South Pacific Division Becomes an Engineering With Nature “Proving Ground”

South Pacific Division
Published Dec. 6, 2022
Guadalupe River Flood Risk Management Project

Visit by LTG Spellmon to the Guadalupe River Flood Risk Management Project that incorporates Engineering With Nature in the San Francisco District. From left: Michael Mercado (Project Manager); Daria Mazey (Lead Planner); Julie Beagle (EWN Lead for SF District); LTG Spellmon. Credit: Brandon Beach.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ South Pacific Division (SPD) and the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), have partnered to establish the first Regional Engineering With Nature (EWN) "proving ground.” Through this partnership, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks to align human, natural and engineering processes to deliver effective, sustainable, multi-benefit projects.

High population density and unique coastal conditions on the coast, arid deserts and alluvial conditions in the interior, and an operating environment of accelerating change pose significant challenges for navigation, water operations, flood risk management, and ecosystem restoration efforts.  These challenges require inclusive collaboration to design and implement innovative and holistic solutions. SPD has a long tradition of integrating natural and engineering processes to meet these challenges, from flood risk management along the Sacramento River to beneficial use of dredge material in the San Francisco Bay for wetland restoration and shoreline resilience. 

Through the partnership, South Pacific Division will have additional access to new science, technologies, models, and engineering techniques that support the integration of natural systems and processes to achieve engineering objectives, as well as the use of engineered systems that support the production of ecosystem goods and services.

Now that the partnership is in place, the team will need to identify new opportunities for applying EWN concepts throughout our policy and guidance for use by USACE Districts across the Region.  This will take place through engagement with other Federal partners, sponsors, State and local agencies as well as non-profit organizations that includes planners, regulators, environmental resource and social justice professionals, engineers, and project managers.  Once those opportunities are identified, the project teams will work together to implement them
and share their findings with others across the Country and around the world.

The EWN program will help SPD continue to grow the program and build its capacity to apply these principles and practices at project and system scales.  Together, they will make these exceptional projects commonplace.

For more information on the Engineering With Nature program, visit:


Nancy Allen

Release no. 22-002