The value of green infrastructure for coastal communities

The value of green infrastructure for coastal communities

Global climate change is increasing the threats of storms and sea-level rise to coastal communities. As a result, coastal cities such as New York and Boston—as well as many smaller coastal communities—are considering investing in “green” infrastructure to enhance their resilience to coastal hazards. Green infrastructure creates or maintains a “living shoreline” that can include wetlands, oyster reefs, barrier islands, and ecologically enhanced bulkheads and revetments. If green infrastructure is well-integrated into a larger upland-to-wetland landscape, it can provide important habitat for plants and animals. By giving coastal managers a new tool to assess the economic value of the ecosystem services associated with living shorelines, this new methodology should facilitate the wider inclusion of green infrastructure in climate adaptation planning and coastal protection, to the benefit of coastal communities and the environment.

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