Engineering With Nature for the Department of Defense (DoD)

“Developing and integrating the natural infrastructure associated with DoD’s 25 million acres of land and water, as a part of our strategies and systems, will enable us to reduce risks, build resilience, and support the well-being of DoD service members and civilians.

With our partners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is pursuing nature-based solutions through the Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) Initiative.”

MG Jeffrey L. Milhorn, Deputy Commanding General for Military Programs and International Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Department of Defense and its 3 million team members operate on more than 25 million acres and nearly 5,000 sites in different regions, climates, and landscapes in the U.S. and around the world.  Over the last 5 years, DoD installations have experienced more than $10 billion in damage from natural hazards, such as storms and flooding. Given the complexity of DoD’s mission, there are not many instances where simple, “silver bullet” infrastructure solutions are sufficient. Creating resilient systems requires innovative action. Contact EWN with your questions and ideas for applications of EWN for DoD installations.

EWN: An Atlas, Supporting Mission Resilience and Infrastructure Value

To request a hard copy, please fill out the EWN Book Order Form.

Engineering With Nature is front and center in DoD’s Climate Adaptation Plan.

Mr. Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience


Department of the Navy Hosts Meeting on Climate Resilience in Hawaii

26-29 September 2022. The Department of the Navy (DON) hosted a discussion on nature-based climate resilience. This meeting is part of a collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineer’s Engineering With Nature® program.

Natural Infrastructure for Sustainable, Resilient Installations: Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona

1-3 March 2022. Military installations in the desert Southwest are grappling with the challenges posed by a range of natural hazards, such as drought, heat, winds, wildfire, desertification, earthquakes and soil erosion. Workshop participants included a diverse group of installation personnel, resource managers, scientists, engineers, landscape architects, resilience planners and stakeholders.

EWN at Department of Defense Installations: Virtual Workshop

24-25 August 2021. This two-day virtual event featured over 40 participants from across the Department of Defense, U.S. Government, industry, non-government organizations, and academia to examine ways to increase resilience on DoD installations using nature-based infrastructure solutions.

Featured Project

Tyndall Coastal Resilience Study

The study focused on rebuilding Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, as an Installation of the Future in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm, which damaged the base and surrounding area in October 2018. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and its partners on the study received the U.K. Environment Agency Flood & Coast International Excellence Award on June 30, 2021, for the Tyndall Coastal Resilience Study. Watch a summary of the project.

F-22 Raptor and a T-38 Talon fly above Tyndall. (Photo by MSgt J S. Wilcox)

More Resources: Listen to the EWN Podcast interview with Brigadier General Patrice Melancon on Increasing Resilience on Military Installations. Watch Recipient of the International Excellence Award.

Defending training lands, people, and budgets.

Engineering With Nature supports increased resilience on military installations because natural infrastructure strategies are:

  • Scalable, which reduces cost and allows for adaptation over time as environmental conditions continue to evolve.
  • Self-healing following storm events or other environmental hazards avoiding costly maintenance and repair typically incurred through conventional infrastructure. 
  • Enjoyable, enhancing personal well-being of the people who work, train, and live at DoD facilities through environmental and social benefits.