Published on:

4 January 2019

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Engineers, water managers, local government officials and community members around the world are exploring the use of natural and nature-based methods for flood management.

Also sometimes known as green or natural infrastructure, the number and type of technical guidelines for the use of these approaches is growing. WWF’s Natural and Nature-Based Flood Management: A Green Guide (the Flood Green Guide) from 2017 is one resource.

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A new publication, titled Guidelines on the Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features for Sustainable Coastal and Fluvial Systems, is now in development by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Drawing on perspectives from several international nonprofits, government agencies, engineering firms and university researchers — including the WWF Environment and Disaster Management team — the guidelines are planned for a release in 2020.

“It’s impossible for one person or organization to know what’s best for everyone in every situation,” said Anita van Breda, senior director of the EDM program. “Projects like the Army Corps’ build on previous research and learning, and pave the way for further evolution of these practices.

“We’re excited to be part of USACE’s development process,” van Breda said. “In a changing world where resources and conditions are so different from one place to another, natural and nature-based methods can be effective flood management tools. We hope the USACE guidelines serve both as a learning resource and an opportunity to hear from more people doing this work around the world.”

(Photo at top: South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay.

Photo insert: USACE staff and partners at the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.)