For generations, the solution to holding back encroaching waters has concentrated on walling the danger out with jetties, levees or seawalls. But as stronger and more common storms and floods increasingly show, built infrastructure alone is not enough. Fortunately, the source of the challenge—nature—is also the foundation of the solution.
Read more about how healthy habitats are reducing risk for people and property right now:
See how one Conservancy preserve in New Jersey – an important stop for migratory birds – also helped protect one coastal town from Hurricane Sandy.
Our staff visited the Conservancy’s Milford Neck Preserve in Delaware right after Hurricane Sandy. See what came ashore with the waves and how different places weathered the storm.
Follow students from The Conservancy's LEAF program as they restore our coasts and discover how nature can reduce our risk from future superstorms.
Reducing Risk: Nature's Defenses
The Conservancy’s Louis Blumberg, director of the California Climate Change Program, writes that “it may seem counterintuitive that our best defense against rising sea levels and storms caused by climate change is nature itself, but it's a little known fact that deserves some attention.”
“When the storm comes, it comes with a vengeance.” On Grand Isle, LA, the Conservancy is building off-shore reefs, giving baby oysters a place to grow and simultaneously helping reduce erosion along the shore of this fragile – and shrinking – barrier island.
The Conservancy has developed a web portal and series of tools to help coastal managers, scientists, the conservation community and people within the Gulf of Mexico Governor’s Alliance predict how hurricanes, storm surges and sea level will affect their cities and coastal habitats in the future—nearly 90 years into the future. See what that could look like…
In 2004, Anne Harvey opened the doors to her new preschool, the same day that they received word of Hurricane Ivan. A patch of mangroves near the school protected the structure and kept everyone safe.
More than 500 volunteers move 170 tons of oyster castles to create a living shoreline along the coast of Alabama's Mobile Bay.
The Conservancy is working with partners to bring the Puget Sound community together for integrated and efficient management of its major rivers and their floodplains. The project will integrate reducing flood hazards with restoring and protecting salmon and wildlife habitat to provide clean water, abundant salmon runs and safer communities.
Reducing Risk: Science & Tools
Coastal Resilience 2.0 is here! A suite of interactive, digital tools that puts information at your fingertips – and enables decision-makers to assess risk and identify nature-based solutions to reduce our vulnerability to coastal hazards.
Not just an appetizer anymore! Learn how the humble oyster protects us from storms, supports a thriving fishing industry, and still manages to taste great with a splash of lemon.
Natural habitats – nature’s defenses – reduce risk from storms for 1.3 million people in the U.S. alone.