Engineering With Nature: Alternative Techniques to Riprap Bank Stabilization   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Over the past century, the Pacific Northwest has seen a significant amount of development in the areas of agriculture, housing, urbanization and population. […] The more development this area undergoes, the more we are forced to restrict and inhibit the environment, in particular the varying and numerous waterways that surround us. While land erosion, stream migration and even flooding are natural processes, they can cause havoc when occurring near human populations. This has led to the creation of a number of measures to control or eliminate such hazards. Unfortunately, while many of these techniques solve the immediate problem, they are not always the safest or most environmentally conscious choice for the long-term. Riprap, or hard armoring, is the traditional response to controlling and minimizing erosion along shorelines or riverbanks. As demonstrated by past multiple disasters in Washington State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided funding assistance for the repair to these riprap facilities. The very nature of having to repair these facilities counters the popular engineering belief that riprap is the best solution for mitigating stream bank erosion."

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Federal Emergency Management Agency: https://www.fema.gov
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