EWN Publications

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
June 30, 2017

About This Publication

ERDC Technical Report

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.