The US Army Corps of Engineers has a long history of working to manage waterways and protect communities from flooding. Historically, it has done this by relying on man-made structures such as levees and dams.
But the Corps has also begun to invest in nature-based solutions to provide protection against rising seas and increasingly extreme weather conditions.
“So move away from, say, a traditional levee system or flood wall to look for opportunities where nature can provide the same level of engineered protection and reduced risk,” says Jeffrey King of the Army Corps Engineering with Nature program.
In Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere, the agency uses dredged sediment to restore dunes and replenish beaches. He says it can help protect coastal communities from rising seas and storm surges.
And along the Missouri River, the Corps is joining a project to move a levee so it’s farther from the river, giving the river more room to expand.
This will provide wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of flooding in surrounding areas.
“So in many ways we look to nature to provide us with opportunities to increase resilience,” King says.
Reporting Credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media