New Report from White House to Advance Green Infrastructure


The U.S. White House recently released a new research agenda to further advance the science behind valuing the benefits of coastal ecosystems in a report titled, “Ecosystem-service Assessment: Research Needs for Coastal Green Infrastructure.” The report details the research necessary to advance efforts to value the role that nature plays in reducing flood and storm risk and the associate co-benefits produced. The report cites the primary benefit that nature plays in reducing flood risk. The report also acknowledges that there are many resulting co-benefits which are important to value. The challenge is to consistently measure, document and assess credit to these primary and co-benefits in a way that will elevate consideration of “natural infrastructure.”

Sarah Murdock, Director, US Climate Adaptation Policy, explains how The Nature Conservancy played a significant role in advancing consideration of natural infrastructure as a risk reduction strategy as evidenced by the citation of our work throughout this report. “In just a short while, we’ve moved the conversation from “Does nature reduce flood and storm risk?” to “How much does nature reduce flood and storm risk?”, she explained. “This report is a concrete demonstration of just how far we have come in promoting natural infrastructure and its role in reducing flood and storm impacts.”

The goal of the report is to advance methods used by federal agencies to consistently assess costs and benefits when evaluating projects that incorporate use of coastal natural infrastructure. “The Nature Conservancy is keenly interested and committed to this work”, explained Ms. Murdock. “We will continue to engage with the federal committees who drafted this report to advance progress toward achieving this goal”.

Read more information on The Nature Conservancy’s approach to Natural Infrastructure: Coral reefs work as nature’s sea walls – it pays to look after them and Mangroves for Coastal Defense.