Text on top of a logo that is a tree with roots that states: Network for Engineering with Nature 2024 Partner Symposium, St. Augustine, FL, May 22-24, 2024, All-Partner Symposium. The background is white with the text in blue and green.
Image credit: Network For Engineering With Nature (N-EWN)

LimnoTech Talks Nature-Based Solutions at the 2024 N-EWN Partner Symposium

July 8, 2024

Engineers from our LimnoTech team gathered in St. Augustine, Florida, this past May for the first-ever Network For Engineering With Nature 2024 Partner Symposium. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering With Nature® (EWN), the symposium brought together more than 170 attendees from 28 partner organizations to share knowledge to advance the adoption of nature-based solutions (NbS) in engineering practices across the nation.

Learnings and information were shared through a program of plenaries, technical talks, panels, and a poster session. Topic areas included nature-based solutions policy and planning, advancing practices and scaling up, regulatory best practices and adaptation strategies, flood and hydrodynamic modeling, education and knowledge transfer, and engagement and community involvement.

Here’s a snapshot of what the LimnoTech team shared and contributed during the symposium.

➡️ Craig Taylor shared a poster on “Nature-Based Solutions in the Trinity River Floodway – from Concept to Application.”

Abstract: The Trinity Floodway is a quarter-mile dividing line between downtown Dallas and west Dallas. The proposed Harold Simmons Park is a gathering place where the two unique communities can come together and explore a park several times larger than New York’s Central Park. Developing a park in a floodway provides both environmental uplift and vibrant space for the community, which poses many unique challenges. This poster will highlight NBS techniques used in the design and review how we communicated those design elements to the community stakeholders.

➡️ Billy Johnson discussed his work on “Planning and Designing with Nature-Based Solutions” during the Nature-Based Solutions Policy and Planning session. The presentation co-authors include Tim Dekker, Anouk Savineau, Dave Hampton, and Craig Taylor (LimnoTech).

Abstract: Nature-Based Solution (NBS) Design offers a process for incorporating multiple components (hydrology, geology, ecology, human systems) in the development of environmental restoration projects. The incorporation of each component over the course of a project necessitates iteration, or the reexamination of the project as a whole, to determine if the project definition and formal design concept are still capable of delivering maximum benefit in balance. Iteration allows a project to be scrutinized at multiple levels, from the site extent project definition to the specific form/function of the project.

Facilitating a process of NBS design for clients necessitates a clearly laid out process and key tools that can facilitate iterative design. The process definition can help clients ask important questions about the extent and function of a site as well as the process for incorporating data and design decisions along a timeline. With every site being unique but with common core characteristics to the process, we can help avoid a single design fits all strategy. While process definition can inform an approach, we have identified key areas of technical methods which necessitate the development of tools to enable the process to achieve design excellence.

Planning Questions: 1) H&H – What scales and/or locations control H&H? What are approximate costs for earthwork and infrastructure? What are O&M costs?; 2) Geomorphology – Which forms are present in the system? How dynamic or these forms?; 3) Water Quality – Which factors and processes influence WQ? To what degree? Which processes can be influenced?; and 4) Biology/Ecology – What is the current state and direction of the ecosystem? In what way do we want to influence the ecosystem? How significant is the feedback from biology and ecology to the other tiers (i.e. H&H, Geomorphology, and WQ)?

➡️ Tim Dekker participated in a panel discussion on “Opportunities for Biodiversity Conservation in Mainstreaming Natural Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions.”

Abstract: As Nature-based Solutions and Natural Infrastructure (hereafter NbS) are increasingly recognized and prioritized as strategies to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change on human societies, many scholars and policymakers cite their potential environmental benefits as a key advantage. The notion that NbS are a “win-win” for both humans and the environment remains insufficiently explored and merits strategic research and planning to increase the likelihood that ecological gains are part of their mainstream implementation. This panel convenes experts working on biodiversity conservation and NbS implementation across different systems and sectors to discuss and highlight opportunities for leveraging NbS development for ecological restoration and achieving biodiversity conservation goals. Panelists will present on topics like benefit quantification for strategic infrastructure planning and corporate sustainability, ecological restoration and monitoring within NbS projects, promoting social justice via nature-positive NbS, and legal mechanisms for enhancing biodiversity through NbS development.

➡️ Anouk Savineau was part of the conference organizing committee and moderated the sessions on Flood Modeling and Flood Planning.

Following the symposium, Anouk had this to share in a LinkedIn post.

It was immensely gratifying to be part of the organizing committee for the first-ever N-EWN Partner Symposium, and very inspiring and humbling to be amongst the greatest thought and action leaders in the EWN/NBS space. I truly believe that the solutions to our climate change problems — sea level rise, flooding, wildfires, droughts, water quality — can be solved with the brainpower of this group! [I’m] looking forward to continuing LimnoTech’s engagement with the Network for Engineering With Nature and Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) for many years to come!

You can check out more details on the N-EWN Symposium here: https://n-ewn.org/partner-symposium/

If you have questions or want more information, you can reach out to Anouk Savineau at asavineau@limno.com.

You can also check out LimnoTech’s work in Climate Change Resiliency & Adaptation, Urban Revitalization & Green Design, Waterway & Ecosystem Restoration, Urban Wet Weather, Nature-based Solutions, and Engineering with Nature.

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