Publications

A collection of journal and magazine articles, books, and technical reports featuring Engineering With Nature.

June 2021 – Using Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) principles to manage erosion of watersheds damaged by large‐scale wildfires.

Christopher Haring, Garrett Altmann, Burton Suedel, and Stephen Brown

Low‐cost and readily available materials such as logs, mulch, vegetation, and local rock are used to stabilize highly erodible parts of a New Mexico watershed. The study informs recommendations for broader implementation.

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Summary: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages hundreds of reservoirs and thousands of miles of navigation channels that provide invaluable flood control, commercial transport of materials, water supply, recreation, and stream flow regulation. This capability is being threatened by the continued occurrence of large-scale wildfires across the western United States. The wildfires damage watersheds in part by denuding landscapes, reducing infiltration rates, and increasing runoff rates, thereby dramatically increasing the potential for the erosion of denuded slopes, destabilizing stream channels, increasing the infilling potential of reservoirs and, hence, reducing their capacity. The increased erosion rates highlight the need to develop innovative solutions to reduce erosion of watersheds laid bare after wildfires engulf the area. The Santa Clara Pueblo in northern New Mexico extends from the top of the eastern Jemez Mountains to the floodplains of the Rio Grande River. The Pueblo designed and constructed thousands of structures built from natural materials, consistent with Engineering With Nature (EWN) principles for erosion control incorporating low-cost and readily available materials such as logs, mulch, vegetation, and local rock to stabilize highly erodible parts of the watershed. The watersheds where these natural structures were constructed were monitored after construction to assess their effectiveness, guiding a series of recommendations for broader implementation. As part of a continued emphasis on updating USACE engineering guidance, research, and development, funding has been focused on developing sustainable and resilient project designs using natural materials like those implemented by the Santa Clara Pueblo. This paper focuses on the innovative EWN-based watershed stabilization practices that were implemented in the upper section of this wildfire affected canyon and tributary streams. Recommendations for future implementation based on lessons learned from this project are also provided. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2021;00:1–9. Published 2021. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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April 2021 – Integrating Engineering With Nature® strategies and landscape architecture techniques into the Sabine-to-Galveston Coastal Storm Risk Management Project

Rob Holmes, Sean Burkholder, Justine Holzman, Jeffrey King, and Burton Suedel

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Summary: Damaging storm events frequently impact the Texas coast. In response, the US Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District (SWG) has undertaken the Sabine-to-Galveston (S2G) Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Project. This approximately $3.9B project includes numerous measures across several counties of the upper Texas coast, including levees, floodwalls, and pump stations. In June 2019, SWG leadership enlisted a team including the paper authors to integrate Engineering With Nature (EWN) strategies into this infrastructure project. EWN strategies intentionally align natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaboration. The first step in this process was to develop potentially relevant EWN strategies. A collaborative workshop included visits to project sites and working sessions where the project team reviewed challenges associated with each site, generated an array of EWN strategies, and began to test design concepts based on those strategies through collaborative drawing sessions. Afterward, prioritized ideas were refined and evaluated in terms of property acquisition, estimated cost, logistics, stakeholder and sponsor interest, constructability, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, and ecological benefit. Design concepts considered feasible for integration into the broader S2G project included horizontal levees, inland floodwater storage areas that double as wildlife habitat, and strategic placement of sediment berms to reduce storm impacts and provide marsh substrate. All these concepts should achieve intended CSRM outcomes while enhancing environmental and social benefits. This assimilation of EWN strategies and landscape architecture techniques into a large CSRM study illustrates a method for expanding overall project value and producing infrastructure that benefits coastal communities. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2021;00:1–11. © 2021 SETAC

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April 2021 – A Hemimysis-driven novel ecosystem at a modified rubble-mound breakwater: An Engineering With Nature® Demonstration Project

