December 2, 2022

Natrx Living Shoreline Project Featured in Virginia

A recent living shorelines project we were involved in was just written up in the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal. This National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant-funded shoreline project made use of our Natrx ExoForms to combat erosion and provide ongoing coastal resilience. Check it out below:

mathews case shoreline natrx 1
SHERRY HAMILTON / GAZETTE-JOURNAL Betty Case, left, of Atlanta and Port Haywood received grant funding to help pay for a project to create a living shoreline along her property on the East River. The project uses new technology developed by Matt Campbell, right, president of Natrx Adaptive Infrastructure in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A grant-funded shoreline restoration project in Mathews is using a new technology developed by Natrx Adaptive Infrastructure to help create efficient, effective—and cost-effective—living shorelines.

Betty Case of Atlanta and Port Haywood has a long shoreline at her East River property, and she’s concerned about erosion that’s occurring due to wave action driven by winds coming up from Mobjack Bay.

A shoreline study conducted a number of years ago by Donna Milligan and Scott Hardaway of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science identified Case’s property as one of several sites in Mathews that needed shore protection, so when the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission secured a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant to create a reach-based, resilient shoreline protection project, Case was contacted to see if she wanted to participate. Her answer was an enthusiastic yes.

Natrx is a Raleigh, North Carolina-based company that uses patented computer-based manufacturing to create custom concrete modules expressly designed for the needs of a specific site. President and head of engineering Matthew Campbell said his company focuses on nature-based solutions for coastal restoration. He said he had been in the business of coastal restoration for 20 years, and that “creative desperation” had eventually led him to come up with a system that could “do things more efficiently and effectively.”

He invented a new process for forming concrete, Dry Forming, which is a type of 3D printing with concrete, to develop structures that were a better fit for certain sites than riprap, which requires building a structure with large stones that, pyramid-like, is wider at the bottom than the top.

The exoforms Campbell’s company creates with the technology weigh about 250 pounds each and have rounded edges with rough surfaces and crevices that oysters like, he said. They’re made tall enough to break the waves before they hit the shoreline, but low enough so that sediment can be transported over them during storms. Water is maintained at the same level as the river, providing marsh grasses with proper nourishment. The structures can even be designed to dip lower in some places for fish to cross over, and the openings in them allow water to flow through.

One of the best things about Natrx structures, said Campbell, is that they are more cost-effective than riprap, able to cover two to three times the linear footage than rock for the same price.

“We’re trying to bring new tools to restoration and make the whole industry more efficient,” he said.

Milligan, an associate research scientist in VIMS’s Physical Sciences Department, said the long shoreline at Case’s property has different habitat components that need to be handled differently. The project, which has been about two years in the making, will involve placing Natrx structures in front of areas with existing but eroding marsh grasses to mitigate erosion by breaking the waves before they hit the marshland. Riprap will be placed offshore along high-energy areas that have already eroded, with sand fill behind it for planting grasses. The structures will provide substrate for oysters to grow and “hopefully become a nice oyster reef.”

Campbell said there appears to be a lot of demand for shoreline projects in this area, so he’s considering establishing a manufacturing site here as the demand for his product grows. Lewie Lawrence, director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District, said that the Captain Sinclair Lewis property in Gloucester that’s being managed for the county by the Middle Peninsula Public Access Authority would be a good potential location for manufacturing the Natrx modules.

Case said she’s thrilled at the expertise that’s being brought to her shoreline project and happy to be “an example in this area of what can be done.”


You can read the original article here.


October 24, 2022

Natrx ExoForms Featured on PBS North Carolina

We're thrilled to have had our ExoForms and our patented forming process featured on PBS North Carolina's show Sci NC.

In this piece you'll get an overview of our 3D forming process. Unlike traditional methods that make use of "materials of convenience" like recycled pipes, concrete, or even old ships, our process uses a minimal amount of material in the creation of our naturalistically-shaped, coastal protection modules. And unlike any recycled or traditional materials that have been in common use, our ExoForms are designed specifically for the sites where they are used to break up wave energy and provide safe, beneficial habitats for local aquatic life.

Give it a watch for a closer look at how our innovative 3D forming process is creating new opportunities for coastal protection and ecosystem resilience. And thank you, PBS NC!

