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Archive: 2022
  • Financing Natural Infrastructure: Exploration Green, Texas

    PURPOSE: This technical note is part of a series collaboratively produced by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)–Institute for Water Resources (IWR) and the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). It describes the funding process for Exploration Green, a large- scale community initiative that transformed a former golf course into a multipurpose green space with flood detention, habitat, and recreation benefits. It is one in a series of technical notes that document successful examples of funding natural infrastructure projects. The research effort is a collaboration between the Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) and Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE) programs of USACE. A key need for greater application of natural infrastructure approaches is information about obtaining funds to scope, design, construct, monitor, and adaptively manage these projects. As natural infrastructure techniques vary widely by location, purpose, and scale, there is no standard process for securing funds. The goal of this series is to share lessons learned about a variety of funding and financing methods to increase the implementation of natural infrastructure projects.
  • Fort McCoy Firing Ranges and Military Training Lands: A History and Analysis

    Abstract: The US Congress codified the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), the nation’s most effective cultural resources legislation to date, mostly through establishing the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The NHPA requires Federal agencies to address their cultural resources, which are defined as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object. Section 110of the NHPA requires Federal agencies to inventory and evaluate their cultural resources, and Section 106 requires them to determine the effect of Federal undertakings on those potentially eligible for the NRHP. Fort McCoy is entirely within Monroe County in west-central Wisconsin. It was first established as the Sparta Maneuver Tract in 1909.The post was renamed Camp McCoy in 1926. Since 1974, it has been known as Fort McCoy. This report provides a historic context for ranges, features, and buildings associated with the post’s training lands in support of Section 110 of the NHPA.
  • A Fuzzy Epigenetic Model for Representing Degradation in Engineered Systems

    Abstract: Degradation processes are implicated in a large number of system failures, and are crucial to understanding issues related to reliability and safety. Systems typically degrade in response to stressors, such as physical or chemical environmental conditions, which can vary widely for identical units that are deployed in different places or for different uses. This situational variance makes it difficult to develop accurate physics-based or data-driven models to assess and predict the system health status of individual components. To address this issue, we propose a fuzzy set model for representing degradation in engineered systems that is based on a bioinspired concept from the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics is concerned with the regulation of gene expression resulting from environmental or other factors, such as toxicants or diet. One of the most studied epigenetic processes is methylation, which involves the attachment of methyl groups to genomic regulatory regions. Methylation of specific genes has been implicated in numerous chronic diseases, so provides an excellent analog to system degradation. We present a fuzzy set model for characterizing system degradation as a methylation process based on a set-theoretic representation for epigenetic modeling of engineered systems. This model allows us to capture the individual dynamic relationships among a system, environmental factors, and state of health .
  • Wave Attenuation of Coastal Mangroves at a Near-Prototype Scale

    Abstract: A physical model study investigating the dissipation of wave energy by a 1:2.1 scale North American red mangrove forest was performed in a large-scale flume. The objectives were to measure the amount of wave attenuation afforded by mangroves, identify key hydrodynamic parameters influencing wave attenuation, and provide methodologies for application. Seventy-two hydrodynamic conditions, comprising irregular and regular waves, were tested. The analysis related the dissipation to three formulations that can provide estimates of wave attenuation for flood risk management projects considering mangroves: damping coefficient β, drag coefficient CD, and Manning’s roughness coefficient n. The attenuation of the incident wave height through the 15.12 m long, 1:2.1 scale mangrove forest was exponential in form and varied from 13%–77%. Water depth and incident wave height strongly influenced the amount of wave attenuation. Accounting for differences in water depth using the sub-merged volume fraction resulted in a common fit of the damping coefficient as a function of relative wave height and wave steepness. The drag coefficient demonstrated a stronger relationship with the Keulegan–Carpenter number than the Reynolds number. The linear relationship be-tween relative depth and Manning’s n was stronger than that between Manning’s n and either relative wave height or wave steep
  • Analytic Methods for Establishing Restoration Trajectories

    Abstract: This special report identifies metrics (standard and novel) and analytic approaches to developing trajectories and then describes the conceptual process of using those metrics and approaches to develop restoration trajectories to inform adaptive management in salt-marsh systems. We identify the composite time series trajectory (CTST) approach, in which metrics are measured from restoration sites of different ages within a small spatial range, and the retrospective single-site trajectory (RSST) approach, in which the same restoration metrics are measured over time at one restoration site. In all, we assessed the metrics of 39 studies of salt-marsh restoration in the United States between 1991 and 2019.
  • Occurrence of Silver, Bighead, and Black Carp in Waters Managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers

    Abstract: This technical report (TR) documents the distribution of Invasive Carp - Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), and Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) in US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) managed waters. Invasive carp were introduced into the US nearly half a century ago. As they spread across the US, they compete with and consume native species and Silver Carp jumping behavior reduces recreational use. The USACE is responsible for management of waterbodies at more than 440 projects. Information on these projects including the presence of Invasive Carp is reported in the USACE Operations and Maintenance Business Information Link (OMBIL) database. To supplement the Invasive Carp information from OMBIL, 47 online ichthyology collection and observation databases were searched; 18 had information on Invasive Carp locations. Combining the collection, observation and OMBIL reporting information, 82 USACE projects in 19 districts in 6 of 8 divisions have Silver/Bighead Carp and 19 projects in 9 districts and 3 divisions have Black Carp. Understanding the distribution of Invasive Carp is important to enable managers to be pro-active: planning control efforts, posting informational signs, instituting live bait restrictions, and thus reducing the chances of species introduction or limiting species impact.
  • Literature Review: Macrohabitat Metrics to Identify Presence of Chiroptera on the Landscape in the United States

    Abstract: This special report reviews current scientific literature to identify the most commonly cited metrics used to describe the macrohabitat criteria important for Chiroptera presence in the United States. The review evaluates 69 scientific articles from 1994 to 2018. The most commonly cited metrics were divided into four main categories: tree-species-level metrics, landscape-level metrics, distance metrics, and topographic and atmospheric metrics. Of all metrics found, the top six most common metrics noted across all articles were percent canopy cover, diameter at breast height (DBH), forest type, distance to water, distance to roads or other urban features, and tree density. In addition, 27 of the 47 (57%) bat species located within the United States were represented. These metrics provide important insight into the regional or national species-level distribution and assist with modeling the relationship between species distribution and habitat change.
  • Qualification of Hanna Instruments HI9829 for the Environmental Toolkit for Expeditionary Operations

    Abstract: A new, commercially available, field-portable water sensor was evaluated for efficacy during operation and compatibility with current Environmental Toolkit for Expeditionary Operations (ETEO) software. The ETEO provides sensors to Soldiers to rapidly identify and quantify environmental contamination in soil, air, and water at potential new base sites during initial reconnaissance to ensure safety and minimize unnecessary remediation efforts by the Army. In addition to streamlined environmental baseline survey (EBS) reporting, the ETEO can provide rapid analysis of potential environmental contamination to support various Military applications. The Hanna Instruments HI9829 multiparameter water meter was selected following a survey of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies and analyzed by researchers from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) for inclusion in the ETEO design since it can rapidly and accurately measure 14 different properties. Usability tests were conducted with researchers unfamiliar with the technology, and a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) were developed to operate the device. The software for the tool was successfully integrated into the ETEO system for rapid data analysis. The HI9829 has been demonstrated in various scenarios at ERDC and other locations; including Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, at which several visitors reviewed the operation of the equipment and other ETEO technologies. The Thermo Scientific Gemini, another sensor, which can detect organic constituents in various matrices via Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy was also investigated but eliminated from the ETEO design as it could not adequately detect a Military-relevant compound in an environmental matrix. Regardless, the addition of the HI9829 provides water quality monitoring to the ETEO design and greatly improves its capability to address various applications.
  • Ship Simulator of the Future in Virtual Reality

    Introduction: The Army’s modernization priorities include the development of augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) simulations for enabling the regiment and increasing soldier readiness. The use of AR/VR technology at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is also growing in the realm of military and civil works program missions. The ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) has developed a ship simulator to evaluate bay channels across the world; however, the current simulator has little to no physical realism in nearshore coastal regions (Figure 1). Thus, the ERDC team is researching opportunities to advance ship simulation to deliver the Ship Simulator of the Future (SSoF). The SSoF will be equipped with a VR mode and will more accurately resolve nearshore wave phenomena by ingesting precalculated output from a Boussinesq-type wave model. This initial prototype of the SSoF application is intended for research and development purposes; however, the technologies employed will be applicable to other disciplines and project scopes, including the Synthetic Training Environment (STE) and ship and coastal structure design in future versions.
  • Evaluation of Climatic and Hydroclimatic Resources to Support the US Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program

    Abstract: Short-term climatic and hydrologic interactions, or hydroclimatology, are an important consideration when delineating the geographic extent of aquatic resources and assessing whether an aquatic resource is a jurisdictional water of the United States (WOTUS) and is therefore subject to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The now vacated 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) required the evaluation of precipitation and other hydroclimatic conditions to assess the jurisdictional status of an aquatic resource based on normal hydroclimatic conditions. Short-term hydroclimatic conditions, such as antecedent precipitation, evapotranspiration, wetland delineation, and streamflow duration assessments, provide information on an aquatic resource’s geo-graphic extent, hydrologic characteristics, and hydrologic connectivity with other aquatic resources. Here, researchers from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) evaluate tools and data available to practitioners for assessing short-term hydroclimatic conditions. The work highlights specific meteorological phenomena that are important to consider when assessing short-term hydroclimatic conditions that affect the geographic extent and hydrologic characteristics of an aquatic resource. The findings suggest that practitioners need access to data and tools that more holistically consider the impact of short-term antecedent hydroclimatology on the entire hydrologic cycle, rather than tools based solely on precipitation.