Rivers and coasts are sites of innovation and invention. The technologies that define these sites mediate the complex relationship between land, water, cultural and natural systems. Innovation in riverine and coastal technology reveals a complex history of environmental design and human engagement with landscape scale systems, providing a rich narrative of environmental degradation and restoration through the lens of the tandem histories of technology and landscape. Much of the technologies that have defined and altered coastal and riverine systems have been buried, corroded, lost, or remain unrealized, leaving a limited extant record of innovation in riverine technology. The patent archive provides us with a rich facsimile of innovative technologies and a window into the future potential of riverine and coastal systems as sites of innovation and invention.