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Best Way to Buy Protection from Severe Storms? Invest in Nature.

By newadmin / Published on Monday, 05 Feb 2018 20:24 PM / No Comments / 7 views


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© Bridget Besaw

Coastal destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy storm surge along the New Jersey Shore

Last month, NOAA announced that 2017 was the U.S.’s costliest year ever for natural disasters—shattering the previous record of 2005. The country suffered more than $300 billion in damages primarily due to hurricanes, severe storms, and wildfires.

This figure is staggering, but the cost is not just financial. People have lost homes, businesses, and in some instances, loved ones.

This map denotes the approximate location for each of the 16 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that impacted the United States during 2017. Source: NOAA

As Congress considers its next government funding package, lawmakers should seize the opportunity to protect our communities and invest in a cost-efficient solution that will make communities more resilient in the face of future disasters.

Investing in healthy reefs, wetlands, and other natural systems—or “green infrastructure”—will significantly reduce the impacts of flooding, storms, and wildfires. And in many cases green infrastructure can be more cost-effective than traditional gray infrastructure, particularly for coastal protection. These investments will also boost local economies, improve public health, and bolster ecosystems.

Investing in nature, reducing risk

Five years ago, I wrote about a book about investing in nature. I argued that protecting nature is the smartest investment we can make to preserve our lands, waters, and communities for generations to come. I still believe that—and I’m happy to say there are even more people who are taking this view today.

It’s easy enough to convince a conservationist that investing in nature is the right thing to do. It’s a little bit trickier to get the actual money on the table. If we want to convince governments and businesses to invest in nature to protect their communities, we have to stake our claims in dollars and cents. Today, we’re doing exactly that.

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© Bridget Besaw

Coastal destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy storm surge along the New Jersey Shore

Last month, NOAA announced that 2017 was the U.S.’s costliest year ever for natural disasters—shattering the previous record of 2005. The country suffered more than $300 billion in damages primarily due to hurricanes, severe storms, and wildfires.

This figure is staggering, but the cost is not just financial. People have lost homes, businesses, and in some instances, loved ones.

This map denotes the approximate location for each of the 16 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that impacted the United States during 2017. Source: NOAA

As Congress considers its next government funding package, lawmakers should seize the opportunity to protect our communities and invest in a cost-efficient solution that will make communities more resilient in the face of future disasters.

Investing in healthy reefs, wetlands, and other natural systems—or “green infrastructure”—will significantly reduce the impacts of flooding, storms, and wildfires. And in many cases green infrastructure can be more cost-effective than traditional gray infrastructure, particularly for coastal protection. These investments will also boost local economies, improve public health, and bolster ecosystems.

Investing in nature, reducing risk

Five years ago, I wrote about a book about investing in nature. I argued that protecting nature is the smartest investment we can make to preserve our lands, waters, and communities for generations to come. I still believe that—and I’m happy to say there are even more people who are taking this view today.

It’s easy enough to convince a conservationist that investing in nature is the right thing to do. It’s a little bit trickier to get the actual money on the table. If we want to convince governments and businesses to invest in nature to protect their communities, we have to stake our claims in dollars and cents. Today, we’re doing exactly that.

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