DESIGN & BUILD
We are a true Design & Build company. The same cohesive team that plans and designs our projects also constructs and maintains them to ensure we achieve true ecological recovery. Knowledge is shared across our entire staff, which promotes understanding, continuity, and seamless project execution. We work together towards the same goals as we collaborate and communicate openly and frequently. Our design/build system is adaptive and responsive, which enables us to be flexible in the field and make the required project adjustments when constructing well-integrated ecosystems.
Underwood & Associates, Inc. is committed to combining the needs of a developing society with an adjusting environment by restoring native ecosystems through our regenerative philosophy. Our Design/Build process and our nature-based approach empower us to embrace the energies found in nature - rather than armoring against them- in order to truly restore our waterways and ensure their resiliency over time.
Underwood & Associates, Inc. invented the Regenerative Stream Channel (RSC), Step Pool Storm Conveyance (SPSC), and dynamic living shoreline approaches that have been adopted by many local, state, and federal agencies across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and around the world. The Regenerative philosophy is embedded in our organizational identity and we work within a nature-based approach in all that we do. From urban stormwater retrofits, to stream restorations, to dynamic living shorelines at tidewater, we have been and continue to lead the way on science, public policy, and implementation of true environmental restoration projects.
Underwood & Associates is a company born of curiosity and longing for what once was. For the days when thick-coated beavers felled trees into stream and wetland complexes, which then slowed and dispersed water for infiltration. For the years when streams meandered unhurriedly through pools and riffles, as fish determinedly swam against them to reach their spawning grounds; well connected to the shorelines that once inhaled and exhaled with the tides, inviting horseshoe crabs to come lay their eggs and oystercatchers to nest.
Today, impervious surfaces create avalanches of stormwater that rapidly funnel pollutants and excess sediment into larger bodies of water. Rigid bulkheads wedge themselves between land and water, ending a once harmonious relationship. How can we mimic the pristine ecosystems of the past in a time of anthropogenic impact?
Underwood & Associates has been developing methods and techniques to restore and re-integrate watershed ecosystems into the human occupied landscape since 1990. U&A invented and has subsequently been the leader in research, development, education, and construction of Sand Seepage Wetlands (SSW), integrated streams and wetlands, Regenerative Stream Channel (RSC), and Coastal Plain Outfall (CPO) systems. Throughout the past three decades, we have developed a regenerative and holistic approach to stream, wetland, and shoreline restoration. By integrating all aspects of our design and construction capabilities with our in-depth understanding of water cycles and ecosystem processes, we have created a world-class system designed to restore degraded ecosystems, wetlands, streams, and stormwater systems.
We have visited and studied hundreds of wetlands and waterways from Alabama to Canada to Japan, including pristine longleaf pine ecosystems, ombrotrophic bogs, and severely impaired streams in agricultural and urban areas. Our fascination with water resources and the ecosystems they support has evolved into an unparalleled understanding of natural systems.