Coastal communities are already at risk from storms and flooding, and climate change will make the situation worse. But we’re at an exciting point when organizations across many sectors are recognizing that nature itself can help protect these communities.
Natural solutions like mangroves and coral reefs are not only effective at reducing the force of storms—they also have the potential to be self-maintaining and replicable in many places. Leveraging these solutions, though, is a cross-sector challenge.
That’s why The Nature Conservancy is working in Florida with the Miami-Dade county government, the engineering firm CH2M, the risk-modeling firm RMS and the American Red Cross’s Global Disaster Preparation Center, bringing together ecologists, economists and engineers to explore how we value and invest in nature. And Miami will continue to build on this work as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, a global network of member cities responding to the challenges of the twenty-first century.
By working together to protect and restore coastal ecosystems, we can build resilience in communities before storms hit. It’s gratifying to see that the Red Cross is focused on prevention and preparedness—and that they are looking to natural solutions.
“Nature reduces risk and nature protects people,” as my colleague Kathy McLeod said at our recent event in Miami. “That can change the world.”