Eric J. Geisthardt, Burton C. Suedel, and John A. Janssen

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Summary: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) repairs aging breakwater structures as part of routine maintenance to maintain safe navigation in Great Lakes commercial ports. A USACE repair to an existing breakwater structure in Milwaukee Harbor (WI) implementing Engineering With Nature (EWN) principles created complex rocky habitat by strategically placing cobblesized stone over conventional 5.4 to 9.1 metric ton boulders, thus creating “control” (boulder) and “treatment” (cobble) habitats. We evaluated the resultant nature-based breakwater (NBBW) developing food web versus an adjacent reference site on the same breakwater and determined that, unexpectedly, locally abundant Hemimysis anomala were impacting the food-web dynamics and feeding ecology of fishes occupying the structure. Fish and forage communities were sampled using gillnets, night scuba diving surveys, rock collections, and a novel trap to capture invertebrates. The resultant NBBW became home to a prolific population of nonindigenous Hemimysis, with indications that they were more abundant on cobble versus boulders, based on rainbow smelt feeding. This lithophilic/cave swelling mysid provided an important new food resource in Milwaukee Harbor for two introduced pelagic prey fishes: alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Gillnetting and night scuba diving surveys confirmed that rainbow smelt preferred to forage on the cobble section (p < 0.05). Hemimysis were also the primary food item consumed by nearshore game fishes such as young-of-the-year (YOY) yellow perch (Perca flavescens), YOY largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), and juvenile rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris). We propose that those breakwaters that harbor abundant Hemimysis constitute novel ecosystems (ecosystems that include both native and non-native biota) that might benefit harbor fisheries if well-managed. This project demonstrated how a low-cost design modification could be applied during the repair of rubble-mound, breakwater structures to achieve benefits beyond safe navigation. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2021;00:1–14. Published 2021. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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March 2021 – Monitoring the Milwaukee Harbor Breakwater: An Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) Demonstration Project

Eric J. Geisthardt, Burton C. Suedel, and John A. Janssen

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Summary: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintains breakwaters in Mil-waukee Harbor. USACE’s Engineering With Nature® (EWN) breakwater demonstration project created rocky aquatic habitat with cobbles (10–20 cm) covering boulders (6–8 metric tons) along a 152 m section. A prolific population of Hemimysis anomala, an introduced Pontocaspian mysid and important food source for local pelagic fishes, was significantly (p < .05) more abundant on cobbles versus boulders. Food-habits data of ale-wife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) pro-vided evidence that H. anomala were a common prey item. Night surveys and gill netting confirmed O. mordax preferred foraging on the cobbles (p < .05) and consumed more H. anomala than at the reference site (p < .05). H. anomala comprised a significant portion of the diets of young-of-the-year (YOY) yellow perch (Perca flavescens), YOY largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), and juvenile rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) caught on the breakwater. The natural features’ construction on the break-water increased the available habitat for this benthopelagic macroinverte-brate and created a novel ecosystem benefiting forage fish and a nursery habitat benefiting nearshore game fish juveniles. These data will encourage the application of EWN concepts during structural repairs at other built navigation infrastructure.

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January 2021 – Nature Based Approaches to Urban Shoreline Management – Biohabitats Expert Q&A.

Dr. Todd Bridges, recent interview discusses nature-based solutions and future coastal resilience.

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Summary: When we hear the word “infrastructure,” we typically think of things like roads, power grids, pipelines, drinking water supply, airports, wastewater, and telecommunications. While all of this infrastructure is necessary for modern life, there is an entire suite of infrastructure that is equally vital to our survival. Nature-based solutions harness natural capital to by using alternative and non-traditional approaches to infrastructural development. ERDC Senior Research Scientist Dr. Todd Bridges’ recent interview with “Biohabitats” discusses nature-based solutions and future coastal resilience.

Click here to read Dr. Bridges interview: https://lnkd.in/dmHbSqe (external link)
* Cannot access while on USACE VPN

December 2020 – “Building with Nature – Creating, implementing and upscaling Nature-based Solutions”

Dr. Todd Bridges, shares the complementary work of Engineering with Nature in the book and in a recorded interview with EcoShape.

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Summary: Over the past decade, EcoShape has collaboratively designed, realised, monitored, and researched multiple projects that involve building with nature, not only in the Netherlands but also across Europe and in South East Asia. These projects demonstrate the ability to build nature-based solutions which create safe and sustainable flood protection as well as ecologically rich and resilient environments that provide attractive places to live, work, and visit. Here a dialogue with experts and stakeholders is presented on methodologies and experiences, illustrating key concepts and linking them to a range of landscapes and their underlying ecological, economic, and social systems.

Link to Book (external link)
Link to Interview (external link)

August 2019 – Restoration project exemplifies collaborative, transparent process.