You can get more detail on our Natrx ExoForms here: Natrx ExoForms Tech Overview

And you can view the whole episode and more in the series here at PBS NC.

March 10, 2022

Danos Completes Nature-Based Coastal Restoration Projects

In late 2021, Danos completed four coastal restoration projects in south Louisiana on behalf of Shell Pipeline Company. The work will provide shoreline protection through a combination of customized 3D printed modules, nicknamed “Cajun Coral,” and advanced satellite image monitoring with partner Natrx, Inc. The project designs and installation procedures were tailored to local site conditions in order to enhance biodiversity and shoreline stability.

We look forward to continuing our joint work to facilitate effective, nature-based solutions and to quantify the benefits such as biodiversity, vegetation health and natural carbon sequestration.

Leonard Nelson
Natrx CEO

“Louisiana’s coast is vital to our industry and our environment,” said Paul Danos, CEO of Danos. “Using technology to help restore the ecosystem, is one way Danos is living our purpose of solving big challenges for our customers and our communities.”

“Shell is committed to making a positive contribution to biodiversity in critical habitat areas where we operate, such as Louisiana’s coast, while delivering safe and reliable operations,” said Greg Mouras, general manager operations, Shell Pipeline Company. “We value Danos and Natrx’s support in bringing innovative, nature-based projects to life which serve both objectives, enabling important sustainability benefits, including wetland conservation and oyster creation, while protecting our pipeline infrastructure.”

In partnership with Natrx, Danos managed the project on behalf of Shell, including designing the technical drawings and installation plans. Danos’ construction team then completed the infrastructure fabrication and aided in installation on-site, in the marshes of Terrebonne Parish.


Faster and Safer Installs

The Danos and Natrx team developed the concept of “Cajun Coral,” a solution that combats erosion while providing ongoing resilience through the growth of oysters and marsh. The structures were optimized to allow a controlled flow of water to pass which, in turn, provides a healthy new habitat for oysters. As water flows through the barrier, oysters are nourished and sediments are deposited that encourage new marsh growth, support marine life and provide protection that grows stronger and more resilient over time.

"Cajun Coral" builds resilience and promotes healthy habitat growth.

In 2019, Shell GameChanger and The Idea Village teamed up for an accelerator program, ENERGYx in New Orleans, to support startups and innovators with the potential to impact the future of Louisiana and coastal areas around the world. Natrx was one of the companies selected for the program, which focused on emerging innovative technologies for coastal construction and water management that improves the capital efficiency of real projects on-the-ground.

“The partnership with Danos and Shell Pipeline Company has created new techniques for adaptive management of natural systems in south Louisiana,” said Natrx CEO Leonard Nelson. “We look forward to continuing our joint work to facilitate effective, nature-based solutions and to quantify the benefits such as biodiversity, vegetation health and natural carbon sequestration.”

January 13, 2022

The Grow Louisiana Coalition Features the Natrx Adaptive Infrastructure Approach

Natrx provides the key technology in this coalition of innovative partners to help enhance and stabilize Louisiana’s shorelines. 


We're proud to have our nature-based, adaptive infrastructure approach featured as the key technology in this effort by an innovative group of partners to bolster shoreline resilience in the communities of southern Lafourche Parish. Watch the video above for the story.

For more detail on how our nature-based, habitat-positive approach is enhancing coastline resilience you can read our original post about it here.

And you can read the Grow Louisiana Coalition's story about the project below:

Industry is utilizing partnerships to secure the latest technologies to help enhance and stabilize Louisiana’s shorelines.

Over the past eight years, ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited have restored or enhanced over 800 acres immediately outside of the Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System. This work provides shoreline protection, marsh enhancement and terracing that increase the resilience of the levee system and protect the surrounding communities. This area is exposed to increasing storm surges and weather events such as the storms hitting the Louisiana coast in 2020 and 2021, as well as erosion from day-to-day tidal action.

Natrx, A Shell GameChanger company, utilized its intelligent, adaptive infrastructure platform to create and install a set of custom reef modules nicknamed “Cajun Coral.” The goal of this installation was to stabilize 750 feet of a newly completed marsh creation project. With the help of Danos, 180 feet of the custom-designed Cajun Coral was installed along with 620 feet of ultralight oyster stakes.

