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New podcast on the importance of nature-based solutions airs Oct. 6 and Oct. 20

Oct 6, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. (Oct. 6, 2021) – A new The Engineering With Nature Podcast airing Oct. 6 will highlight work being done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and partners to incorporate nature-based solutions into infrastructure design and construction. The podcast can be accessed here Season 3, Episode 1.

Guests are Todd Bridges, Senior Research Scientist for Environmental Science with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Lead for EWN; Sarah Murdock, Director of US Climate Resilience and Water Policy at The Nature Conservancy; Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf; and Mindy Simmons, Senior Policy Advisor, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Business Line Manager at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Following Hurricane Katrina, our collective focus was risk reduction. After Hurricane Sandy, the focus expanded to include resilience. Those events, separated by several years, intensified the dialogue, in a positive way, on engineering with nature and nature-based solutions,” said Todd Bridges, National Lead of the USACE’s Engineering With Nature® initiative.

President Biden's January 2021 Executive Order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, emphasizes the urgency of taking action to build climate resiliency and specifically calls for the inclusion of nature-based solutions. Combined with the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved by the US Senate in August, 2021, which describes major infrastructure projects to be undertaken, these represent an unprecedented opportunity to incorporate Engineering With Nature approaches into infrastructure policy.

"Communities are increasingly creating blended approaches that incorporate the need for built infrastructure married with natural infrastructure,” Ehrenwerth said. “For example, levees and flood walls blended with barrier islands and marsh can create a multiple lines of defense strategy that ultimately yields not only economic benefits through the protection of property, businesses and communities, but also critical social and environmental benefits.”

Episode 2, to air Oct. 20, will focus on how to measure those benefits, something the Water Institute is currently working with USACE on developing.