skip to main content

Monday, May 29, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

play newscast audioPlay

Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

play newscast audioPlay

The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Report: Nature Could Be Key to Protection from Natural Disasters

play audio
Play

Monday, June 8, 2020   

SEATTLE -- A new report outlines how the best protections from natural disasters could come from nature itself.

The report, "The Protective Value of Nature" from The National Wildlife Federation and Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, evaluates natural systems such as wetlands and forests, and their ability to reduce damage from disasters like floods, wildfires and hurricanes.

"Natural infrastructure can actually provide significant protection to communities from natural hazards and it's often just as -- if not more -- effective than traditional structural infrastructure in reducing risk," says Jessie Ritter, director of water resources and coastal policy for The National Wildlife Federation

Ritter says natural infrastructure is more cost effective than built infrastructure, which often requires ongoing maintenance. She also notes that nature systems can improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitats.

Ritter cites an effort in Washington that helped the Puyallup River flow more naturally in order to reduce flood risk.

"There's one example in Washington state where we saw a project that reconnected side channels to a river and moved 1.5 miles of levees further away from that river dramatically reduced the flood risk to the nearby city of Orting, Washington," she relates.

The report also details alternatives to suppression for managing wildfires. That includes fuel reduction work, prescribed burns and helping communities live with fire.

Ritter says more needs to be done to protect natural defenses. She also hopes this approach is mainstreamed and believes more projects on the ground will bolster the case for them.

"The more data we can generate and collect, the better we're going to become at strategically designing these projects to maximize both the risk reduction benefits and all of the other benefits they can provide to communities," she states.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
A new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court means ephemeral streams, such as this one in the mountains east of San Diego, are no longer protected by the Waters of the United States rule. (Chris Hunkeler/Flickr)

Environment

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court has gutted federal protections for much of the country's wetlands. The court found that the Waters of the United States rule…


Environment

play sound

Environmental advocates say the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a major blow to the Clean Water Act and to Maine's ability to protect some of its most …

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota legislators adopted a lot of major policies in this year's session, including actions to support workers in many different fields. State …


Researchers found cities with the highest ParkScore rankings are healthier places to live based on the metrics of physical inactivity and mental health. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land has published its annual ParkScore rankings, and some area cities are high on the list. Washington, D.C.…

Health and Wellness

play sound

As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll, a Virginia group is working to keep people safe. The Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition in Roanoke …

The Education Data Initiative reports fewer than half of borrowers, 43.8 million, have federal student loan debt. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report outlined the importance of student debt relief to workers in New York and across the country. An American Federation of Teachers …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Extreme heat kills about 700 people in the United States each year, but a new toolkit and weather alerts can protect folks in Texas and beyond…

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new report cites a pressing need for better health-care support and better internet access for older adults in Alabama. The United Health …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021