November 28, 2023

Collaborative Development of Natural and Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Resiliency in the Arctic and Adjacent Regions: A Workshop

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The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) together with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Engineering With Nature® (EWN) program and the National Research Council of Canada convened partners from across the circum-Arctic region in a hybrid workshop on October 24 and 25, 2023 to focus on applying natural and nature-based solutions (NNBS) in the Arctic.

The event took place at ASCE headquarters in Reston, Virginia. The workshop aimed to showcase ongoing NNBS implementation efforts to combat coastal hazards like flooding and erosion in Arctic and Cold Region (CR) settings. Additionally, it outlined the necessary research, community needs, and engineering standards essential for further advancement in these regions.

The workshop drew an international audience of engineers, scientists, and managers, representing federal agencies, academia, private industry, and indigenous consortiums. Dr. Thomas Douglas (SSTM, CRREL) was a co-convener of the workshop and Dr. Nicholas Cohn (CHL) and Dr. Jeffrey King (EL, EWN National Lead) delivered presentations highlighting ongoing NNBS Arctic R&D within ERDC. This included presentation of new predictive numerical modeling capabilities of future coastal tundra retreat being applied to the Alaskan coastline. Other presentations highlighted case studies of successful coastal NNBS design and implementation in Alaska, Canada, Finland, and Norway.

The workshop is the basis for a next step collaboration being led by ASCE to develop engineering standards for CR-settings that incorporate state-of-the-art understanding of NBS applicability and benefits for these extreme cold settings.

Workshop Attendees outside ASCE Headquarters in Reston, VA.
Nick Cohn from the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory presents his work on developing probabilistic assessments of Alaskan Arctic coastal retreat.

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Cold Region (CR) environments experience unique environmental stressors such as loss of permafrost and ice sheets fro...
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