A number of field investigations have documented wave and surge attenuation by coastal mangrove ecosystems. These studies generally focus on low-energy environments or rely on post hoc observation studies following storms, leading to limited measured data supporting the flood risk reduction benefits of mangroves during extreme events.
Due to the unpredictable nature of storm development and difficulty maintaining instrumentation during high-energy energy events, the laboratory offers a controlled environment for systematically assessing the contribution of mangroves to flood protection. However, past laboratory studies of mangroves are generally small scale (e.g., 1:16), and tests at near-prototype scales are critical to gain a better understanding of their performance for feasibility evaluations and incorporation into USACE projects.
- Fact Sheet
- Tomiczek T, Wargula A, Hurst N, Bryant D, and Provost L. Engineering With Nature: The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Protection. Vicksburg, MS: U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory; 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.21079/11681/42420.