IHNC Lake Borgne Surge Barrer Photo: Team New Orleans / CC-BY

The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lake Borgne Surge Barrier was completed in 2013 near the confluence of and across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet near New Orleans. Designed to defend against a 100-yr storm surge, the 1,8-mile long flood wall includes three navigable flood gates. Organic material dredged during construction was deposited in nearby wetland habitats to enhance environmental conditions.

Adaptation of inland and maritime navigation infrastructure

We believe it is time to stop using uncertainty as an excuse for inaction. The evidence is unequivocal. Climate change is happening. Adaptation of inland and maritime navigation infrastructure is vital, and the time to act is now.

The agreement reached at the COP21 meetings in Paris in December 2015 to limit warming to less than two degrees represented a significant step for the international community. Notwithstanding this agreement, however, climate scientists are in general agreement that the world is already locked in to further change in key climate parameters. If we fail to achieve the less than two degrees goal, things will get worse still.

The Navigating a Changing Climate Partnerships believe that it is time to stop using uncertainty as a reason for inaction. Scientific evidence is unequivocal: the climate is changing. Adaptation of navigation infrastructure is vital, and the time to act is now.

In addition to contributing to mitigation, it is therefore vital for the sector to coordinate globally and act locally to adapt waterborne transport infrastructure and the operations that depend on it to the changing climate; and to strengthen resilience – in turn reducing the vulnerability of the sector to more frequent extreme events. Such action will be vital to ensure navigational safety, to reduce downtime and protect business continuity.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 14:30


Ramboll provides world-leading consultancy in all areas of port, coastal and marine engineering, and operation services. We assist clients throughout the navigational infrastructure lifecycle and have over 100 dedicated port and marine specialists. Our proven track record includes more than 500 completed port and marine projects in over 50 countries.

Our in-depth local knowledge allows us to tailor projects to local conditions and develop solutions to solve local and global challenges caused by today’s megatrends such as urbanisation, globalisation, resource scarcity, climate change, demographic changes and environmental sustainability. Ramboll has more than 13,000 experts across 300 offices in 35 countries working in the areas of buildings, transport, water, environment and health, energy, oil & gas, and management consulting.

Ramboll provides high quality technical environmental and social services. Our experts provide a high level of maritime and regulatory knowledge and offer excellent communication skills and the ability to think outside conventional parameters. We provide a range of environmental and engineering services to address port and maritime challenges worldwide including:

  • Air quality management
  • Climate change and adaptation
  • Dredge and sediment material management
  • Due diligence, compliance and monitoring
  • Ecological services
  • Energy Management
  • Feasibility studies, planning, and design
  • Environmental and social impact assessment and permitting
  • Environmental and social management systems
  • Marine and coastal studies
  • Noise impact and mitigation assessment
  • Port and terminal planning
  • Rehabilitation and maintenance management
  • Transport and infrastructure design
  • Water and wastewater planning

Contact Dr Douglas Daugherty, Global Port Sector Environmental Leader and US Principal Representative to PIANC’s Permanent Task Group on Climate Change, WG 174 (Sustainability Reporting for Ports) and to WG 188 (Carbon Management for Port and Navigation Infrastructure).

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