USACE Galveston: Employing Environmental Principles

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, was selected as one of two “Proving Grounds” for the USACE Engineering with Nature Program (EWN).

USACE was selected for its efforts to manage engineering projects in a sustainable manner, one which leaves behind the smallest footprint, while collaborating with partners to identify ways to reduce, mitigate or eliminate potential negative impacts.

The Galveston District is eager to partner with the broader Corps community on this pilot program,Col. Richard Pannell, commander of the USACE Galveston District. “Leveraging the principles of Engineering With Nature will increase the value that our projects deliver by maximizing scarce resources and capitalizing on the latest science.”

The program is structured on four fundamental elements:

1. Use natural processes to maximize benefits, thereby reducing demand on limited resources, minimizing the environmental footprint of projects, and enhancing the quality of project benefits;

2. Use science and engineering to produce operational efficiencies supporting sustainable delivery of projects benefits;

3. Broaden and extend the base of benefits provided by projects to include substantiated economic, social and environmental benefits;

4. Use science-based collaborative processes to organize and focus interests, stakeholders and partners to reduce social friction, resistance and project delays, while producing more broadly acceptable projects.

The EWN team met with 40 members from the Galveston District, Southwestern Division, Engineer Research and Development Center, Institute for Water Resources and Headquarters late last year to conduct a Proving Ground Implementation Workshop and gauge the district’s capabilities.

Following the workshop, the Galveston and Buffalo districts were selected to implement EWN principles and practices in its engineering programs and future projects.

EWN collaborating opportunities for the USACE Galveston District include: Dredging operations environmental research, regional sediment management, dredging operations technical support, ecosystem management and restoration research as well as flood risk management and coastal reconnaissance studies.

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