Sponsored by the Dredging Operations Environmental Research (DOER) Program and collaboratively organized with representatives from EcoShape in the Netherlands, participants at the workshop identified opportunities to advance science, engineering, and operational practice that could lead to expanded environmental benefits from navigation infrastructure and operations.
A workshop on “Working and Building with Nature” was held January 18-20, 2011, in Mobile, Alabama. The purpose of the workshop was to identify opportunities to advance science, engineering, and operational practice leading to expanded environmental benefits from navigation infrastructure and operations through in-depth discussions of relevant experiences, issues, and lessons learned. The concepts, principles, and practices associated with Working with Nature (as developed by the International Navigation Association, PIANC) and Building with Nature (as developed through a partnership between government and private sector interests in The Netherlands) support the development of navigation infrastructure by maximizing the use of natural processes and the generation of environmental benefits. The Working with Nature and Building with Nature concepts have garnered much support among navigation interests in many countries.
Participants in the workshop included representatives from USACE HQ, 12 scientists and engineers from ERDC, several representatives from Portland and Mobile Districts, and three representatives from EcoShape.
Over the two-day period, 17 technical presentations (see below) were presented on eight topics which included a broad range of issues related to identifying, developing and quantifying environmental benefits associated with navigation, such as innovative engineering and operational practices, modeling, benefits quantification, and strategic communications. The presenter was charged with introducing respective concepts, projects, efforts and achievements made on their topic. A facilitated discussion followed to identify opportunities, needs, and constraints relevant to each topic. The workshop created a foundation for more extensive, detailed exchanges and/or future collaborations.