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Coastal Resilience

Mangrove afforestation, Reef regeneration, Infrastructure for mitigating & adapting to sea level rise, Protections from hurricanes and storm surge

Coastal resilience means building the ability of a community to bounce back after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding (NOAA). As there are higher population densities along the water and with that the risks are increased, what is the cost of inaction you may ask? The Environmental Defense Fund found that U.S. coastal counties could lose more than $100 million in property taxes from flooding linked to sea level rise in Florida alone. Resilience is not just the community of business, schools, and homes that surround the area but the ability to mitigate short term damage from becoming a lasting impact.

Mangrove afforestation

Mangroves act as barriers between the land and sea - sequestering carbon fifty times more efficiently than tropical forests, and provide habitat for hundreds of species of fish, migratory birds, amphibians, and other wildlife. Through vast networks of tangled roots, mangroves weaken waves, capture sediments, and build soils acting as anchors when storms hit, lessening the damage. The value they provide in ecological services is estimated at $100,000 per acre.

Reef regeneration

Coral reefs are the forests of the sea accounting for nearly 50% of the oxygen we breathe. They act as natural barrier structures for shorelines when storms, hurricanes, and flooding occur helping to protect against the loss of life, erosion, and property damage. Similarly, it is estimated that coral reefs bring in more than 500 billion dollars annually. Through the creation of coral nurseries damaged reefs can be regenerated via transplantation of new coral segments. ( ).

Other ways to mitigate sea-level rise

The National Institute of Building Sciences estimates that for every $1 spent on disaster mitigation it saves $6 in disaster relief. ( We must be proactive when it comes to protecting coastal communities for the hope of a viable future. Through the implementation of mangroves, salt marshes or oyster reefs, storm surges could be better absorbed. Increasing investments in natural structures is the most cost-effective way to protect against sea-level rise. ( )