Natural Infrastructure

Natural infrastructure, also referred to as green infrastructure, uses existing natural areas (and engineered solutions that mimic natural processes) to minimize flooding, erosion, and runoff. Additional benefits can include increased recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat, as well as cleaner water.

Below are key Digital Coast resources useful for communities considering nature-based solutions to enhance their flooding resilience.

A path through the sand and between dunes to the beach.

Understand the Basics

Communicate the Issue

  • Training – Video

    Green Infrastructure Protective Services

    Watch a short animation describing the protective benefits of green infrastructure. This is a useful outreach tool.
  • Training – Quick Reference

    Green Infrastructure Benefits

    Use this handout to provide local officials with information on the protective benefits of green infrastructure.
  • Tool

    Coastal County Snapshots–Wetlands Benefits

    Access handouts showing data from your coastal county on the benefits coastal wetlands provide. Use these handouts to communicate to local officials to gain support for wetland conservation efforts.

Analyze the Landscape

  • Tool

    Land Cover Atlas

    Use land cover data to identify existing green infrastructure and see how it has changed over time. Data are also available for download.
  • Tool

    Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper

    Map people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. Use the information to start community conversations about risk reduction strategies.
  • Tool

    Sea Level Rise Viewer

    Use the “marsh migration” tab to see how wetlands in your area are impacted by sea level rise. Watch the tutorial to see how to get the most out of this powerful information resource.
  • Tool

    Lake Level Viewer (U.S. Great Lakes)

    View lake level changes in the Great Lakes to see potential shoreline and coastal impacts to help make land use decisions.
  • Training – Online Guide

    How to Map Open Space for Community Rating System Credit

    Calculate open space credits for existing and future preserved lands that could result in considerable flood insurance discounts from FEMA.

Prioritize Options

Explore Economic Approaches