Harnessing Nature: The Ecosystem Approach to Climate Change Preparedness

“Harnessing Nature” describes how communities are using ecosystem-based tools to ameliorate severe weather risks that are likely to be worsened by climate change. After summarizing 2011’s climate-related devastation, the report presents case studies on ecosystem restoration and enhancement to reduce the risk of floods (Missouri River floodplain restoration and St. John’s River watershed restoration); heat waves and drought (New York’s PlaNYC and Chicago’s Green Infrastructure); wild fires (Sierra Nevadas’ Dinkey landscape restoration and longleaf pine restoration), and sea level rise (Maryland’s Living Shorelines and beach grass restoration in Texas). The report concludes with recommendations for broadening the use of ecosystem-based tools for adaptation to climate change.

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