Holly Kuzmitski, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs Office

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Summary: In the August 2019 issue of The Corps Environment, which is published quarterly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 13. The article is titled “Restoration project exemplifies collaborative, transparent process”. In the article, Tony Friona, Engineering Research and Development Center liason to the Great Lakes, describes how the construction team keeps the process transparent to the public. The Corps Environment seeks to highlight USACE environmental initiatives, issues, policies and technologies across the nation.

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May 2019 – Corps researchers investigate how to create resilient beach dunes.

Holly Kuzmitski, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs Office

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Summary: In the May 2019 issue of The Corps Environment, which is published quarterly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 24. The article is titled “Corps researchers investigate how to create resilient beach dunes”. In the article, Dr. Duncan Bryant and Mary Bryant of the Engineer Research and Development Center’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory discuss the importance of planting dunes for stabilization and resistance to extreme weather events. The Corps Environment seeks to highlight USACE environmental initiatives, issues, policies and technologies across the nation.

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February 2019 – Realizing multiple benefits in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Baltimore District dredging projects through application of Engineering With Nature® principles.

Danielle M. Szimanski, Andrew D. McQueen, and Burton C. Suedel

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Summary: The application of Engineering With Nature® (EWN) principles at existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredging and navigation projects is increasing. This technical note (TN) documents four USACE Baltimore District (NAB) projects that successfully applied EWN principles.

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February 2019 – Engineering With Nature delivers triple wins.

Dr. Jeff King, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center; Prof. Rob Holmes, Auburn University; and Holly Kuzmitski, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs Office

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Summary: In the February 2019 issue of The Corps Environment, which is published quarterly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 17. The article is titled “Engineering With Nature delivers triple wins”. In the article, Drs. Jeff King, Burton Suedel, Tosin Sekoni and Brandon Boyd at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer district offices, identified opportunities in Florida and Texas to integrate EWN techniques and practices into USACE repair, replacement and rehabilitation projects by working with members of the Dredge Research Collaborative landscape architects. The Corps Environment seeks to highlight USACE environmental initiatives, issues, policies and technologies across the nation.

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October 2018 – Engineering with Nature Baltimore District strives to restore Chesapeake Bay islands, marshes.

Paula E. Whitfield, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Summary: In the July 2018 issue of The Corps Environment, which is published quarterly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 15. The article is titled “Engineering with Nature Baltimore District strives to restore Chesapeake Bay islands, marshes”. In the article, Danielle Szimanski, project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District discusses plans to help the Baltimore District become the next Engineering With Nature Proving Ground. The Corps Environment seeks to highlight USACE environmental initiatives, issues, policies and technologies across the nation.

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July 2018 – Research group studies restoration sites to determine shape of future projects.

Holly Kuzmitski, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs Office

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Summary: In the July 2018 issue of The Corps Environment, which is published quarterly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 12. The article is titled “Research group studies restoration sites to determine shape of future projects”. In the article, Elizabeth Murray discusses the accretion process in coastal marshes and the question of what optimal barrier shape should be used for decreasing wave energy. The Corps Environment seeks to highlight USACE environmental initiatives, issues, policies and technologies across the nation.

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June 2017 – Levee Setbacks: An Innovative, Cost-Effective, and Sustainable Solution for Improved Flood Risk Management

David L. Smith, Scott P. Miner, Charles H. Theiling, Randall Behm, and John M. Nestler

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Abstract: This report describes levee setbacks as alternatives to traditional levees for flood risk management and environmental benefits. It is organized into five sections:

1. Information about levees for reducing flood damage, emphasizing environmental considerations
2. Description of the Engineering With Nature (EWN) concept for considering environmental benefits of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) actions
3. Explanations of relevant Corps policy (Executive Orders (EOs), Engineer Regulations (ERs), and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs))
4. Summary of environmental trade-offs between traditional versus levee setbacks
5. Summaries of two Corps levee setbacks in the Sacramento and Omaha Districts that successfully completed the planning process

The summaries describe how hydraulic, flood risk management, and environmental benefits were quantified. The report includes environmental considerations for levee setbacks developed by Rock Island District for the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). Parts of the UMR are not leveed, which provides insight into the ecological response that could be expected from large-scale levee setbacks. Levee setbacks are valuable tools for reducing flood damages and provide environmental benefits consistent with the EWN concept, the Chief’s Environmental Operating Principles, and ERs, including the Resilience Initiative Roadmap. The report concludes that levee setbacks should be considered for appropriate sites.

