USING NATURE TO ADDRESS FLOODING

We’ve created this guide of nature-based solutions and included case studies of successful projects from across the country to help communities learn more and identify which nature-based solutions might work for them.

Credit: Darryl Boudreau

WHAT ARE NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS?

Nature offers a powerful set of tools for addressing hazards like flooding and erosion. Nature-based solutions use natural systems, mimic natural processes, or work in tandem with traditional approaches to address these specific hazards. Communities across the country— along rivers or coasts, large or small, rural or urban— can incorporate nature-based solutions in local planning, zoning, regulations, and built projects to help reduce their exposure to flood and erosion impacts.

WHY NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS?

Ninety-six percent of the total U.S. population lives in counties where federally-declared, weather-related disasters have occurred since 2010. Smart nature-based solutions provide multiple benefits, giving communities high returns on their investments in flood risk reduction strategies.

Healthier
Environments

Natural systems and nature-based solutions can reduce flood risks, while improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.

Healthier
Communities

Natural areas and nature-based solutions can promote physical and mental health, clean air and water, and help cool our cities.

Stronger
Economies

Economic benefits range from reduced flood damage costs (due to better flood protection) to lower water treatment costs to healthier fisheries, better recreational opportunities, and increased tourism and economic development.

“The decisions we make today about the infrastructure we put in place – whether natural or manmade – will have a long-lasting impact on how we live and work. We should let nature do its very best job for us.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez

“The whole concept is to let the river do what it naturally wants to do—flood, move around—with nobody getting hurt and no money being spent to try and fight it.”
Hans Hunger, Capital Improvement Program Manager, Pierce County, WA

“Project GreenShores [has] provided our community with protection from hurricanes and tropical storms… improved water quality in Pensacola Bay and become a part of our local economy.”
Grover Robinson, County Commissioner, Escambia County, FL

“Instead of turning to a bulkhead, we’ll be installing a living shoreline to stabilize the area, protect the houses, and … create habitat that can be enjoyed by wildlife, birders, and kayakers too.”
Chris Ridings, Administrator, Borough of West Wildwood, NJ

“There is a recognition that the project will save property, it’ll save homes, it’ll save businesses.  It also provides for a much better habitat for salmon, provides for some areas of recreation for the folks nearby.”
Congressman Dave Reichert, Washington’s 8th Congressional District

EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS

FIND YOUR SOLUTION

Explore over 50 solutions and case studies that can help your community become a Naturally Resilient Community. Filter by cost, region, hazards, and more.

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