Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Road Resilience
Resilient infrastructure has emerged as a critical priority when considering present-day and future anticipated needs to sustain commerce and protect communities. Embedded within this need are the complex and interwoven connections between industry, commerce, population centers and our fragile estuarine ecosystems. Traditional approaches used to protect urban, commercial and industrial assets in coastal areas have included the construction of hardened structures such as storm surge barriers, seawalls, revetments, groins and detached breakwaters. However, these associated, "conventional" engineering practices are not conducive to sustaining the in-situ functions and complex productivity cycles associated with coastal habitats and aquatic ecosystems. Complicating the challenges associated with ensuring the long-term health and viability of coastal habitats are the negative, and often times, cumulative adverse influences derived from adjacent, heavily-developed and/or urbanized coastal areas. In an effort to overcome many of these existing and future-anticipated challenges, nature-based infrastructure (or nature-based strategies) has emerged as a priority consideration for achieving resilience. Our nation's roadways and transportation corridors, which often times intersect coastal ecosystems, represent a type of heterogeneous system that would benefit from use of nature-based strategies. Indeed, transportation agencies must protect expensive public infrastructure from coastal flooding, rising sea levels, higher storm surges, erosional forces, and increased coastal urbanization. Ecosystem stresses add yet another level of complexity to already dynamic coastal systems and communities. This session will describe how, when, and where natural and nature-based features can be used for coastal resilience, with a specific emphasis on incorporating the use of these features for coastal roadway protection. Presentations will feature a Federal Highway Administration Implementation Guide, an Army Corps of Engineers map-based tool for identifying potential opportunities to site these features, an implementation example in Delaware, and a research grant opportunity.
Nature-Based Shoreline Management, Living Shorelines, and Erosion