reef complexes and the presence of sensitive and endangered species. This information was vital for both selecting the best comprehensive plan and obtaining compliance from natural resource agencies. 

Currently, the final report is scheduled to be released for state and agency review in April 2024, and will be posted on the study website.  A Chief’s Report is scheduled for May 2024.  

During the comment period, the team will be accepting comments at: PuertoRicoCoastalStudy@usace.army.mil

While email comments are preferred, those who wish to submit comments by mail can do so using the following address:  

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District 
ATTN: Gretchen Ehlinger 
701 San Marco Blvd 
Jacksonville, FL 32207-8175 

Community Meetings/ Reuniones comunitarias


Real Estate Considerations brochure    ENGLISH 


Report Release & Public Meetings

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Puerto Rico Coastal Study is investigating the coastal storm risks in the areas of Ocean Park and Rincon to identify long-term solutions to impacts from coastal storms and sea level rise. The USACE released a Draft Report in June 2023, and expects to release the Final Report in April 2024. More information on the status and recommended plans can be found in the “study status and updates” tab on this website.

Puerto Rico Coastal Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment - June 2023
PRCS_Draft Main Report and EA-June_2023
PRCS_Appendix_F_Plan Form June_2023
_June 2023

Contact Information

Please contact the study team at: PuertoRicoCoastalStudy@usace.army.mil

2018 Bipartisan Budget Act

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received disaster funds provided in Public Law 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The act provides nearly $17.4 billion to the Corps for disaster recovery.

Jacksonville District received $3.348 billion for long-term recovery investments in its area of responsibility, which includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This funding will go toward 13 studies, and 22 projects that will reduce risk to communities damaged by storm events. The total Federal funding allocation for Jacksonville District recovery efforts so far exceeds $4 billion.

Additional information can be found here

Community Meetings

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, hosted a Public Open House with the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources in Rincon on September 13, 2022 at Ventana al Mar. The purpose of the Open House was to share the latest study status updates since release of the Draft Report in November 2020.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, hosted a Public Open House with the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources in San Juan on Sept. 14, 2023 at Union Church. The purpose of the Open House was to share the latest study status updates since release of the Draft Report in November 2020.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District hosted an open house meeting for the Puerto Rico Coastal Study on June 18, 2023, at the Ventana Al Mar Convention Center in Rincon, Puerto Rico. The purpose of this meeting was to provide updates referent to the initial scoping process. The public was informed about the criteria used in narrowing of the study areas in order to select focus areas with possible Federal interest. As a result of this preliminary screening, the Puerto Rico Coastal study will focus on parts of the San Juan and Rincon coastlines. The San Juan coastline encompasses approximately 8 miles of shoreline from El Boqueron to Boca de Cangrejos and the Rincon coastline includes approximately 2.5 miles from Punta Ensenada to south of Stella, including Corcega. In addition, the team is considering if there is possible federal interest to protect a segment of the major hurricane/tsunami evacuation routes in Mayaguez (PR-102) and Humacao (Hwy 3). Approximately 100 people attended the open house, with good participation during the public comments hour.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District hosted a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping meeting for the Puerto Rico Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Study Nov. 6, 218 at the El Teatro Manuel Mendez Ballester in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The purpose of the scoping meeting was to present and discuss the production of a NEPA document for the feasibility study, and to assess the effects of potential alternatives to reduce coastal storm damages to infrastructure along the coast of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The scoping meeting aides in determining the scope of the NEPA analysis and any potentially significant issues. The Corps of Engineers welcomes views, questions, comments, concerns and suggestions. The Corps believes this study will benefit significantly from public involvement and encourages participation in the NEPA scoping process.