The value of marsh restoration for flood risk reduction in an urban estuary

Nature Climate Change
By: , and 



The use of nature-based solutions (NBS) for coastal climate adaptation has broad and growing interest, but NBS are rarely assessed with the same rigor as traditional engineering solutions or with respect to future climate change scenarios. These gaps pose challenges for the use of NBS for climate adaptation. Here, we value the flood protection benefits of stakeholder-identified marsh restoration under current and future climate change within San Francisco Bay, a densely urbanized estuary, and specifically on the shores of San Mateo County, the county most vulnerable to future flooding in California. Marsh restoration provides a present value of $21 million which increases to over $100 million with 0.5 m of sea level rise (SLR), and to about $500 million with 1 m of SLR. There are hotspots within the county where marsh restoration delivers very high benefits for adaptation, which reach $9 million/hectare with likely future sea level and storm conditions. Today’s investments in nature and community resilience can result in increasing payoffs as climate change progresses and risk increases.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The value of marsh restoration for flood risk reduction in an urban estuary
Series title Nature Climate Change
DOI 10.1038/s41598-024-57474-4
Volume 14
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Nature
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 6856, 10 p.
Country United States
State California
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