Ramboll specialists are currently working with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering and Research Development Center (ERDC) Engineering with Nature (EWN™) program to assist with the incorporation of natural and nature-based features into coastal and freshwater ecosystems.
Engineering with Nature is a USACE initiative that began in 2010 to help incorporate natural and nature-based features into traditional coastal and inland wetland engineering practices. The initiative supports more sustainable water resource practices, projects and outcomes by pursuing the alignment of natural and traditional engineering design and implementation to efficiently deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits to increase ecosystem resiliency and sustainability.
Assisting with international guidelines
Ramboll personnel are currently serving as contributing authors and subject matter experts for the EWN international guidelines for incorporating EWN practices into different biomes worldwide. These biomes include (1) beaches and dunes, (2) wetlands, (3) coastal islands, (4) submerged aquatic vegetation and riverine systems. Ramboll’s expertise focused on the integration of restoration plant materials (seed, cuttings, divisions, container plants) into projects to provide bioengineering, resiliency, habitat and biodiversity.
Ramboll worked with USACE-ERDC to serve as riparian restoration course instructors for river restoration. Design and implementation were discussed for the 67 primary river restoration projects from the Department of Natural Resources – Colorado Water Conservation Board (DNR – CWCB) Emergency Watershed Protection Program flood recovery efforts, in response to Colorado’s devastating 2013 flood events. Multiple mountain, transitional and plains reaches were examined and discussed with USACE-ERDC practitioners, including project successes and challenges.
Training to incorporate engineering with nature criteria into engineering projects
Ramboll is working with USACE-ERDC personnel to develop USACE training to better incorporate EWN design criteria into their coastal and inland engineering projects. Support includes a baseline understanding of the differences between traditional engineering approaches and those that better incorporate habitat, living shoreline, beneficial sediment reuse, and natural capital valuation into resiliency-based engineering practices.
Developing guidance documents to promote biodiversity and sustainability
Ramboll is in the process of developing internal USACE-ERDC guidance documents and workshops to incorporate EWN practices into large, medium and small riverine design, implementation and monitoring practices across the United States. This guidance includes design considerations and restoration advisement to incorporate natural processes, grade control and biodiversity to promote long-term sustainability, biodiversity, wildlife habitat considerations, and the protection of life and property considerations in manner that incorporate ecological functions and services on a regional basis while aligning with regulatory requirements.