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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  Exposure to flooding and other environmental hazards often fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable people in our communities. Those who lack access to education, adequate housing, economic resources, health care, and social networks have the fewest resources to prepare for a flood and often live in the highest-risk locations.  Children, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities are also more vulnerable. 
“Social effects, in a water resources context, refer to how the constituents of life that influence personal and group definitions of satisfaction, well-being, and happiness, are affected by some water resources condition or proposed intervention, ” said Susan Durden, a senior economist at the U.S. Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources (IWR).  
Since social vulnerability is one of those key social effects, the USACE has developed a new primer entitled Identification and Engagement of Socially Vulnerable Populations to address vulnerable populations in evaluating potential projects, studies, or regulatory decisions.  The primer is intended to help Corps personnel and its partners understand the importance of identifying and engaging those individuals and groups who are more vulnerable to floods and other environmental hazards. It will be useful to all USACE programs and can also serve other government agency programs.
New Publication Addresses Socially Vulnerable Populations in Water Resource Planning
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. Exposure to flooding and other environmental hazards often fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable people in our communities. Those who lack access to education, adequate housing, economic resources, health care, and social networks have the fewest resources to prepare for a flood and often live in the highest-risk locations. Children, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities are also more vulnerable. “Social effects, in a water resources context, refer to how the constituents of life that influence personal and group definitions of satisfaction, well-being, and happiness, are affected by some water resources condition or proposed intervention, ” said Susan Durden, a senior economist at the U.S. Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources (IWR). Since social vulnerability is one of those key social effects, the USACE has developed a new primer entitled Identification and Engagement of Socially Vulnerable Populations to address vulnerable populations in evaluating potential projects, studies, or regulatory decisions. The primer is intended to help Corps personnel and its partners understand the importance of identifying and engaging those individuals and groups who are more vulnerable to floods and other environmental hazards. It will be useful to all USACE programs and can also serve other government agency programs.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  Move over Bobber (The Corps’ Water Safety Dog), robots are becoming the Corps’ newest best friend. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is utilizing land, water and air-based robots to complete a variety of missions.   These robots can gather imagery and measurements, collect or drop-off items, conduct inspections, and more!  New robots and functions are being explored throughout the federal government to advance Corps missions further.  
Check out Yeti, a robotic rover developed at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) - Cold Regional Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL). This rover conducts ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys to characterize the terrain in order to identify any potential safety hazards. 
What other kinds of information can these robots collect? Working with the San Francisco District, a team of students from Vallejo High School trained their rover to inspect the toe drain on the Coyote Dam and assess conditions of the pipe. Charles comes in weighing at 7 pounds, about the same size as a Chihuahua.
In Air, on Land, through Navigable Waterways, Robots are the Corps’ Best Friend
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. Move over Bobber (The Corps’ Water Safety Dog), robots are becoming the Corps’ newest best friend. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is utilizing land, water and air-based robots to complete a variety of missions. These robots can gather imagery and measurements, collect or drop-off items, conduct inspections, and more! New robots and functions are being explored throughout the federal government to advance Corps missions further. Check out Yeti, a robotic rover developed at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) - Cold Regional Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL). This rover conducts ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys to characterize the terrain in order to identify any potential safety hazards. What other kinds of information can these robots collect? Working with the San Francisco District, a team of students from Vallejo High School trained their rover to inspect the toe drain on the Coyote Dam and assess conditions of the pipe. Charles comes in weighing at 7 pounds, about the same size as a Chihuahua.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  More than fifty project delivery teams (PDTs) across all USACE divisions have discovered IWR-APT as a “go to” tool for their planning studies.  IWR-APT “makes the new SMART planning requirements easier to track.  It provides a central location to house and create our SMART Planning deliverables.  It is also easy to use and provides consistency in our documents,” according to Samantha Borer, a plan formulator for the Jacksonville District who has used APT on multiple projects. 
IWR-APT, short for Institute for Water Resources – Assistance for Planning Teams, is an online tool available to USACE PDT members at http://iwr-apt.planUSACE.us.  APT encourages collaboration, transparency, accountability, consistent and quality products, and sharing lessons learned.  APT has robust capabilities such as the Risk Register, Decision Management Plan (DMP), Decision Log, Study Issue Checklist, and SMART Planning Deliverable Workflow and more!  APT has transformed these Excel or Word templates to a digital application with “just-in-time” training to help the PDT better understand the intent, purpose, and deliverable requirements.  PDTs can be assured that the “latest and greatest” versions for their project will always be at their fingertips and ready for no fuss printing to pre-formatted pdf.
APT is Becoming a “Go To” Tool for Planners
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. More than fifty project delivery teams (PDTs) across all USACE divisions have discovered IWR-APT as a “go to” tool for their planning studies. IWR-APT “makes the new SMART planning requirements easier to track. It provides a central location to house and create our SMART Planning deliverables. It is also easy to use and provides consistency in our documents,” according to Samantha Borer, a plan formulator for the Jacksonville District who has used APT on multiple projects. IWR-APT, short for Institute for Water Resources – Assistance for Planning Teams, is an online tool available to USACE PDT members at http://iwr-apt.planUSACE.us. APT encourages collaboration, transparency, accountability, consistent and quality products, and sharing lessons learned. APT has robust capabilities such as the Risk Register, Decision Management Plan (DMP), Decision Log, Study Issue Checklist, and SMART Planning Deliverable Workflow and more! APT has transformed these Excel or Word templates to a digital application with “just-in-time” training to help the PDT better understand the intent, purpose, and deliverable requirements. PDTs can be assured that the “latest and greatest” versions for their project will always be at their fingertips and ready for no fuss printing to pre-formatted pdf.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  The US Section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC USA) partnered with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute on the PORTS 2016 Conference, which was held June 12-15, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The theme of the conference was “Ports:  Gateways to a World of Opportunities”, and attendance was excellent with over 600 participants.  
