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Engineering with Nature

Engineering with Nature



Cheryl Pollock

Cheryl Pollock



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  • We define EWN as…
  • This photo shows an real-life example of EWN… These are aerial views of chevrons used in river engineering. Chevrons are horseshoe-shaped structures that both guide river currents to keep the channel navigable and generate low flow pools and small islands immediately down-river, providing habitat for fish and other species.

Engineering with Nature Engineering with Nature Presentation Transcript

  • Engineering With Nature: EnvironmentalEnhancements and Navigation Infrastructure-Green BreakwatersCheryl E. PollockResearch Hydraulic EngineerCoastal and Hydraulics LaboratoryEngineer Research and Development CenterCheryl.e.Pollock@usace.army.mil Ferry Transport Committee of theTransportation Research Board Midyear Conference August 14-15, 2012 US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG®
  • Engineering With Nature - is the intentional alignment of natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental and social benefits through collaborative processes. Working with Nature Building Engineering with Nature With Nature
  • Engineering With Nature ExampleUpper Mississippi River Training Structures redirect the strongest flow of the river away from the islands to prevent erosion (Photos courtesy of USACE Rock Island District)
  • The USACE Civil Works Strategic PlanSustainable Solutions to America’s Water Resources Needs USACE Navigation Mission - To provide safe, reliable, efficient, effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems for movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation Vision: “Contribute to the strength of the Nation through innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions to the Nation’s water resources challenges.” The goals established by this strategy are to: ► Assist in providing for safe and resilient communities and infrastructure. ► Help facilitate commercial navigation in an environmentally and economically sustainable fashion. ► Restore degraded aquatic ecosystems and prevent future environmental losses. ► Implement effective, reliable, and adaptive life- cycle performance management of infrastructure. ► Build and sustain a high quality, highly dedicated workforce.
  • Environmental Enhancements and Navigation Infrastructure (EENI) Engineering with nature so infrastructure can serve as valuable habitat. Designing navigation infrastructure with the specific intent of accomplishing both engineering goal and specific environmental goals is new to most planners and designers. Study Goals: ► Identify existing and potential navigation project features that were designed with the express intent of enhancing environmental benefit. ► Identify laws, regulations and policies that both support and hinder such design features. ► Identify opportunities for increased environmental benefits for Navigation projects within existing formulation boundaries. ► Propose potential changes to formulation boundaries that would further increase opportunities for environmental benefits. ► Identify potential areas where research can increase the opportunity to integrate environmental features into future projects.
  • EENI Starting Points Existing Identifiedexamples opportunities Research needs
  • Green Breakwaters Green Breakwaters is an EENI initiative to incorporate new designs and/or repair methods to improve wildlife habitat opportunities. Partners: ► Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) ► USACE Environmental Laboratory ► USACE Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory ► USEPA
  • USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Breakwater Ecosystem Improvement Study To evaluate opportunities for enhancing aquatic ecosystem benefits at existing breakwaters and navigation structures During routine repairs and maintenance, as part of modifications, or during comprehensive structural repairs and replacements Concept extends to shore protection structures, non-USACE structures
  • GLRI Products
  • Green Breakwaters
  • Green Breakwaters
  • Green Breakwaters
  • Green Breakwaters
  • Cleveland Harbor Pilot Project Cleveland Harbor East Arrowhead Breakwater was identified as a coastal structure with critical repair needs located in an Environmental Area Of Concern (Cuyahoga River) The project involves: ► Providing features that will create habitat opportunities for Great Lakes fish and invertebrates ► Modifying the design (shape and surface texture) of the standard concrete toe blocks used for breakwater maintenance • Dimpled surface texture • Horizontal line surface texture • Protected indented shelf (horizontal line) • No alterations (control)
  • Modified Breakwater Toe BlocksThe left photo shows a dimpled block surface. The right photo shows a horizontal lineblock surface. A fish habitat shelf with a horizontal line texture is shown bottom center.
  • First biological monitoring scheduled for Sept 23, 2012
  • Ashtabula, Ohio Turn Nesting Proposed Project FY13 Option 1.Full Recess Add notches to allow water drainage, fill with gravel. Option 2.1 End Open Lip needs to be wide enough to withstand Option 3. some handling2 Ends Open damage.
  • Engineering With Nature Path ForwardWe will implement Engineering With Nature through aseries of actions:1. Establish the foundation of EWN using examples of “best-practice” projects from across USACE2. Develop and execute a “Strategic Plan for EWN” to expand application within USACE and with our external partners and stakeholders3. Demonstrate the EWN progression in future project case studies, communicating lessons learned and successes broadly4. Focus R&D investments to expand technical and communication science needed to advance EWN5. Establish leadership and partnerships on EWN through effective engagement and application
  • AcknowledgementsDr. Thomas Fredette, Team LeaderThomas.J.Fredette@usace.army.milDr. Burton SuedelBurton.Suedel@usace.army.milCynthia BanksCynthia.j.Banks@usace.army.milPaul BijhouwerPaul.Bijhouwer@usace.army.mil