San Juan, Puerto Rico - (March 30) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Antilles Office and the Puerto Rico Integrated Projects Office hosted a recent visit by Dr. David W. Pittman, Director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) as well as representatives of its seven laboratories.
Dr. Pittman and his team visited the Río Guanajibo, Río Culebrinas, and Río Puerto Nuevo Flood Risk Management Projects. During the visit, they were briefed by team members of the Puerto
Rico Integrated Projects Office (PR-IPO) for updates to the research and development group. They discussed each project's USACE Engineering with Nature® (EWN) opportunities.
"The people at Jacksonville District are so brilliant, they are very innovative, and they are working very hard to bring innovation to the projects for Jacksonville and Puerto Rico. I am so pleased as director of ERDC to work with the Jacksonville District and the great people of Puerto Rico to help bring innovation to make people's lives better and safer for the future," said Dr. Pittman.
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the premier research and development center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ERDC discovers, develops, and delivers innovative solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in military engineering, installations and operational environments, civil works, geospatial research and engineering, and engineered resilient systems.
The EWN initiative leverages natural systems and processes to broaden the services, benefits, and value infrastructure that contribute to the nation and community. EWN is the intentional alignment of natural and engineering processes to deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits efficiently and sustainably through collaboration.
"There are all kinds of opportunities here with EWN and other innovative concepts, so we'll be working with the Jacksonville District to bring those thoughts and ideas to projects already a little long in the thinking process," said Pitmann.
Kiomy Lamb-Mercado, Puerto Rico Section Chief, PR Integrated Program Office, provided input and expressed his gratitude for the visit.
"It was a privilege to have the opportunity to have Dr. Pittman, and the rest of the organization leadership visit Puerto Rico. This was a great opportunity for us to brief them on some of the work we have in our pipeline and engage in meaningful discussions on how to further the cause of Environmental Justice and maximize our opportunities to implement EWN Alternatives for our projects."
"It is an honor to host ERDC here in Río Puerto Nuevo to showcase all the EWN ideas we have been implementing and will continue to implement as we move forward with this emblematic project," said José Bilbao, chief of this section. "We look forward to continuing collaboration with ERDC to ensure we put the best possible nature-based design for the communities of Puerto Rico."
Pittman added, the team will have to adapt as we go to think about what we can bring to make it a better and safer community because that is what we are trying to do.
"It is not a neither nor proposition - we can have both, and that is what concepts like engineering with nature bring to us," said Pittman.
The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District on the district’s website at www.saj.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict, Twitter at www.twitter.com/JaxStrong, and Instagram at www.instagram.com/jacksonvilledistrict.