Link to full report report (ERDC/EL SR-17-3)

March 2018 – Terra et Aqua article: How can the Dredging Sector Join the Global Shirt towards Sustainability?

Dr. Todd Bridges

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Summary: Three guiding principles are set forth to guide the sustainable development of marine infrastructure projects. For marine infrastructure projects, the importance of vision and value creation, adapting projects to nature from the onset, and viewing a project and its impacts over the long term are key to success. The insights presented in Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure result from a wealth of up-to-date knowledge pooled by a team of practicing industry experts. Written by professionals, the publication’s information has been moderated by and Editorial Board. Chaired by Polite Laboyrie from Witteveen + Bos and the Central Dredging Association (CEDA), the board includes Stefan Aarninkhof from Boskalis and Delft University of Technology, Mark van Koningsveld from Van Oord, Marcel Van Parys from Jan De Nul, Mark Lee from HR Wallingford, Anders Jensen from DHI, Anna Csiti from CEDA and Rene Kolman from the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC). The principles and case study set forth in this article are foundational concepts in the publication and were authored by Todd Bridges from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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A multifactor ecosystem assessment of wetlands created using a novel dredged material placement technique in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana: an Engineering With Nature Demonstration Project

Jacob F. Berkowitz, Sung-Chan Kim, Nathan R. Beane, Darrell E. Evans, Elizabeth A. Summers, Burton C. Suedel, Maik C. Flanagin, and Jeffrey M. Corbino

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Abstract: A multifactor ecosystem assessment of dredged material supported wet-lands was conducted within the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana. The assessment included evaluations of (1) geomorphic evolution, (2) ecosystem classification and distribution, (3) floral communities, (4) avian communities, (5) aquatic invertebrates, (6) soils and biogeochemical activity, and (7) hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes. Results indicate that the innovative use of dredged materials in a riverine environment supports wetland formation and expansion while providing habitat, hydrologic, and biogeochemical functions. The strategic placement of dredged materials in locations that mimic natural process promoted additional ecological bene-fits, especially regarding wading bird and infaunal habitat, thus adhering to Engineering With Nature (EWN) processes. The multifactor approach improved the wetland assessment, allowing for a comprehensive ecosystem-level analysis of a diverse array of ecosystem components and functions.

Link to Publication (external link)

Strategic Placement of Mixed Sediment in the Form of a Nearshore Berm along Fort Myers Beach, Florida

EWN Technical Note by Katherine E. Brutsché and Cheryl E. Pollock

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Summary: The Engineering With Nature (EWN) program explores the partnering of engineering with naturally occurring physical processes to achieve a desired benefit. This technical note documents the application of EWN practices as applied to the strategic placement of a nearshore berm at Fort Myers Beach, FL, to accommodate sediments that exceed regulatory limits for the percentage of fine material that can be used for beach placement yet still allowing the dredged materials to be used to benefit the nearshore region.

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Ashtabula Breakwater Common Tern (Sterna Hirundo) Nesting

EWN Technical Note by Thomas J. Fredette, Richard J. Ruby, Paul Bijhouwer, Burton C. Suedel, Michael Guilfoyle, Marleen Kromer, and Karen Adair

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Summary: This document summarizes the design features used to create a nesting area for the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) that was incorporated as part of the maintenance repairs to the harbor breakwater located in Ashtabula, OH. The purpose of the tern nesting project was to demonstrate an option that can be used during such maintenance activities for increasing infrastructure benefits. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program sponsored the development of the nesting habitat site. The project was developed in consultation with the The Nature Conservancy and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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National Large Wood Manual

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and US Army Corps of Engineers Joint Publication

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Summary: The Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research and EWN programs have joined with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Office of Science and Technology and Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group to produce a design support manual on large wood utilization in river and floodplain restoration. The target audience is the entire community of restoration practice. The manual addresses project planning, geomorphic effects, ecological responses, design and engineering, risk issues, regulatory considerations, project implementation and staging, monitoring and adaptive management, active and passive restoration techniques, large wood dynamics in peak flows, and large wood utilization and considerations in flood response.

