Jacob B Reibel Photo
Research & Policy

Preserving Natural Flood Defenses: Land Trusts' Role in Addressing Climate-Induced Flooding (2020)

Image Credit: Jacob B. Reibel

Flooding is the most common type of natural disaster in the United States, and among the most damaging to human lives and property.

As the climate changes, it’s not just coastal areas at risk of serious flood impacts. Freshwater flooding, which includes precipitation-driven and river flooding in inland areas, is expected to increase in regions facing wetter and warmer conditions in the future. Land protection preserves the natural buffering capacity of key landscapes, directs development away from flood-prone areas, and helps to avert future damage.

As a new report by the Open Space Institute shows, although flood hazard mitigation has not been a significant focus of land trust work to date, many land trusts possess relevant skills — from transactional expertise, to experience with ecological restoration, planning, and land management, and capacity for long-term stewardship — that could make them valued partners in advancing land-based approaches to flood hazard mitigation.

Click here to view an introductory summary of the report, or click below to access the full report. Read an article about how an OSI Watershed Catalyst grant is helping one New Jersey community get ahead of climate-caused flooding here.

'The Role of Land Protection in Mitigating Freshwater Flooding Hazards' Report

The report describes the role of land protection for flood mitigation, summarizes five strategies where land protection could play critical role in flood mitigation, and then identifies opportunities and barriers to land trust engagement.

Read the Report

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