ASLA is excited that USACE will now require nature-based solutions!

June 5, 2024 / ,

ASLA is excited that USACE will now require nature-based solutions!

As a direct result of advocacy efforts by ASLA, its members, and other non-federal interest, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced that it will expand the use of nature-based solutions in its Civil Works projects.

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor, who signed the memorandum stated, “Nature-based solutions should be incorporated as much as possible in developing our resilient infrastructure as they can produce significant benefits, including enhancing natural habitats, removing carbon from the atmosphere, making ecosystems more resilient, and lowering climate change risks for people.”

Specifically, the directive would “require that a fully NBS alternative be included in the final array of alternatives, if they exist, for full transparency and consideration using the same level of rigor and detail as the other solutions proposed.”

For many years, ASLA and its members have been persistent advocates for nature-based solutions in USACE projects. In the 116th Congress, ASLA successfully worked with Cong. Reid Ribble (WI) to pass an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) — the legislation/law that authorizes USACE projects and guidelines — to “consider nature-based solutions in civil works projects.”

Sustained ASLA advocacy efforts also include urging the Biden-Harris administration to call on USACE to use nature-based solutions; providing congressional testimony requesting WRDA 24 include increased use of nature-based solutions; submitting formal comments to USACE for its Agency Specific Procedures (ASP) to call for increased nature-based solutions; and more.

“Through our concerted advocacy efforts, we have demonstrated the value of nature-based solutions. And we have also clearly shown that landscape architects make them even better by designing them to provide greater health, economic, resilience, carbon, and biodiversity benefits,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA CEO.

ASLA will work with the agency to address any identified challenges and data gaps to implementing nature-based solutions. Learn more in The Dirt.

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