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Engineering With Nature: Advancing System Resilience and Sustainable Development

The Military Engineer, contributed to by Dr. Todd S. Bridges, Ph.D., Cynthia Banks, Monica Chasten, and Stephen Rochette

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Summary: In the January-February 2016 issue of The Military Engineer which is published by the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 52. The article is titled “Engineering With Nature: Advancing System Resilience and Sustainable Development”. Authors included Dr. Todd Bridges, Cynthia Banks (both of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center), Monica Chasten and Stephen Rochette (both of USACE Philadelphia District). SAME is the premier professional military engineering association in the United States. One of SAME’s values is to preserve, protect, conserve and restore our national resources through sustainable practices.

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Creating Horseshoe Bend Island, Atchafalaya River, Louisiana

Terra et Aqua, contributed to by Burton Suedel, Jacob Berkowitz, Sung-Chan Kim, Nathan Beane, Elizabeth Summers, Darrell Evans and Jeffrey Corbino

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Summary: In the September 2015 issue of Terra et Aqua, the Engineering With Nature (EWN) Action Project is featured on page 26. The article is titled “Creating Horseshoe Bend Island, Atchafalaya River, Louisiana”. The Horseshoe Bend Island, Atchafalaya River project is led by Dr. Burton Suedel of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Team members are Dr. Jacob Berkowitz, Dr. Sung-Chan Kim, Dr. Nathan Beane, Ms. Elizabeth Summers, Mr. Darrell Evans (all of ERDC) and Mr. Jeff Corbino of the U.S. Army New Orleans District. Terra et Aqua, the official quarterly publication of International Association of Dredging Companies seeks to present dredging related papers on important scientific and state-of-the-art subjects. Terra et Aqua is distributed to more than 10,000 readers world-wide.

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Engineering With Nature Yields Lush Results on River Island

Our Mississippi

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Summary: In the Summer 2015 issue of Our Mississippi, the Engineering With Nature (EWN) Action Project is featured on page 5. The article is titled “Engineering With Nature Yields Lush Results on River Island”. The Horseshoe Bend Island, Atchafalaya River project is led by Dr. Burton Suedel of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Team members are Dr. Jacob Berkowitz, Dr. Sung-Chan Kim, Dr. Nathan Beane, Ms. Elizabeth Summers, Mr. Darrell Evans (all of ERDC) and Mr. Jeff Corbino of the U.S. Army New Orleans District. Our Mississippi is a quarterly newsletter of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about its work in the Mississippi River Basin. It is published in cooperation with other state and federal agencies and other river interests with whom the Corps collaborates and partners toward long-term sustainability of the economic uses and ecological integrity of the river system.

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Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) for Coastal Resilience

ERDC Special Report, by Todd S. Bridges, Paul W. Wagner, Kelly A. Burks-Copes, Matthew E. Bates, Zachary A. Collier, Craig J. Fischenich, Joe Z. Gailani, Lauren D. Leuck, Candice D. Piercy, Julie D. Rosati, Edmond J. Russo, Deborah J. Shafer, Burton C. Suedel, Emily A. Vuxton and Ty V. Wamsley

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Summary: The ERDC and the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) have joined forces in support of the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) to develop a technical framework for evaluating and implementing Natural and Nature-based Features (NNBF) to reduce coastal storm risks and enhance system resilience. The study promotes the concept of multiple lines of defense include NNBF solutions (e.g., beach nourishment, artificial reefs, dunes, salt marshes, and living shorelines) that can be used in combination with structural and non-structural measures to generate an array of ecosystem benefits, including reductions in coastal storm damages, recreational benefits, and wide variety of environmental benefits.

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Deer Island Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project

ERDC Technical Note, by Jennifer Gerhardt Smith, Justin McDonald, Susan Ivester Rees and Nathan Lovelace

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Summary: As part of the Engineering With Nature (EWN) Technical Note Series, a new publication has been released! The Deer Island Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project (Deer Island AERP) has been identified as a case study for EWN, based on its “triple-win” benefits, operational efficiency achievements, use of natural processes, and high degree of stakeholder collaboration. The purpose of the technical note (see attached PDF) is to showcase the Deer Island AERP from an EWN perspective. Summary case studies such as this, which document the objectives, methods, and outcomes of projects with EWN features, provide useful information for others with like missions and goals.

