Natural Infrastructure Workshop for Hampton Roads

Last week, it was announced that the Hampton Roads area would be receiving more than $120.5 million as part of the National Disaster Resilience Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to help prepare for the effects of climate change, sea level rise, flooding and storms.

Beginning February 9, Environmental Defense Fund and partners will hold a two-day workshop for Hampton Roads planning and design firms and local officials on how combining natural infrastructure solutions (wetlands, oyster reefs, barrier beaches, dunes and maritime forests) with traditional “gray” infrastructure (levees and floodwalls) improves resiliency by reducing the impacts of coastal flooding while also enhancing water quality, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.

More than 120 professionals from diverse backgrounds will gather to learn about how natural infrastructure can help their communities address the emerging risks caused by sea level rise and recurrent flooding.

This workshop is just the first step in a long process needed to help build resilient communities that are economically and environmentally sustainable. Lessons learned in Hampton Roads can be applied to other coastal cities around the country facing similar threats from sea level rise and coastal flooding.

The training will cover diverse topics related to natural infrastructure, including engineering, design, and implementation of natural coastal infrastructure; integrating natural infrastructure with traditional resilience and storm hazard reduction strategies; building local political support and capacity for innovative solutions; and financing and investment opportunities.

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