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Watershed/coastal science and engineering

Chris Calkins,

Our nation faces many challenges, including the threat posed to people, property, and infrastructure in vulnerable geographic settings. 

While specific circumstances may vary, this vulnerability is often associated with proximity to water. Shifting weather patterns have contributed to increases in precipitation quantity, intensity, and duration, leading to stormwater issues, and major flood damage. Thermal expansion of the ocean, as well as melting ice (i.e., glaciers, icebergs, sea ice) and land subsidence, is contributing to a rise in sea level that presents significant threats along our coasts. Severe weather coupled with tidal cycles and a higher sea level results in unprecedented storm surges that are devastating to coastal communities and facilities. Our clients’ proximity to water in watershed and coastal settings requires OBG’s scientific and engineering support to address related challenges. 

Managing these threats in highly dynamic watershed and coastal environments requires expertise in many areas. OBG has been solving these challenges for private and public sector clients for more than 20 years, with a Watershed/Coastal Science & Engineering practice focused on the most complicated issues associated with proximity to water in inland and coastal settings. Our interdisciplinary team maintains expertise in a wide variety of subject matter and applies novel approaches to solving watershed and coastal challenges.

OBG provides services centered on protecting, sustaining, and managing facilities, infrastructure, and natural features in watersheds and coastal settings with services spanning land/resiliency planning; community outreach; hydraulic modeling and analysis; environmental services and permitting; civil engineering; coastal engineering; geotechnical engineering; coastal science; restoration design; and construction management.

For example, OBG is actively working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore North Breton Island, located in the Breton Sound 30 miles off the southeast coast of Louisiana. The $75 million project involves the restoration of more than 450 acres of beach, dune, and back barrier marsh habitats to support breeding birds.

Within an inland setting, OBG’s expertise is exemplified by a flood control project in Ithaca, New York. OBG has evaluated alternatives and developed an engineering design for the dredging of Cascadilla Creek, Cayuga inlet, and the associated flood control works necessary to restore impaired navigation and provide flood protection for the citizens of Ithaca. 

About Chris Calkins: Chris Calkins is a vice president at OBG and leader within the company’s environmental business. Chris has 30 years of experience focused on the direction and execution of complex and diverse remediation, coastal resiliency, and restoration projects. He leads OBG’s Watershed/Coastal Science & Engineering and Natural Resources & Restoration practices.  

Chris Calkins
(315) 956-6548