PIANC USA First Delegate, the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy (Assistant Secretary of the Army – Civil Works), spoke at the Opening Plenary Session.  She introduced PIANC to this broad audience, emphasizing the benefits of participation in international technical working groups.  She also discussed in some detail PIANC’s Think Climate Initiative and the “Navigating a Changing Climate” Action Plan.  She encouraged all to learn more about PIANC, and specifically invited everyone to attend the PIANC Technical Breakfast during the conference.
PIANC USA Events at the PORTS 2016 Conference
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. The US Section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC USA) partnered with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute on the PORTS 2016 Conference, which was held June 12-15, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of the conference was “Ports: Gateways to a World of Opportunities”, and attendance was excellent with over 600 participants. PIANC USA First Delegate, the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy (Assistant Secretary of the Army – Civil Works), spoke at the Opening Plenary Session. She introduced PIANC to this broad audience, emphasizing the benefits of participation in international technical working groups. She also discussed in some detail PIANC’s Think Climate Initiative and the “Navigating a Changing Climate” Action Plan. She encouraged all to learn more about PIANC, and specifically invited everyone to attend the PIANC Technical Breakfast during the conference.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   – IWR Report 2014-R-04 Environmental Impact Mitigation Needs of Future Port and Waterway Modernization Activities in the United States.
In preparation for the increasing size of container vessels and enlargement of the Panama Canal, Congress asked the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) for an assessment of port and waterway modernization needs, including environmental impact mitigation. A draft of this report provided a comprehensive reference for the environmental aspects of the Congressional report. The report focuses on major container ports in the United States and locks in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Container ports were selected to represent needs and impacts in the major coastal regions. Past environmental impacts of ports and waterways were reviewed to establish context and help identify representative data indicating impact vulnerability and impact sources. Vulnerability indicators included data on public health and safety, environmental justice; parks and other preserves; threatened and endangered species; commercial fisheries value; sportfishing activity; and public beaches. Impact sources were indicated by the amount of additional dredging needed, the regional population growth served by the ports, and the difference between percent population growth and percent unused port capacity.
U.S. Port & Waterway Environmental Impact Mitigation Needs – New Report Tells All
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. – IWR Report 2014-R-04 Environmental Impact Mitigation Needs of Future Port and Waterway Modernization Activities in the United States. In preparation for the increasing size of container vessels and enlargement of the Panama Canal, Congress asked the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) for an assessment of port and waterway modernization needs, including environmental impact mitigation. A draft of this report provided a comprehensive reference for the environmental aspects of the Congressional report. The report focuses on major container ports in the United States and locks in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Container ports were selected to represent needs and impacts in the major coastal regions. Past environmental impacts of ports and waterways were reviewed to establish context and help identify representative data indicating impact vulnerability and impact sources. Vulnerability indicators included data on public health and safety, environmental justice; parks and other preserves; threatened and endangered species; commercial fisheries value; sportfishing activity; and public beaches. Impact sources were indicated by the amount of additional dredging needed, the regional population growth served by the ports, and the difference between percent population growth and percent unused port capacity.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   – IWR Report 2014-R-05 Fostering Sustainability – A Conceptual Framework for Achieving Environmental Sustainability in the Project Footprint of the US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program.
After 13 years of significant progress following issuance of USACE Environmental Operating Principles (EOP), the progress towards achievement of environmental sustainability remains stifled.  The reasons, as identified and addressed in this report produced by the Institute for Water Resources (IWR), can be summarized as incomplete management of eleven major issues.  The report thus presents an overall conceptual framework for improved administration of five core issues.  These include (1) shortcomings in objective specification, (2) adaptive systems management, (3) inventory of conditions, (4) visions of sustainable environments, and (5) strategies for achievement.  
The proper handling of these issues depends on the concurrent management of six peripheral issues: benefits measurement, policy integration, collaborative integrated resource management, regional assessment process; systems-context project planning; and the tools and training needed for a systems approach.
Report on Achieving Environmental Sustainability in the USACE
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. – IWR Report 2014-R-05 Fostering Sustainability – A Conceptual Framework for Achieving Environmental Sustainability in the Project Footprint of the US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program. After 13 years of significant progress following issuance of USACE Environmental Operating Principles (EOP), the progress towards achievement of environmental sustainability remains stifled. The reasons, as identified and addressed in this report produced by the Institute for Water Resources (IWR), can be summarized as incomplete management of eleven major issues. The report thus presents an overall conceptual framework for improved administration of five core issues. These include (1) shortcomings in objective specification, (2) adaptive systems management, (3) inventory of conditions, (4) visions of sustainable environments, and (5) strategies for achievement. The proper handling of these issues depends on the concurrent management of six peripheral issues: benefits measurement, policy integration, collaborative integrated resource management, regional assessment process; systems-context project planning; and the tools and training needed for a systems approach.