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Engineering With Nature’s Support to the Nation’s Civil Works Mission

USACE Publication

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Summary: The 2014-2015 interactive web edition of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):BUILDING STRONG®, Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces is now available. Engineering With Nature’s support to the Nation’s civil works mission is mentioned by Dr. Holland, USACE Engineer Research and Development Center Director, on page 32.

Link to Publication (external link)

Ecological Survey of a Dredged Material-Supported Wetland in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana: An Engineering With Nature Case Study

Wetland Science and Practice, contributions by Jacob F. Berkowitz1, Nathan R. Beane, Darrell E. Evans, Burton Suedel and Jeffrey M. Corbino

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Summary: In the March 2015 issue (Vol. 32/No. 1) of Wetland Science and Practice, an Engineering With Nature (EWN) Action Project is featured beginning on page 14. The article is titled “Ecological Survey of a Dredged Material-supported Wetland in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana:An Engineering With Nature Case Study”. The project team includes Dr. Burton Suedel, Dr. Jacob Berkowitz, Dr. Nathan Beane, Mr. Darrell Evans (all of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Environmental Laboratory) and Mr. Jeff Corbino of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District. Wetland Science and Practice is the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) quarterly publication aimed at providing information on select SWS activities, brief summary articles on ongoing or recently completed wetland research, restoration, or management projects and highlights of current events.

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Engineering With Nature Program Collaborates with Flood Risk Management

USACE Silver Jackets Publication, contributions by Cynthia J. Bank

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Summary: In the January 2015 issue of the Silver Jackets Newsletter (also known as The BUZZ), an Engineering With Nature (EWN) article related to Flood Risk Management is featured beginning on page 10. The article is titled “Engineering With Nature Program Collaborates with Flood Risk Management”. Article contributors were Mr. Jock Conyngham and Dr. David Smith. The Silver Jackets program (http://www.nfrmp.us/state/) provides a formal and consistent strategy for an interagency approach to planning and implementing measures to reduce the risks associated with flooding and other natural hazards. The BUZZ is a quarterly newsletter which serves as a forum for Silver Jackets teams’ successes, opportunities, and resources.

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Conservation Actions Along Interior Rivers of the United States – Contributions to the Recovery of the Interior Population of Least Tern

Journal of Dredging, contributions by Richard A. Fischer, Casey A. Lott and Paul Hartfield

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Summary: In the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Dredging, an Engineering With Nature (EWN) related article is featured beginning on page 1. The article is titled “Conservation Actions along Interior Rivers of the United States – Contributions to the Recovery of the Interior Population of Least Tern” and is authored by Dr. Richard Fischer (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center), Mr. Casey Lott (American Bird Conservancy) and Mr. Paul Hartfield (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). The Journal of Dredging is published by the Western Dredging Association to provide dissemination of technical and project information on dredging engineering topics.

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A Design Manual: Engineering With Nature Using Native Plant Communities

ERDC Manual, by Dr. Pamela Bailey

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Summary: The book entitled “A Design Manual: Engineering With Nature Using Native Plant Communities” has been published. This design manual is important because it promotes our native plant communities, which in turn supports native fauna. The National Classification System data (NRCS) and Nature Serve database (2013) has defined more than 800 ecosystem units in the United States and adjacent Canada. Of the 16,100 native flowering plant species in the United States, 5,474 are at risk, making them by far the largest group of organisms at risk (The Nature Conservancy, 2000). Impacts to native plant communities such as the loss of habitat, fragmentation, invasive plant species, the loss of pollinators, pollution, disease and changes to the climate will continue to occur, further stressing healthy plant populations and increasing the risks of loss of species.

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Engineering With Nature Promotes Triple-Win Outcomes

Terra et Aqua, contributions by Dr. Todd Bridges, Jeff Lillycrop, Dr. Tom Fredette, Dr. Burton Suedel, Cynthia Banks, Joe Wilson and Dr. Edmond Russo

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Summary: In the June 2014 issue of Terra et Aqua which is published by the International Association of Dredging Companies, Engineering With Nature (EWN) is featured on page 17. The article is titled “Engineering With Nature Promotes Triple-Win Outcomes”. Authors included Dr. Todd Bridges, Jeff Lillycrop, Dr. Tom Fredette, Dr. Burton Suedel, Cynthia Banks (all of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center), Joe Wilson (HQUSACE) and Dr. Edmond Russo (USACE Galveston District). The journal is distributed to more than 10,000 readers worldwide quarterly. Terra et Aqua seeks to present dredging related papers on important scientific and state-of-the-art subjects.

