US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

News Story Manager

USACE, Partners Explore Natural and Nature Based Project Features in Recent Meetings

Published Dec. 26, 2013
A red fox braves winter weather on Fire Island, N.Y., Jan. 12, 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the removal of hurricane debris on Fire Island as part of the federal government’s Sandy response and recovery efforts in New York. The Corps is coordinating debris removal operations with local, state and federal agencies to minimize disruption of the island’s sensitive ecosystem.

A red fox braves winter weather on Fire Island, N.Y., Jan. 12, 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the removal of hurricane debris on Fire Island as part of the federal government’s Sandy response and recovery efforts in New York. The Corps is coordinating debris removal operations with local, state and federal agencies to minimize disruption of the island’s sensitive ecosystem.

Debris left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake on Fire Island, N.Y., awaits removal Feb. 22, 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the removal of hurricane debris on Fire Island as part of the federal government’s Sandy response and recovery efforts in New York.

Debris left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake on Fire Island, N.Y., awaits removal Feb. 22, 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the removal of hurricane debris on Fire Island as part of the federal government’s Sandy response and recovery efforts in New York.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel discuss beach renourishment activities at the site of active sand placement work in the Rockaways August 15, 2013. Post-Sandy sand placement activities are underway at Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY as part of a project placing roughly 3.5 million cubic yards onto the beach to help reduce risks from future storms.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel discuss beach renourishment activities at the site of active sand placement work in the Rockaways August 15, 2013. Post-Sandy sand placement activities are underway at Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY as part of a project placing roughly 3.5 million cubic yards onto the beach to help reduce risks from future storms.

Coney Island landmarks are visible as crews work to place sand and restore the beach at Coney Island Friday September 20, 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is placing roughly 600,000 cubic yards of sand at Coney Island to replace sand lost during Hurricane Sandy and also to restore the Coney Island project to its original design profile from when the coastal storm risk reduction project (primarily the beach) was originally constructed in the 1990s. While the beach is a tremendous recreational asset, it's important to note that the engineered beach is designed to act as a buffer and reduce risks to the community from coastal storms like Hurricane Sandy.

Coney Island landmarks are visible as crews work to place sand and restore the beach at Coney Island Friday September 20, 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is placing roughly 600,000 cubic yards of sand at Coney Island to replace sand lost during Hurricane Sandy and also to restore the Coney Island project to its original design profile from when the coastal storm risk reduction project (primarily the beach) was originally constructed in the 1990s. While the beach is a tremendous recreational asset, it's important to note that the engineered beach is designed to act as a buffer and reduce risks to the community from coastal storms like Hurricane Sandy.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  In support of the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) hosted a meeting November 20, 2013 to discuss policy challenges to using natural and nature-based coastal features for risk reduction and coastal resiliency.

The “Policy Challenges to Using Nature-Based & Green Coastal Features for Risk Reduction and Resiliency” meeting was one of several meetings aimed to inform the ongoing North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study.

The second meeting titled “Natural and Nature-Based Approaches to Support Coastal Resilience and Risk Reduction” was held on November 21-22, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The meetings support ongoing work of the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study to identify and support the development of a nature-based evaluation framework and aid in identifying natural and nature-based features that may be used in rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

Over 100 individuals from federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, engineering firms, and academic institutions participated in the meetings and breakout sessions that sought to determine the challenges and potential opportunities associated with implementing these solutions.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) staff from IWR, ERDC, USACE Headquarters, the North Atlantic Division, Baltimore District and New York District participated.

During the meetings, North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study leads Joe Vietri, Director, USACE National Planning Center of Expertise for Coastal Storm Risk Management (PCX-CSRM); Roselle Henn, Deputy Director, USACE National Planning Center of Expertise for Coastal Storm Risk Management (PCX-CSRM); and Amy Guise, Chief, Planning Division, USACE Baltimore District, welcomed attendees and reported on the ongoing progress of the NACCS.

Attendees listened to presentations on projects that have implemented natural and nature-based features and heard about tools to use in exploring new opportunities for incorporating these features into projects. Participants also participated in breakout sessions to identify policy and technical challenges and opportunities for implementing nature-based features.

IWR employee Paul Wagner and Todd Bridges of the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) are the project leaders for the multi-disciplinary team working on natural and nature-based features within the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study and were proponents for the meetings. Emily Vuxton, IWR, and Kara Reeve, National Wildlife Federation, organized the meetings.

Information discerned in these project meetings will be used to advance and support the work being conducted by the natural and nature based features and North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study teams.