EL Team Earns Second 2017 International Award for Quantifying Benefits of Horseshoe Bend Island

Published Feb. 6, 2018
EL Team Earns Second 2017 International Award for Quantifying Benefits of Horseshoe Bend Island

Behind the dredge California, the river island at Horseshoe Bend on the lower Atchafalaya River, Louisiana, is being self-designed. When dredged sediment is strategically placed upriver (lower right), the river’s energy disperses it -- which nourishes the island’s growth and consequently creates environmental and other benefits.

Dr. Burton Suedel, a biologist with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory, recently accepted in absentia a Working/Building with Nature Award on behalf of the Horseshoe Bend Island project team. The award was conferred at the Nov. 29, 2017, Dredging and Port Construction Innovation Awards banquet in London, UK. The event was sponsored by Dredging and Port Construction magazine. The project team members, Suedel, Dr. Jacob Berkowitz and Dr. Christy Foran, EL, and Jeffrey Corbino, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, were recognized for quantifying the benefits of this unique dredging project on the Atchafalaya River.

“The project objective was to identify and quantify the various environmental and other benefits that resulted from using dredged material to nourish a naturally forming river island,” Suedel said. He noted that climate change, navigation, environmental and economic benefits were all identified and quantified. “To address the stated objective, the ERDC developed metrics to capture the benefits of strategically placing dredged material that allowed nature to self-form Horseshoe Bend Island, the island is producing a wide array of benefits for both local communities and the broader ecosystem,” he said. 

According to the DPC Innovation Awards website, the award recognized projects that are part of accredited existing Working with Nature, Building with Nature, or Engineering with Nature initiatives. Applicants were required to demonstrate an active and innovative response to the preservation and promotion of the following areas: wildlife, reduction in air emissions, water quality, treatment of soils/sediments, community engagement and sustainability.