Inside the Institute


PIANC USA Silver Jackets Responses to Climate Change
Flood Risk Management Program Corps Risk Analysis Gateway Shared Vision Planning
Water Resources Training<br />and Education International Center for<br />Integrated Water Resources Management National Shoreline Management Study
Inland Waterways Users Board National Economic Development Manuals Navigation Economics<br />Technologies Program
Sustainable Rivers Project Value to the Nation Port and Inland Waterways Modernization Strategy


Latest Stories

New Publication Addresses Socially Vulnerable Populations in Water Resource Planning

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  Exposure to flooding and other environmental hazards often fall
Published: 8/15/2016

In Air, on Land, through Navigable Waterways, Robots are the Corps’ Best Friend

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  Move over Bobber (The Corps’ Water Safety Dog), robots are becoming the
Published: 8/5/2016

APT is Becoming a “Go To” Tool for Planners

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  More than fifty project delivery teams (PDTs) across all USACE divisions have
Published: 7/28/2016

PIANC USA Events at the PORTS 2016 Conference

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  The US Section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport
Published: 7/27/2016

U.S. Port & Waterway Environmental Impact Mitigation Needs – New Report Tells All

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   – IWR Report 2014-R-04 Environmental Impact Mitigation Needs of Future Port
Published: 7/21/2016

Report on Achieving Environmental Sustainability in the USACE

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   – IWR Report 2014-R-05 Fostering Sustainability – A Conceptual Framework for
Published: 7/12/2016

Collaboration with Tribal Nations

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  The USACE’s Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX)
Published: 7/11/2016

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