Learn more about the world’s first Cajun Coral installation and see how the oil and gas industry is incorporating innovative solutions to protect Louisiana’s coastal communities: Grow Louisiana Coalition Website


March 1, 2021

A Closer Look at The Natrx OysterBreak System

Nature based solutions can allow you to deploy material that you don’t pay for that helps protect essential habitat.  The videos below take you through key elements of the Oysterbreak solution, and performance during the heavy 2020 hurricane season.

The Natrx Oysterbreak (US Patent# 9144228B1) is a modular breakwater designed to support coastal protection through a high-strength modular design and special material additives to support biological growth.  The system can be manufactured at large scale through local pre-cast manufacturers.  The Oysterbreak design can be modified to support other key species such as corals, vegetative species upon request.  Over 50,000 linear feet of storm-tested living shorelines have been deployed utilizing modular Oysterbreak technology.

As opposed to other traditional construction techniques such as rock revetments and seawalls, the Oysterbreak leaves ecological shoreline transitions intact, which supports fisheries and helps ensure stability for storm resilience.  Natural growth provides additional strength development over time as shown in the plot below from a scientific test of an early installation at an erosional site at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.



The studies key findings included, paraphrased from Risinger, 2012:

Increased Height: Oyster shell height measurements of 50 cm were recorded after six months growth, with oyster counts exceeding 500 per m^2 on the artificial concrete modular breakwater reefs.

Increased Strength: A significant increase in ASTM 78 standards for flexural strength over time from an initial 28-day curing load of 100 lbs to loads of 479 lbs in six months and 1,344 lbs in two years.

Sediment Accretion:  Pilot scale breakwater emplacements dominated by biological growth accumulated nearly 4 m3 of sediment over four years, representing over 300% of original mass deployed.

Figure above Ref: Risinger, J. D. 2012. “Biologically Dominated Engineered Coastal Breakwaters."


February 19, 2021

Infrastructure Success at Golden Meadow

A first of its kind, technology-driven, adaptive approach to shoreline and habitat protection is successfully validated in the aftermath of Hurricane Zeta.

In the latest efforts of a long successful partnership, ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited have implemented an innovative, technology-led, and nature-based approach to bolstering shoreline resilience in the communities of southern Lafourche Parish. Over the past eight years, ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited have restored or enhanced over 800 acres immediately outside of the Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System. This work provides shoreline protection, marsh enhancement, and terracing that increase the resilience of the levee system and the communities within. The goal of this particular project was to stabilize 750 feet of a newly completed marsh creation project. This area is exposed to increasing storm surges and weather events such as the set of storms hitting the Louisiana coast this year as well as erosion from day-to-day tidal action.

The project site presented numerous challenges including shallow water access, weak foundation soils, and the necessity to operate safely around established energy infrastructure. Natrx utilized its intelligent, adaptive infrastructure platform to create and install a set of custom reef modules nicknamed “Cajun Coral” by Louisiana-based Danos LLC, a key contractor on the project. "Danos is proud to have partnered on this innovative project to prevent erosion and strengthen our local wetlands. 'Cajun Coral' was born out of our team's desire to develop a name for the reef modules that reflected our local, South Louisiana culture," said Eric Danos, owner of Danos. 

3D Printed “Cajun Coral” Modules

Natrx Oyster Stakes

These modules were specifically designed to provide habitat-positive protection for the exposed segment of the site. Less exposed reaches were stabilized with a system of ultralight, hand-deployed oyster stakes which will develop into a robust oyster reef over time. This innovative approach creates a cost efficient, weather resilient, and habitat-friendly oyster reef shoreline protection system.

In the end, 180 feet of the custom-designed “Cajun Coral” was installed along with 620 feet of ultralight oyster stakes.  Thanks to the partnership’s modular, intelligence-driven production, delivery, and installation approach the entire protection solution exceeded safety targets by deploying with zero safety incidents. Immediately after installation, the project’s innovative approach proved successful by performing perfectly during a direct hit by Hurricane Zeta. A post storm assessment revealed new oyster spat growing on both the Cajun Coral and the oyster stakes.

ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited are proud of their partnership that demonstrates how the latest innovations can be harnessed to enhance efficiency, reduce cost, and improve performance through micro-tailored solutions. The continued success of this fruitful partnership is in large part due to the contributions of several like minded organizations including: Lafourche Parish, Natrx, ORA Estuaries, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Danos LLC, MREC Environmental, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.



About Natrx

Natrix is the leader in delivering adaptive infrastructure solutions for the protection of at-risk capital assets through its patented digital manufacturing platform. The Natrx platform uses an intelligent, data-driven approach to create and deploy custom, flexible resilience solutions that adapt over time to provide superior, habitat-friendly protection against increasing weather and climate conditions. Established in 2018, Natrx has quickly established itself as an innovation leader, recognized for its technology breakthroughs and its track record of successful project delivery. For more information, visit:


About Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved almost 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit


About ConocoPhillips

As the largest private owner of wetlands in Louisiana, ConocoPhillips views conservation as a key priority. ConocoPhillips’ history as a landowner in Louisiana dates back more than 100 years. Through its subsidiary, The  Louisiana Land and Exploration Company LLC (LL&E), the company owns approximately 636,000 acres of predominantly marshland across eight parishes, spanning 120 miles east to west and 85 miles north to south.


About Danos

Founded in 1947, Danos is a family-owned and managed oilfield service provider. A trusted industry partner, Danos offers the most responsive end-to-end integrated service solutions – safe, on time and on budget. Danos achieves world-class safety results and customer loyalty due to a values- based approach and an unyielding commitment to employee engagement and training. Learn more at

February 2, 2021

A Natrx vision update from CEO Leonard Nelson

Natrx CEO, Leonard Nelson, walks through some current updates on the Natrx business and vision. Originally posted on Linked where you can follow us here.

February 2, 2021

Danos Wraps Up Golden Meadow Reef Installation

(Courtesy Danos)

Danos recently completed a project requiring the installation reef structure into the marsh of Golden Meadow. Planning for the project began in late February, and the installation in Catfish Lake was completed by a Danos construction crew this summer.

The infrastructure was designed and fabricated through 3D printing technology by partner Natrx. Danos strategically installed 45 modules, ranging in weight from 350 to 700 pounds, to provide maximum protection to Louisiana’s marsh land. In the fall, oyster spats will be seeded into the barriers, allowing an expected 1-million pounds of oysters, vegetation and sediment to accrue over the next three years.

“Louisiana’s coast is vital to our local communities, as well as our industry,” Owner Paul Danos said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to be a part of this innovative initiative to prevent erosion and strengthen our wetlands.”

In addition to this latest project, Danos is working to restore Louisiana’s coast through participation in Partnership for Our Working Coast, an alliance of industry and environmental partners led by The Water Institute of the Gulf.

Other members of the partnership include Chevron, Shell and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission. The partnership is working toward protecting vital infrastructure in Port Fourchon through nature-based solutions.


Reposted from 1012 Industry Report. Original item can be found here.

June 10, 2020

Bringing Coastal Resilience Innovation to Hampton Roads

Originally written by CINNAMON JANZER for

Natrx employee Mary Nelson. Natrx recently became part of the RISE Resilience Innovations incubator's Coastal Community Resilience Challenge 2020 cohort. The companies will test and scale up their coastal resilience solutions in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo courtesy Natrx)

On April 13, in the middle of a pandemic, a storm with wind gusts up to 75 mph ravaged the Hampton Roads coastal region of Virginia. From downed trees to lost power, damage abounded. As sea levels rise, storm surges are slated to get worse.

The RISE Resilience Innovations accelerator in Norfolk is dedicated to ensuring that the region is prepared for a resilient future.

In 2016, the Commonwealth of Virginia was one of 13 states and cities that received grant funding from HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition to battle sea level rise along its Hampton Roads region. Since 1930, the sea level has risen by 14 inches in the area, worsening tidal flooding and increasing storm flooding and surges. “This increased risk is already being realized in communities across Virginia’s coast,” the HUD award summary reads. “Seven of the region’s 10 most severe storms, including Hurricane Irene, have occurred in the past 13 years.”

