Cunniff, S., 2019 “Scaling protection and restoration of natural infrastructure to reduce flood impacts and enhance resilience” Shore & Beach, 87(4), 51-61. http://doi.org/10.34237/1008746
Shannon E. Cunniff
Director, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund, 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
Restoring natural infrastructure offers much promise as a means to reduce both flood hazard and exposure to complement and supplement other flood damage reduction strategies. Interest increased in flood risk reduction methods using natural and naturebased features, in part, because of increased recognition that such could provide both flood risk reduction and other benefits, such as water quality uplift, community recreational space, and fish and wildlife habitat. Recent flood disasters and the rising costs of disaster response and recovery have triggered policy shifts toward economically efficient investments that enhance greater community resilience. While natural infrastructure is becoming more widely recognized as a tactic for building community and ecological resilience to erosion and flooding, it remains underutilized. Actions to aid consideration of natural infrastructure and scale up its use are presented.