Link to Publication (PDF)

USACE Regional Sediment Management and Engineering with Nature 2012 Workshop Summary

ERDC Technical Note, by Cynthia J. Banks and Jennifer M. Gerhardt Smith

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Purpose: This document summarizes the major findings of a workshop entitled ” Regional Sediment Management (RSM) and Engineering With Nature (EWN).” The workshop was held August 28-30, 2012, at the U.S. Army Engineer District, Portland, in Portland, Oregon. The goals of the workshop were to introduce the EWN initiative; identify opportunities and establish collaborations between RSM and EWN; and conduct the annual RSM In-Progress-Review. The workshop was sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE or the Corps) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) RSM and Dredging Operations Environmental Research (DOER) Programs and further served as a conduit to share technical presentations and lessons learned. The workshop also provided a venue for participants to network, to participate in valuable discussions of relevant experiences, and to generate outcomes that will support the USACE Navigation, Flood Risk Management, and Environmental Restoration missions. Coordinators of the workshop were Linda Lillycrop of the ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory and Dr. Todd Bridges of the ERDC Environmental Laboratory.

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Epifaunal Community Development on Great Lakes Breakwaters: An Engineering With Nature Demonstration Project

ERDC Technical Note, by Thomas J. Fredette, Burton Suedel, Cynthia J. Banks, Richard J. Ruby, Paul Bijhouwer and Anthony M. Friona

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Purpose: This technical note describes an Engineering With Nature (EWN) project being conducted on the east arrowhead breakwater on Lake Erie in Cleveland Harbor, OH. Background information, project objectives, approaches, and preliminary monitoring results are included with this description. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has partnered with the USACE Buffalo District (LRB) to design and implement modifications to LRB’s normal maintenance procedures for breakwater repairs at this site. The structural design modifications are intended to produce greater environmental benefits to invertebrate and fish communities than would be present otherwise using standard practices. This work was funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative managed by the Great Lakes National Program Office.

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USACE Regional Sediment Management and Engineering With Nature 2013 Summary

ERDC Technical Note, by Jennifer M. Gerhardt Smith and Cynthia J. Banks

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Purpose: This document summarizes the major activities and findings of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) workshop entitled “Regional Sediment Management (RSM) and Engineering With Nature (EWN).” The workshop was held August 20-22, 2013, at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The workshop included technical presentations and group breakout sessions on a broad range of topics associated with navigation, flood risk management, and environmental missions including innovative engineering and operational practices, modeling, data management, and strategic communications for the advancement of a joint RSM and EWN community.

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Use of Strategic Placement of Dredged Sediments to Support Horseshoe Island in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana: A Preliminary Ecological Survey

ERDC Technical Note, by Jacob F. Berkowitz, Nathan R. Beane, Darrell E. Evans, Burton Suedel and Jeffrey M. Corbino

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Purpose: This technical note describes an Engineering With Nature (EWN) project being conducted in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana. The current work presents a wetland classification, vegetation survey map, preliminary ecological inventory, and soil descriptions for an island receiving strategically placed dredged sediments (i.e., Horseshoe Bend Island) located within the Atchafalaya River. The practice of strategically placing dredged sediments upriver of a naturally occurring island was conducted with the intent of aiding the islands growth to produce greater environmental benefits than otherwise would be present using more conventional placement practices. The results provided background information regarding ecosystem classification and mapping, floral and faunal composition of the island, and background data supporting future research efforts. Opportunities for additional research are also presented.

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Island Building in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana USA – An Engineering With Nature Demonstration Project

World Dredging, contributions by Burton C. Suedel, Thomas J. Fredette, and Jeffery M. Corbino

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Summary: In the February 2014 issue of World Dredging, one of the seven EWN Action Projects is featured on page 14. The article is titled Island Building in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana USA – An Engineering With Nature Demonstration Project. World Dredging is a bi-monthly publication dedicated to publishing news related to dredging and marine construction worldwide.

