In late October, the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, LG, and Earth Economics released a report entitled “Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather.”  The report discusses nature-based approaches to reduce risks associated with climate change. These approaches can help safeguard people, property, and wildlife habitats from more intense storms, flooding, and sea level rise.

The report analyzes a series of studies showing how taking action now can protect communities and save money. It highlights how healthy natural systems such as dunes, oyster reefs, barrier islands, and wetlands can reduce flood risk more effectively in many cases than erecting levees and seawalls. The report also identifies seven areas of federal and state law in need of improvement, including reducing incentives for development in high-risk, flood-prone areas and ensuring better protection of wetlands and other storm surge mitigating waterbodies. Read more.