Rootwads, defined as the full trunk of a tree with root base, are often locally acquired on site and used in river and stream restoration projects for bank stabilization, hydrodynamic reduction, and habitat creation. Increasingly, coastal restoration projects also use locally available rootwads or crowns to attenuate waves, stabilize shorelines, promote sediment deposition and provide habitat. In built environments, local access to large trees and rootwads is unlikely and heavily armored shorelines do not easily facilitate the use of large wood structures. This work shows the development of an in-situ field application of a new digital technology, structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry, to generate 3D models of coarse root architecture of native riparian tree species. Availability of realistic 3D models allows for 3D printing and other manufacturing possibilities to create engineered rootwad like structures for coastal resilience. Using an iterative biomimetic design process, root morphology parameters will be quantified and characterized using Rhino & Grasshopper to assist in the determination of the parameters most significant in water – structure and sediment-structure interactions. The results from these two laboratory interaction experiments will inform abstracted design concepts, in addition to continued model refinement and testing. An initial coastal infrastructure design translation for Lake Erie, shown in comparison to an existing seawall prototype modeled after mangrove roots, is presented.