Part of that money was used to realize an idea that Katerina Oskarsson, then working in Norfolk’s resilience office, had been dreaming up with co-workers and collaborators for some time: a coastal resilience laboratory and accelerator. Once funding came through, Oskarsson left her work with the city to launch the accelerator as its own non-profit. Today, that resilience accelerator has a name, RISE Resilience Innovations, which recently announced the second round of winners (the first was in 2018) of its Coastal Community Resilience Challenge.

Today, Oskarsson serves as RISE’s chief strategy officer. “The idea was that, of course climate change and sea level rise is going to be an increasingly big and expensive issue here,” Oskarsson says of the region that is home to the largest naval base in the world. “We figure that a lot of Hampton Road communities will be spending a lot of money to adapt to sea level rise and flooding.” While infrastructure projects can help mitigate the impacts of sea level rise, not all cities, especially smaller ones, can afford large-scale solutions nor can they wait for the time it takes for them to be completed.

That’s why RISE is focusing on accelerating small businesses that offer less expensive solutions that can be tested and implemented in the Hampton Roads region through its Coastal Community Resilience Challenge.The 2020 cohort is composed of five companies from across the country with piloted products ready to be scaled up.

Natrx, one of the 2020 cohort of winners, uses specialized 3D printers to craft custom “exo-structures” from materials like biopolymers, natural material that is either produced organically by living organisms or synthetically from renewable resources. Natrx produces these structures in conjunction with local ecologists and engineers and installs them along waterfronts to preserve infrastructure by mitigating erosion while also providing a habitat for natural growth.

“The void spaces are just as important as the physical spaces,” Leonard Nelson, a Natrx co-founder, says. “In a situation where there are certain species like sea turtles who need to [lay eggs] on land, if you put up a seawall, you’ve blocked their ability to thrive.”

Jeffrey Nelson and Jackson O'Korn of Natrx (Photo courtesy Natrx)

Natrx was founded at the end of 2018, making the company an ideal candidate for RISE’s program. “We’re at the state where we ramped up our progress. We have a viable business and what we want to do is scale it up to produce at the point of need,” Nelson says. Natrx will be using its RISE funding to fabricate their first mobile production unit, a 3-D printer that can travel to project locations and print structures where they’ll be used. In addition to eliminating the costs and hassles of shipping, this process will ideally lead to job opportunities for local contractors as well.

The other four members of the 2020 RISE cohort include Re:Public, which helps non-mapping professionals track real-time flood risks; StormSensor, which builds stormwater monitoring products; Virginia PACE Authority, which offers a financing solution to provide capital related to flood mitigation and other resilience improvements; and WeatherCheck, which uses AI to monitor properties for weather-related damage and loss in order to both speed up the claims process and improve the future of risk analysis.

RISE doesn’t look to fund ideas. Rather it helps bring solutions that have already been piloted to a wider market by providing revenue-based funding, business mentorship, and access to data, experts, and demo sites along the Hampton Roads coast.

“We’re not an incubator, we’re an economic development organization. We broker the problems and solutions with funding,” RISE executive director Paul Robinson says. “What we’ve been building here is a way to identify resilience problems and see if there is a market for [solutions] here and elsewhere. We pick [challenge winners] based on economic viability.” With RISE funding, companies only repay their loans when they begin to see revenue. (The 2018 cohort was actually only announced in spring 2019, so those companies are still working on scaling up, as well.)

A benefit of locating the accelerator in Norfolk and infusing the region with companies testing and growing their resilience-based products is economic diversification for the city. While RISE doesn’t require winners to permanently relocate their business to Hampton Roads, during “normal times” the teams naturally spend quite a bit of time at RISE’s co-working and workshop space, with some choosing to relocate to or open new space in the region. That’s good for the city’s economic base, Robinson says.

“Historically we’ve been really reliant on government dollars from the DOD,” Robinson says. “We need to grow and diversify the economy. Why not, instead of putting money into walls or storm drains, we put some towards developing intellectual capital and innovation around resilient coastal communities?”

In thinking about the future, Robinson says that RISE’s goals are to keep sourcing solutions to big problems and adding another five companies to the accelerator this summer through their Urban Mobility Challenge that focuses on apps that offer real-time flooding solutions.

“We want [Hampton Roads] to be a community that people want to belong to,” he says, “where innovation and resilience happens and starts to grow organically.”

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