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EWN Publications

Financing natural infrastructure : the Elizabeth River Project, Chesapeake Bay, VA

Ellis Kalaidjian, Margaret H. Kurth, Bari N. Greenfeld, and Matthew A. Smith
April 17, 2024

About This Publication

Knowledge gaps surrounding natural infrastructure (NI) life cycles and performance thwart widespread implementation of NI in civil works projects. In particular, information about funding or financing the scoping, design, construction, monitoring, and adaptive management of NI projects constitutes a key need as there is no standard process for securing funds. This technical note is part of a series documenting successful examples of funding NI projects and sharing lessons learned about a variety of funding and financing methods to increase the implementation of NI projects. The research effort is a collaboration between the Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) and Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE) programs of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This technical note explores how the Elizabeth River Project (ERP), a nonprofit organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, developed a homeowner cost-sharing program to fund NI projects—living shorelines, rain gardens, and riparian buffers—within an urban watershed.

Research Projects

There is currently a lack of information on how to fund or finance natural infrastructure (NI). As NI continues to be mainstreamed, project leads will require innovative financing practices to account for the differen...