Green infrastructure—natural and nature-based engineered systems that mimic natural processes—can be used to make communities better prepared and more resilient to extreme weather and coastal hazards that are becoming more frequent with climate change.
Green infrastructure can be something as simple as a vegetated swale that filters runoff from a parking lot or a large wetland that absorbs excess water that would otherwise flood community streets. In addition to hazard reduction, green infrastructure provides many benefits such as climate adaptation, heat reduction, and water quality enhancement. Incorporating green infrastructure into new and existing development can be economical while making communities safer, more environmentally sound, and aesthetically pleasing.
NOS’s Office for Coastal Management has a suite of products communities can use to better understand and implement green infrastructure approaches. These include:
Did you know?
From 1959 to 2005, floods caused 4,586 deaths in the U.S., while property and crop damage averaged nearly $8 billion a year from 1981 to 2011, according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment. In addition, the number of intense heat waves has increased in recent years, with 2011 and 2012 reporting triple the long-term average.