What We Do

Watersheds & Coastal Management

A significant percentage of the world’s population lives in close proximity to ocean, lake and river shorelines. Historically, these natural systems have been developed and manipulated for societal benefits without due consideration to their natural functions and the critical ecological services they provide, or the inherent risks.

At Baird we take a holistic approach to watershed and coastal planning, balancing the needs of society, a strong economy, healthy ecosystems and an understanding of risk. We apply these principles when developing successful management plans and mitigation designs for our clients.

Ecosystem Restoration

Ecosystem restoration seeks to reverse the cumulative impacts of development on our environment. These projects strive to recreate critical habitat, restore natural processes, reconnect fragmented ecosystems and enhance human use of these areas.

Our success results from assembling multi-disciplinary teams that combine the complex interaction between physical and biological processes, create linkages to adjacent ecosystems, support native flora and fauna, and enhance habitat for threatened species. Our designs are practical, affordable and sustainable.

Erosion Processes

Erosion is a natural process that redistributes sediment in watersheds, rivers and along coastlines. At natural background rates, erosion processes sustain critical habitat in rivers and maintain beaches on coastlines.

When natural erosion rates are altered, negative environmental and economic impacts result. Baird has an extensive suite of analytical tools, numerical models and GIS applications to simulate erosion and predict future shoreline evolution.

Natural Hazards & Risk Assessments

Development located at the water’s edge is exposed to a wide range of natural hazards, including hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis, storm surges, flooding and erosion. At Baird we have an expansive toolbox of models and GIS applications to simulate natural hazards and their consequences for communities and ecosystems.

Numerical simulations of natural hazards in turn support risk assessments which assess the hazard probability, community vulnerability, economic consequences and social impacts. These results support mitigation planning and adaptation strategies.

Management Plans

Traditionally, watershed and coastal zone management plans were focused on facilitating development while mitigating hazards. Baird is at the forefront of changing this paradigm around the globe with an integrated approach that considers ecological processes and biodiversity along with human safety and sustainable development plans.

This philosophy is the cornerstone of developing progressive and practical watershed and coastal zone management plans for our clients. It also ensures our water and natural resources will be protected for future generations.

Riverine & Coastal Flooding

Baird investigates riverine and coastal flooding hazards around the world and is presently supporting FEMA in the USA on the National Flood Insurance Program. Our comprehensive suite of engineering and GIS software tools simulate the physics of flooding, map inundation and calculate economic damages.

Technical studies support sustainable growth outside the floodplain and help communities mitigate hazards for existing development. We also educate communities about future risks in light of climate change impacts such as sea level rise.

Flood & Erosion Mitigation Designs

In some cases, existing development and critical infrastructure are exposed to unacceptable levels of risk associated with flooding and erosion. These problems are exacerbated by climate change threats such as sea level rise and sometimes retreat of the development is not possible.

Baird has successfully designed flood and erosion mitigation projects that reduce risk to acceptable levels and create opportunities for people at the waters edge. Solutions include beach nourishment projects, innovative engineering designs to mitigate erosion and flood control structures.