Engineering with Nature Workshop Held in Delaware

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the non-profit Delaware Center for the Inland Bays co-hosted an Engineering with Nature (EWN) workshop from April 10 to 12 in Delaware. The workshop focused on best practices for using vegetation as part of shoreline stabilization projects, encouraging project planners and engineers to align natural processes with engineering processes to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

The three-day workshop featured presentations on: vegetative surveying; biotechnical planting; the use of coir logs and coconut fiber; ecological and regulatory considerations; native plants; and discussions on monitoring and future applications. Information was presented by a multi-disciplinary team from the Corps Philadelphia District; the Corps Engineer Research & Development Center (ERDC); other federal agencies; state government; non-profit; and academia.

Participants also worked on a planting demonstration project at Bubblegum Beach in Delaware, an area that was damaged by storms and used natural infrastructure to stabilize the shoreline instead of traditional rock. The group planted 1,000 herbaceous plants and 40 shrubs and trees.

The 28 participants included planners, regulators, ecologists, environmental resources professionals, engineers, and project managers.  Participating groups included: the Corps, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Texas A&M University, and the Delaware Center for Inland Bays.

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