Resource: Natural Coastal Flooding Solutions for Municipalities

Since 2010, emergency managers think more about coastal flooding and erosion. A new resource explores nature-based solutions from a civic perspective.

A new emergency management website is available to riverine and coastal communities interested in learning about habitat-based or nature-based solutions to address coastal flooding and erosion.

Use the website to explore and search by hazard type, region, community type and other factors to find solutions that can be shared or downloaded.

Why Use It?

According to the website, these coastal flooding and erosion solutions save money in the long-run:

"In addition to their ability to help reduce damages from flooding and coastal storm surges - studies have found that for every $1 spent on flood mitigation efforts, $5 is saved - natural areas and nature-based solutions provide a wide-range of other benefits that can positively impact local economies.

Developed as a grant-funded project by the American Planning Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, Association of State Floodplain Managers, National Association of Counties and The Nature Conservancy, with support from the Kresge Foundation, the goal of the website is to put nature-based solutions into communities' hands to reduce devastating storm-induced economic and public safety effects.

The developers point to more than 38 catastrophic flooding and five major hurricane events that have caused more than $230 billion in damages.

“Storms are increasing in frequency and severity, and the cost to society is increasing as well,” said Linda Langston, director of strategic relations with the National Association of Counties. “Ninety-six percent of the total U.S. population lives in counties where federally-declared, weather-related disasters have occurred since 2010, and average flood losses in the U.S have increased steadily to nearly $10 billion annually, driving the National Flood Insurance Program $24.6 billion into debt.”

What Information is Available?

Currently there are 30 solutions and 22 case studies on the website that range from giving rivers more access to their natural floodplains and restoration of coastal dunes to green roofs and permeable pavement.

The solutions pages are organized with succinct information about hazard mitigation, threats, benefits and key resources that can further a community's nature-based coastal flooding solution planning.

Wetlands and floodplains can help store or slow down floodwaters while also providing us with cleaner water because of their ability to naturally filter excess nutrients and sediment that degrade water quality,” said Chad Berginnis, Association of State Floodplain Managers executive director.

A section on funding leads visitors to federal programs and discusses taxes and other ways to fund and budget coastal flooding and erosion mitigation projects.

Access the resource at

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