Green Infrastructure Improves Stormwater Management in Guam

The Takeaway: Green roofs, cisterns, and rain gardens: Guam’s Coastal Management Program is taking a comprehensive approach to flooding and stormwater management.

Coastal cities have a particular problem in common: flooding and stormwater management. The Guam Coastal Management Program is working to address these issues using a variety of green infrastructure approaches, including a green roof with native plants, demonstration rain gardens, and a cistern to catch rainwater for agricultural use.

Green infrastructure could be a cost-effective way to address mounting problems with stormwater flooding and sea level rise on the island. The island’s southern villages regularly experience severe flooding that damages homes and key infrastructure. Flooding in more developed northern Guam threatens the island’s tourism industry, which is the backbone of Guam’s economy. Implementing a variety of green infrastructure projects could help mitigate these impacts as well as benefit nearby coral reefs, which provide valuable protection from storms.

Lessons learned from a Duluth, Minnesota, project informed the green roof effort, while funding from the NOAA Office for Coastal Management to the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability helped make this project happen. (2019)

Partners: Guam Coastal Management Program, University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability, NOAA Office for Coastal Management