So, how do we protect vulnerable coastal communities against the effects of extreme weather? The answer might surprise you. One of the best defenses against natural disasters is to bolster the habitats along shorelines, riverbanks and streams.
Wetlands and streams absorb floodwater, purify water and sequester CO2. Dunes deliver a sandy buffer against storm surges and provide vital habitat for native species.
The trees, shrubs and grasses in a riparian forest filter sediment, nutrients and pesticides, improving water quality. Their roots stabilize the shore and reduce erosion from heavy rainfalls.
The maintenance and restoration of these natural spaces is our best defense against bad weather and is often more affordable and sustainable than manmade solutions.
Want to get involved?
Volunteering at a conservation event
to restore native forests and wetlands is a great place to start. But if you’re not into getting your hands dirty, consider how you can help shape legislation that protects coastal habitats by advocating for legislation that preserves these vital ecosystems.