Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & ODU Resilience Collaborative

Spring 2019 Seminar Series


Philip Orton
Stevens Institute of Technology

Monday, February 4, 2019
3:30 PM
Conference Center, Innovation Resarch Building II
4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508


Deepwater port-estuaries have virtually no accepted and effective nature-based solution for sea level rise because there is typically too little space for wetlands, and deep shipping channels provide relatively friction-free pathways for floodwaters to neighborhoods. The Port of New York and New Jersey and its estuarine waterways are being studied by the Corps of Engineers in order to determine optimal flood risk reduction strategies. In this presentation, I will summarize research from the past five years where I have often worked alongside Corps studies, seeking to supplement their work with new and innovative thinking on nature-based features as alternative solutions for flooding. Jamaica Bay is one relatively unused port sub-estuary, and I will demonstrate how a gradual "sedimentary restoration" over several decades can not only reduce future flood and wave impacts, but also reduce the bay's frequent hypoxia. In contrast, systems of gated storm surge barriers and raised waterfronts can greatly reduce flood risk but have potential negative effects on estuarine circulation and oxygenation.


Dr. Philip Orton is a research assistant professor of ocean engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, holding a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from Columbia University. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles on coastal physical oceanography, storm surges, flood risk assessment, air-sea interaction, sediment transport, and coastal meteorology. He is a member of the NYC Panel on Climate Change, was appointed by New Jersey's Governor to serve on the New Jersey Wetlands Mitigation Council, is a contributing author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, and was a member of the winning Living Breakwaters team for the Federal Rebuild By Design competition, which garnered several design awards for innovative coastal flood adaptation. His website is

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

Old Dominion University Homepage CCPO
Innovation Research Park Building I
4111 Monarch Way, 3rd Floor
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23508
CCPO Homepage

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