At Eagles Island in Wilmington, North Carolina, floats the historic Battleship North Carolina: a World War II museum right on the water. But as climate change causes sea levels to rise, this popular visitors’ spot could be at risk due to increasingly high tidal flooding. While multiple design and engineering firms suggested building walls around the ship to protect it, N-EWN partners had another idea: Work with the environment, rather than against it.

The Washington Post covered this ongoing project that includes engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol as well as coastal flooding experts from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. Instead of building walls or removing the ship from the water, the team is viewing water as an asset: removing barriers to create a living shoreline, restore the flood-prone parking lots to a tidal wetland, and moving the remaining parking above the tide with infrastructure features to help manage stormwater runoff.

Jenny Davis, ecologist at NCCOS, was quoted in the article: “They are not fighting to hold the water back. It’s not the approach that’s taken most of the time, so it’s novel in that aspect.”

The vision of the Network for Engineering With Nature (N-EWN) is to Gather, Advance, Scale Up, Inform, Educate and Advocate, and this collaborative project ties together all of the above. Check out the full article, originally published January 1, 2024, here (requires access).

Learn more about Moffatt & Nichol here.

Learn more about the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science here.

Featured image: Chris F. via Pexels.com

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