IN THE NEWS

Follow the Coastal Resilience team through recent news coverage.

Reducing Caribbean Risk with Mangroves

October 21st, 2020

Coastal Resilience Lab

By Sarah and Michael Beck

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.

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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.

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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: https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/how-our-reefs-protect-us-valuing-benefits-us-reefs

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Understanding the Protective Value of Nature

July 15th, 2020

National Wildlife Federation

By Borja Reguero, Mike Beck & Curt Storlazzi

A Discussion of the Science Behind the Effectiveness of Natural Infrastructure for Hazard Risk Reduction. Zoom webinar hosted by the National Wildlife Federation.

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Can mangrove conservation pay for itself in flood protection?

April 3rd, 2020

Carbon Removal Newsroom

By Nori

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.


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Protecting mangroves can prevent billions of dollars in global flooding damage every year

March 10th, 2020

The Conversation

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...

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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...

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Hawaii’s reefs provide more than $835M in flood protection, study shows

May 4th, 2019

Star Advertiser

By Nina Wu

A new study places a dollar value on Hawaii’s reefs — not for their natural beauty or as a tourist attraction, but for their function in providing flood protection...

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Rebuilt Wetlands Can Protect Shorelines Better Than Walls

April 1st, 2019

Scientific American

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...

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How Do Humans Depend on Coral Reefs?

December 28th, 2018

Cal Academy of Sciences

By Cal Academy of Sciences

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.

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At the Water's Edge

November 6th, 2018

The Nature Conservancy

By The Nature Conservancy

"Grenada is on the front line of climate change. Storms, flooding, sea level rise, and changing temperatures threaten lives and property."

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Coral Reefs Prevent $4.3 Billion in Flood Damage Annually

June 20th, 2018

Pew Trusts

By the PEW Charitable Trusts

"We're in an era when we're losing coastal habitats and the risks to both those habitats and to people are increasing greatly."

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Coral Reefs Keep Costly Waves at Bay

June 15th, 2018

Scientific American

By Christopher Intagliata

A new analysis found the flood protection benefits of coral reefs save the global economy $4 billion dollars a year. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Coral reefs save billions of dollars worldwide by preventing floods

June 12th, 2018

USA Today

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...

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Reducing Coastal Risk with Natural Defenses Webinar

May 22nd, 2018

Open Channels

By Michael W. Beck

This talk will summarize high-level findings from the latest research on the ecology, engineering, and economics of natural infrastructure.

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Generating savings from our most cost-effective coastal defenses

April 11th, 2018

The Hill

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...

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The Staggering Scope of the Plastic Threat to Coral Reefs

January 25th, 2018

Atlas Obscura

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...

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As communities rebuild after hurricanes, study shows wetlands can significantly reduce property damage

September 25th, 2017

The Conversation

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...

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Wetlands Could Save Cities--and Money, Too

September 6, 2017

Scientific American

By Christopher Intagliata

Using insurance industry models, researchers determined that wetlands prevented some $625 million in damages due to Hurricane Sandy. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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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...

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