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 (starting around 15:50) 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.”

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.

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