Coral reefs save billions of dollars worldwide by preventing floods
Coral reefs aren’t just pretty to look at: They also act as a natural flood protection barrier from powerful ocean storms.
But with reefs in danger around the world, much of this valuable flood protection could be lost. A study released Tuesday pinpoints the value of coral reefs, finding coastal flood-related damages around the world would be twice what they are now if not for this natural flood barrier.
On average, the entire planet’s coral reefs are worth some $4 billion annually in flood protection, said study lead author Michael Beck, a scientist at the Nature Conservancy and a professor at the University of California – Santa Cruz. Closer to home, he said “the United States receives nearly $100 million annually in direct flood reduction benefits from its reefs…
Why did the Rockefeller Foundation just unceremoniously end its successful resilience program?
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the city released a comprehensive strategy to cope with floodwaters in the future, and rebuild the natural habitat that once managed them. That same year, New York came out with a plan to manage the type of storm surge that wrecked the city during 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. In 2016, Medellín, Colombia, released a strategy tackling a different but related challenge: social inequity and public safety, and how a disaster could exacerbate the two if not addressed. Dakar, Senegal, confronted the challenge of a booming population and how to equitably and sustainably manage growth. In its strategy, Amman, Jordan, grappled with its already pressing water scarcity issue, and how to manage it going forward.
This is just a handful of the projects that took off under 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), a program launched by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013. The aim of 100RC, to which Rockefeller has donated $164 million, was to get cities thinking proactively and collaboratively about how to address the interconnected problems of climate change and equity…