EWN Engagements

The National Nature-Based Solutions Policy Forum 2024

Multi-day Event (February 7-
8, 2024)


The Network for Engineering With Nature® and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a National Nature-Based Solutions Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on February 7-8, 2024. With 200 attendees in person and over 1,100 online viewers, the forum hosted productive dialogue on financing mechanisms, permitting processes, and strategies for ensuring equitable project execution.

A Gathering of Minds

The Policy Forum brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, including policymakers, regulators, practitioners, academics, and others involved in funding, policymaking, design, and construction related to nature-based solutions. It provided a platform for rich discussions on the transformative potential of nature-based solutions across various sectors, including infrastructure development, climate change mitigation, and community revitalization.

One of the primary objectives of the Forum was to identify and address major obstacles in policy and practice to effectively implement nature-based solutions. Discussions centered on topics such as financing, permitting processes, and ensuring equitable project implementation. Through engaging dialogues and breakout sessions, participants worked collaboratively to find actionable solutions to these challenges.

Engaging Leadership

High-profile agency leaders participated in a fireside chat, offering valuable insights and perspectives on the role of nature-based solutions in their various agency missions. Notable speakers included Jainey Bavishi, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works; and Sarah Greenberger, Associate Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

Dr. Jeff King, National Lead for Engineering With Nature®, set the tone for the forum with a thought-provoking welcome address, challenging attendees to consider the long-term implications of our actions. He shared a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, emphasizing the importance of foresight and stewardship for future generations.

“We have become great in a material sense because of the lavish use of our resources, and we have just reason to be proud of our growth. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils shall have been still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields, and obstructing navigation. These questions do not relate only to the next century or to the next generation. One distinguishing characteristic of really civilized men is foresight; we have to, as a nation, exercise foresight for this nation in the future; and if we do not exercise that foresight, dark will be the future!”

—From the speech Conservation as a National Duty,” given in 1908

Courtney Chambers, EWN Communications Lead, introduced the forthcoming release of the EWN Atlas Vol 3 book, showcasing its wealth of imagery and insights. Dr. Amanda Tritinger concluded day 1 of the forum with inspiring closing remarks, urging attendees to translate ideas into action by building relationships with fellow attendees. Additional EWN teammates attended including: Dr. Kyle McKay, Dr. Margaret Kurth, and Marina Howarth.

Looking Ahead

The National Nature-Based Solutions Policy Forum was not just a gathering of minds—it was a catalyst for action and collaboration. As we reflect on the discussions and insights shared, let us carry forward the momentum generated at the forum and continue working together to implement nature-based solutions that benefit both people and ecosystems.

When we are willing to prioritize the integration of nature-based solutions across our landscapes, only then will we truly grasp their immense value and understand that they are to be equitably shared and benefit all.

Jeff King, National Lead, Engineering With Nature®
View Forum Agenda (pdf).

Panel Summaries

Read highlights and quotes from each of the panel discussions.

You can learn more about the Network for Engineering With Nature here.

Shout out to our Organizing Team

Thank you to the self-organizing committee of N-EWN partners who made the NBS Policy Forum a reality. Additionally, sponsoring partners were able to contribute financially, allowing free registration and making this gathering accessible to the most people.

More from the Partners

The Network for Engineering With Nature, N-EWN Goes to Washington: National Policy Forum on Nature-based Solutions – NETWORK FOR ENGINEERING WITH NATURE

The National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf Research Program

The Water Institute, Register now for the Policy Forum on Nature-Based Solutions, Feb. 7-8 – The Water Institute

Stantec, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) (stantec.com)

The Duke Nicholas Institute, Policy Forum on Nature-Based Solutions | The Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability (duke.edu)


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The Network for Engineering With Nature® and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and...
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Point of Contact

Communications Lead, USACE EWN Program

National Lead, USACE EWN Program



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