This is a video abstract about a report by the UCSC Coastal Resilience Lab along with The Nature Conservancy and the global insurance firm AXA on Caribbean risk: Opportunities for cost effective Mangrove Restoration and Insurance.
Assessing the Value of Natural and Nature-Based Features in Coastal Storm and Flood Risk Reduction
September 29th, 2020
Engineering With Nature Podcast
By US Army Corps of Engineers
An ecologist by training, Dr. Michael W. Beck had been working on more traditional ecological solutions related to marine protected areas until Hurricane Katrina, when he saw that there was a real need for understanding how natural habitats provide coastal resilience. Now his work focuses on figuring out how investing in nature and nature-based solutions can reduce coastal risk and save lives and money.
How Our Reefs Protect Us: Valuing the Benefits of U.S. Reefs
July 20th, 2020
US Geological Survey
By Jessica Kendall-Bar & Michael W. Beck
This video illustrates how scientists quantify coastal flood protections afforded by coral reefs, a main focus of an ongoing, collaborative effort between scientists at USGS and the Coastal Resilience Lab at UCSC. To learn more about this collaboration, please visit:
Can mangrove conservation pay for itself in flood protection?
April 3rd, 2020
Carbon Removal Newsroom
Today we dig into how mangroves work against flooding, their carbon sequestration potential, how to quantify their financial benefit, and how that helps make them legible to financial systems. With Dr. Michael W. Beck, professor at University of California Santa Cruz.
Protecting mangroves can prevent billions of dollars in global flooding damage every year
March 10th, 2020
By Michael W. Beck & Pelayo Menendez
Hurricanes and tropical storms are estimated to cost the U.S. economy more than US$50 billion yearly in damage from winds and flooding. And as these storms travel across the Atlantic, they also ravage many Caribbean nations...
Researchers put a dollar value on the protection coral reefs provide Hawaii shorelines ... and it’s big
May 4th, 2019
Hawaii News Now
By Ben Gutierrez
Having a nice beach with peaceful waves lapping at the shoreline is often taken for granted in Hawaii. But the reefs also protect the shoreline from larger waves and damage. “If you were standing in Waikiki and you just have little bitty waves lapping up at your feet, but then you look offshore and you can see ten-foot waves or more breaking offshore, well, that’s the reef at work for you,” said Michael Beck...
Rebuilt Wetlands Can Protect Shorelines Better Than Walls
April 1st, 2019
By Rowan Jacobsen
On August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene crashed into North Carolina, eviscerating the Outer Banks. The storm dumped rain shin-high and hurled three-meter storm surges against the barrier island shores that faced the mainland, destroying roads and 1,100 homes...
We worked with Cal Academy on their planetarium video on the value of coral reefs, which featured a high res visualization of our storm wave models in Mexico. Half a billion people rely on coral reefs for food and income. But reefs provide more than food. They also provide protection.
Coral reefs save billions of dollars worldwide by preventing floods
June 12th, 2018
By Doyle Rice
Coral reefs aren't just pretty to look at: They also act as a natural flood protection barrier from powerful ocean storms. But with reefs in danger around the world, much of this valuable flood protection could be lost. A study released Tuesday pinpoints the value of coral reefs, finding coastal flood-related damages around the world would be twice what they are now if not for this natural flood barrier...
Generating savings from our most cost-effective coastal defenses
April 11th, 2018
By Michael W. Beck & Robert Bendick
Last year was the costliest year ever for natural disasters in the United States, with more than $300 billion in damages from hurricanes, severe storms, and wildfires. The impact of these disasters goes well beyond a dollar figure. Americans have lost homes, businesses — and in some instances, loved ones...
The Staggering Scope of the Plastic Threat to Coral Reefs
January 25th, 2018
By Jessica Leigh Hester
Dancing in an ocean current, a single scrap of plastic doesn’t appear especially insidious. Toothless, tailless, twirling, it might look, at first, more evanescent than threatening. But snared on corals or heaped in piles, plastic waste poses deadly risks to vast underwater ecosystems...
As communities rebuild after hurricanes, study shows wetlands can significantly reduce property damage
September 25th, 2017
By Siddharth Narayan & Michael W. Beck
A 12-year “hurricane drought” during which no major hurricanes made landfall in the continental United States ended dramatically in 2017. The devastating impacts of Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria across the United States and the Caribbean provide tragic reminders of the catastrophic risks we face on our coasts...
Mighty Mangroves of the Philippines: Valuing Wetland Benefits for Risk Reduction and Conservation
September 5th, 2017
World Bank Blog
By Michael W. Beck & Glenn-Marie Lange
Mangroves are weeds; if you give them half a chance they grow in some of the most inhospitable environments; with their knees in seawater and their trunks in the air. They create forested barriers between the wrath of the seas and our coastal communities providing benefits in coastal defense and fisheries...