Coastlines are shaped by the combined effects of water, winds, sediment, vegetation, and wildlife, and now – more than ever - human alterations. Coastal engineering and coastal geomorphology focus on understanding these processes and designing to accommodate them. Traditionally when engineers were designing shoreline projects, there was a tendency to want the shoreline to stay very static, despite the fact that it exists in the midst of a very dynamic environment. In the Pacific Northwest, there are many shorelines upon which seawalls and rock revetements were built that have caused significant shoreline degradation.
The implementation of successful nature-based projects such as Green Shores® for Homes and Green Shores for Shoreline Development Green Shores Home - Stewardship Centre for BC (stewardshipcentrebc.ca) requires careful consideration of all the forces that shape the shoreline. It is also important for project designs to protect the upland, riparian and foreshore while meeting the needs of the landowner for values such as aesthetics and structure safety. Today coastal engineering works as part of a multi-disciplinary team of biologists, landscape architects and other environmental specialists to consider the local conditions at the site, and how best to provide adaptation to dynamic factors such as climate change.
In this video presentation you will meet two practicing Coastal Engineers who will share their insight of how they became interested in this profession, and how they enjoy applying their skill sets and knowledge to the increasingly complex world of shoreline protection.
Biographies of video speakers: Grant Lamont and Jessica Wilson
Grant Lamont, Masters of Applied Science (M.A. Sc.), Professional Engineer (P. Eng.), is a Principal and Coastal Discipline Lead for Northwest Hydraulics Consultants (NHC) in Vancouver. His experience includes concept design, construction supervision, managing field data collections, and the application of physical model studies for detailed design. His experience with physical modelling includes ship motion studies, breakwater stability investigations, and sediment transport modelling as both a consultant and while working at the National Research Council (NRC) laboratory in Ottawa. As a senior Principal at NHC, Grant has helped assembled a team of professionals that is committed to improving shoreline design through the application of a multidisciplinary approach that considers physical processes as well as ecology and anthropogenic impacts. Grant is also Green Shores® Approved Professional Approved Professionals - Stewardship Centre for BC having completed Green Shores Level 3 and is co-chair of the Green Shores® technical committee.
Jessica Wilson, M.A.Sc., P.Eng, is an experienced Coastal Engineer, located in NHC’s Nanaimo Office. She has been involved in every stage of the coastal engineering process, from site reconnaissance and conceptual design through to construction supervision and project management. Jessica also has extensive experience using both qualitative conceptual models and more sophisticated numerical models for defining coastal processes (such as current, wave, and sediment transport). Much of her work focuses on the use of nature-based techniques to adapt to sea level rise and she has completed Green Shores Level 2 training. As a graduate researcher, Jessica’s work focused on assessing and developing design guidance for nature-based coastal protection using anchored large woody debris (LWD). She was also a visiting researcher at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands, helping to study the use of vegetation for wave damping and sea level rise adaptation.