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Engineering With Nature: Designing Navigation Infrastructure for Greater Environmental Sustainability

ERDC Technical Report

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Summary: This technical document summarizes the major outcomes of a workshop entitled “Engineering With Nature: Designing Navigation Infrastructure for Greater Environmental Sustainability” held September 7-8, 2011, in Charleston, South Carolina. The primary goal of the workshop was to identify opportunities to advance science, engineering, and operational practice leading to expanded environmental benefits from navigation infrastructure and operations within the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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Working with Nature Certificate of Recognition for the Cleveland Arrowhead Breakwater Project

PIANC Newsletter

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Summary: In PIANC’s e-newsletter ‘Sailing Ahead’ October 2013 issue, we are pleased to highlight a Working with Nature (WwN) Certificate of Recognition which was awarded for the Cleveland Arrowhead Breakwater Project. The project is managed collaboratively by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Buffalo District and the Engineer Research and Development Center. The project’s detailed information now resides in the WwN Database.

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Operationalizing Engineering With Nature – Regional Sediment Management Principles and Practices into Operations and Maintenance Dredging Beneficial Use Project Management

ERDC Technical Note, by Cynthia J. Banks and Jennifer M. Gerhardt Smith

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Purpose: This technical document summarizes an effort to begin the process of operationalizing the application of Engineering With Nature and Regional Sediment Management principles and practices in Federal navigation channel Operations and Maintenance dredging beneficial use project management. The ultimate goal of this effort was to develop a model that could be used to inform development of a Project Management Plan for use by Project Managers across the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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Corps of Engineers Aims for
Environmental Sustainability

Inland Port, by Thomas J. Fredette, Ph.D. and Burton Suedel, Ph.D

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Summary: Written by Thomas J. Fredette, Ph.D., and Burton Suedel, Ph.D., of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, this booklet explores opportunities for enhancing life-promoting features of coastal infrastructure. With the use of more creative design, low-cost measures could be implemented as part of routine maintenance, scheduled repairs or new modifications, and would result in improved habitat.

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Engineering With Nature

ERDC Brochure

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Summary: The Engineering With Nature (EWN) Fact Sheet communicates the USACE policies that are aligned with this initiative. It also outlines the essential ingredients, guiding principles and opportunities available for EWN as a mechanism for moving toward more sustainable practices.

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Environmental Enhancements and Navigation Infrastructure: A Study of Existing Practices, Innovative Ideas, Impediments, and Research Needs

ERDC Technical Report, by Thomas J. Fredette, Christy M. Foran, Sandra M. Brasfield and Burton C. Suedel

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Summary: The Environmental Enhancements and Navigation Infrastructure (EENI) study investigated the opportunities and challenges associated with increasing the environmental benefits of navigation infrastructure (e.g., jetties, locks, channels, and anchorages). The concept of EENI was relatively new to most participants, but was viewed by 95% of respondents as an activity for which there is considerable opportunity.

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Making Great Lakes Coastal Structures Greener

ERDC Booklet

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Summary: Coastal structures in the Great Lakes have been noted to provide essential habitat for waterfowl and fisheries, but often these advantages are not intentional. Making Great Lakes Coastal Structures Greener explores the idea of taking a deliberate approach to creating habitat by improving these structureslife-promoting features as a part of routine maintenance. Low-cost measures could be implemented as part of routine maintenance. By taking advantage of scheduled repairs or new modifications, the incorporation of habitat features would prove cost-effective, as well as green.

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Environmental Engineering of Navigation Infrastructure: A Survey of Existing Practices, Challenges, and Potential Opportunities

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, by Thomas J. Fredette, Christy M. Foran, Sandra M. Brasfield and Burton C. Suedel

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Summary: Environmental engineering of navigation infrastructure: A survey of existing practices, challenges, and potential opportunities. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management examines the existing institutional conditions within the USACE and cooperating federal agencies relative to incorporating environmental enhancements into navigation infrastructure projects.

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Working with Nature

PIANC Position Paper

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Summary: In its position paper, Working with Nature, The International Navigation Association (PIANC) calls for an integrated process, which involves working to identify and exploit win-win solutions that respect nature and are acceptable to both project proponents and environmental stakeholders.

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