In the presence of extreme weather phenomenons such as rising sea levels, storm surges, floods caused by global warming, most of the American coastlines are “fragile”. People and property are placed at greater risk in coastal cities with higher dense population in lower-lying area. Extreme weather has affected America in many ways, including public health, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and so on. Natural habitats such as dunes and reefs play an critical role on protecting residents and property from coastal storms, according to a new study by scientists with the Natural Capital Project at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
“As a nation, we should be investing in nature to protect our coastal communities,” said Mary Ruckelshaus, managing director of the Natural Capital Project. “The number of people, poor families, elderly and total value of residential property that are most exposed to hazards can be reduced by half if existing coastal habitats remain fully intact.”
As a landscape architect, we should consider to deal with not only the impacts of sea level rise when planning coastal landscapes, but also restoration and conservation of natural habitats which can protect cities from extreme weather and provide other benefits such as recreation, water filtration and biological diversity.