Reducing Flood Risk
Learn how natural solutions, like wetlands, marshes and forests can help reduce flood risk while providing other benefits for people and nature.
The goal of the North America Water Program is to keep natural systems healthy to ensure our waters remain clean, abundant and managed in ways that meet the needs of people and nature. This goal is important because our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and aquifers are vital to the health of our society and economy, and the traditional approaches of funding and managing our water resources are not economically or environmentally sustainable.
The Conservancy’s freshwater staff in North America focus on six strategies designed to help bring solutions to our biggest challenges:
1. Water Resources Infrastructure: Shift national investment in Water Infrastructure to large- or ‘basin-scale’ approach using natural solutions and sustainable design.
2. Water Funds: Secure clean water for cities and states with innovative financing and public-private Water Funds.
3. Water Markets: Secure water supplies with risk-based Water Transactions.
4. Risk Reduction and Resilience: Mainstream natural solutions for flood and storm risk reduction and resilience. This aligns with TNC's Climate Change Priority.
5. Urban Water: Promote Integrated Urban Water Management to build resilient communities across geography, politics, race, privilege.
6. Agriculture | Water: Improve management of nutrients from agricultural and rural watersheds.
A Collaborative Approach
America's Watershed Initiative, which falls under the Water Resources Infrastructure Priority, is a collaboration that seeks solutions for meeting the multiple demands placed on the vast and complex Mississippi River Watershed by integrating issues, partners and ideas at the watershed scale. In October 2015, AWI released the first-ever Report Card for the Mississippi River Watershed, which measures six water-related goals: water supply, the economy, river transportation, ecosystem health, flood control and recreation.
Working to Protect Large-Scale Water Resources
In addition to focusing on strategy-based approaches, the Conservancy also focuses on important large-scale, water-related programs. These include:
- Chesapeake Bay
- Colorado River Basin
- Connecticut River
- Great Lakes
- Mississippi River Basin
- Northern Everglades
- Puget Sound
The Nature Conservancy has more than 300 staff in the United States whose work in some way focuses on freshwater conservation. Staff from the North America Freshwater Program work with these scientists and conservationists to leverage “on-the-ground” successes to help promote changes in water management practices and policies at the national—and even global—level. Meet our North America Freshwater leaders.