Geosynthetic materials are used extensively in coastal engineering and protection projects. The modern geotextiles industry, in fact, emerged in the 1950s in response to flooding in the Netherlands and tropical storm damage in the United States. Since then, a large industry and innovative designs have come along.
Geosynthetic tubes and containers provide dewatering and solids separation for large-scale dredging operations and the construction of artificial islands. They build up dune systems for hurricane defense and create artificial reefs. Geotextiles and affiliated gabion systems provide shoreline stabilization and erosion control. Geosynthetic bags provide scour protection for shorelines, infrastructure (e.g., ports), and even off-shore wind turbines. Geosynthetics reinforce levees, enhance the sustainability of waterfront construction, and provide highly effective, economical solutions to long-term coastal engineering goals.
The 3rd Pan-American Conference on Geosynthetics (GeoAmericas 2016) includes a great deal of coastal engineering content. The event will be held 10 – 13 April 2016 in Miami at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This quadrennial regional conference from the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS) features 3.5 days of high-quality geotechnical and civil engineering short courses, technical sessions, panel discussions, training lectures, keynote addresses, and networking in a sold out international exhibit hall.
Coastal Engineering Highlights
GeoAmericas 2016 features multiple opportunities for coastal protection professionals. Just some of the technical offerings well suited to engineers working in coastal protection include:
- Keynote address discussing the history and future of climate change and coastal protection engineering from Dale Morris, Senior Economic Advisor at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, and Nathalie Olijslager-Jaarsma, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Miami
- 11 presentations across two coastal protection sessions, including beach stabilization in Mexico, geotextile tube design, artificial reef performance, marine sediment management projects, geocontainers in Peru, dams using geosynthetic tubes, and much more.
- Training lecture on embankments on soft soils
- Half-day short course and a panel discussion on proper specification of geosynthetic materials
- Keynote lecture by Dr. Robert Koerner on “Lifetime Predictions of Exposed Geotextiles and Geomembranes”
- Affiliated technical sessions focused on soil reinforcement and ground improvement (37 presentations), testing of geosynthetic materials (17), drainage and filtration (15), and sustainability (7)
- International exhibit hall with manufacturers and service providers who supply to coastal projection projects from northern Canada to the southern tip of South America.
Full information on GeoAmericas 2016, including registration, venue, and social/networking opportunities can be found at www.GeoAmericas2016.org.