Coastal Environmental Impact Assessment

The coastal areas of our islands support ecosystems that are critical to local economies. We start by understanding your project needs and then propose solutions that satisfy you, the environment, and the requirements of the local environmental or planning department. Regulations vary throughout the Caribbean, and our regional experience ensures that we understand the process in each jurisdiction.

Whether protecting, enhancing, or developing a shoreline, we devise and adopt strategies to mitigate or altogether avoid negative impacts to the environment and to your neighbours. We are passionate about our islands and engineering. What’s good for the environment and for each other is good for business.

Coastal Processes

Understanding the way nature interacts with a project site is a crucial first step to designing in a sustainable way. In Coastal Engineering, nature usually arrives in the form of waves, currents and sediments, which can combine and interact in complex ways. We therefore need to have a range of tools from the simple to the highly sophisticated to allow us to understand the natural system and how it will interact  with oil spills, thermal plumes and other sources of discharges that could occur. Some of the modeling tools we used to simulate the physical processes are:

  • MIKE Suite by DHI;
  • Delft3D by Deltares;
  • Visual Plumes, and
  • Other tools.

Coastal Ecosystem Assessment

At the intersection of land and sea is the coastal ecosystem, perhaps the area most vulnerable to climate change. We have expertise in assessing and monitoring the coastal watershed and water quality as well as the riverine ecology and mitigating the impacts of climate change and development on wetlands. When intervention is warranted, we can design programs to protect and manage natural resources.

We maintain strong relationships with regulators across the region and aim to streamline the environmental permitting process. We employ a variety of assessment techniques including geospatial analysis to incorporate environmental protection and sustainability into all of our work.

Multi-hazard Risk & Vulnerability Assessment

Caribbean coasts are vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards: storm surge, tsunami from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides and inland flooding. We use an integrated approach to evaluate the impacts of these hazards and develop appropriate guidelines towards sustainable coastal development. Some of the ways we can help are vulnerability and inundation mapping and providing guidance in regulatory policy and building code requirements.

Oil and Gas Industry Services

In oil and gas fields where drilling is conducted at varying depths, understanding density gradients and the variations of currents through the water column is critical to success and safety. The use of 3-D hydrodynamic modelling is essential in determining the dispersion and environmental impacts of surface and subsurface discharges, including the trajectory of oil spills and drill cuttings distribution. Smith Warner has the tools and proficiency to provide expert guidance in this area.