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USACE ERDC leadership recognizes Jacksonville District team members

Posted on April 26, 2023

Members of the Puerto Rico Integrated Projects Office (PR-IPO) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District received Dr. David W. Pittman, Director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) as well as representatives of its seven laboratories on March 30, 2023. Dr. Pittman and his team visited the Río Guanajibo, Río Culebrinas, and Río Puerto Nuevo Flood Risk Management Projects.

The PR-IPO team guided the visit and briefed updates to the research and development group. The encounter also led to discussing 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,” noted Dr. Pittman.

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 Dr. Pitmann. “We 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.”

Kiomy Lamb-Mercado, Puerto Rico Section Chief, PR Integrated Program Office, expressed his gratitude for the visit. “It was a privilege to have the opportunity to receive ERDC Director, Dr. David Pittman, and the rest of the organization leadership in Puerto Rico. This was a great opportunity for us to brief Dr. Pittman 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,” mentioned Lamb-Mercado.

The ERDC Team also visited Río Puerto Nuevo, where José Bilbao, chief of this section, briefed them. “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. We look forward to continuing collaboration with ERDC to ensure we put the best possible nature-based design for the communities of Puerto Rico,” stated Bilbao.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center is the premier research and development center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ERDC delivers, develops, and delivers innovative solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges in military engineering, installations, and operational environments, civil works, geospatial research, engineering, and engineered resilient systems. To learn more about the Engineering with Nature® initiative, click here.


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