In the News
Follow the Coastal Resilience team through recent media coverage
Coral reefs identified as national natural infrastructure
October 31, 2023
UC Santa Cruz
The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) approved a resolution on Oct. 26 that designates coral reefs along U.S. states and territories as national infrastructure. This resolution makes it easier to direct federal funding, particularly infrastructure, hazard mitigation, and disaster recovery monies, to reef conservation and restoration to protect people, property, and livelihoods.
Building Coastal Resilience with Nature
July 16, 2023
AXA MasterScience Research Fund
Coasts play a central role in our societies and yet, because of climate change, coasts are now at greater risk or erosion and flooding. In this masterclass, Prof. Mike Beck explores the superpower of nature, especially reefs and wetlands, to help coastal communities adapt to climate change.
Climate insurance being proposed to help underserved communities like Pajaro
March 16, 2023
KSBW 8 Action News
California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara says it's time to start talking about "climate insurance", a proposal that would provide everyone coverage in underserved areas like Pajaro.
Forum highlights role of insurance in climate disasters
March 16, 2023
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Experts in the field of climate change, public policy and the insurance industry gathered at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center on Thursday to discuss ways to reduce the risks associated with climate caused natural disasters using insurance and nature-based solutions such as preserving and bolstering wetlands to prevent flooding.
Michael Beck to lead new Center for Coastal Climate Resilience
November 14, 2022
UC Santa Cruz
The center is part of the university’s renewed research focus on climate change, resilience, and coastal sustainability. “I am honored and excited about the opportunity to lead the Center for the University,” said Beck. “The Center will focus our campus efforts on addressing the challenges we face from climate change and in identifying solutions that can benefit people and nature in coastal communities.”
Building Coastal Resilience, Naturally
October 19, 2022
Kraw Lecture Series on Science and Technology
Climate-related coastal disasters increasingly strain state and national budgets and most of these funds support artificial infrastructure that further degrades nature. Professor Mike Beck shows that coastal habitats can be cost effective for building climate resilience. He outlines how with a little disaster jiu-jitsu we can turn a grave threat to nature into an opportunity to save it.
UCSC partners in NSF research hub to use nature to protect coastal communities
September 7, 2022
UC Santa Cruz
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded UCSC and an interdisciplinary team of researchers a $20 million grant to assess climate risks and identify where coral reefs and mangroves can best protect underserved coastal communities. The project is part of the NSF’s Coastlines and People program. Professor Beck will serve as co-director of the new Climate Risks and Equitable Nature-based Solutions Hub with Professor Maya Trotz, the lead PI from the University of South Florida.
OPC Prop 68: Nature-based Adaptation Solutions
August 24, 2022
Ocean Protection Council
This Prop 68 project uses complex computational models for the SF Bay to evaluate current and future flood risk. By modeling increases in sea-levels and storms, the team can assess the consequences of increased flooding to people and property, but also assess how ‘restored’ wetland habitats adjacent to development in low-lying areas can reduce flooding risk. Similar models are used to assess how management choices and other adaptation solutions can mitigate other climate impacts, such as wildfires, drought, and extreme heat.
Mangroves and Coral Reefs Yield Positive Return on Investment for Flood Protection, Study Finds
June 24, 2022
World Economic Forum
Using a benefit-risk analysis, researchers have found that mangroves and coral reefs can be cost-effective in reducing coastal flooding, a press release from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), said. Using risk and insurance industry techniques, the researchers were able to show that the gains from reduced damage from floods outweighed the costs of restoring the corals and mangroves, leading to a favorable return on investment.
Reefense project aims to meld biology and engineering in novel structures for coastal protection
June 22, 2022
UC Santa Cruz
UCSC scientists are part of a DARPA-funded team to develop innovative solutions for coral reef restoration in Florida and the Caribbean to protect coastal infrastructure
Flood Risk & Benefits: Nature-Based Solutions
May 18, 2022
InsuResilience Global Partnership
There is growing recognition of the role of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction, but despite mounting evidence of their technical efficacy, NbS face sizeable challenges and barriers to adoption, one of those being lack of clarity on how to quantify NbS benefits, leading to a failure to account for the true value of the generated benefits. This workshop organized by the InsuResilience Global Partnership contributes to a better understanding of the quantification of NbS in order to estimate the benefits of Nature-based Solutions and price them accordingly.
Restoring and Enhancing Reef Communities
February 4, 2022
Healthy Oceans Forum
In this session of the Asian Development Bank Healthy Oceans Forum, Dr. Michael Beck sets the scene by providing an overview of the latest science, trends, and technologies for building coastal resilience to reduce risk to people, property and nature. He highlights the need to integrate nature-based solutions for coastal resilience, and the need for “green” rather than “grey” solutions.
How insurance is protecting a coral reef from climate impacts in Mexico
November 5, 2021
NPR Here & Now
Climate change is forcing the insurance industry to adapt and come up with new products. One experiment is testing out a policy to insure nature against extreme storms, specifically a coral reef in Mexico. Here & Now's Scott Tong learns more about the reef with Dr. Michael Beck.
Hawaii’s ‘million-dollar reefs’ need more funding to protect us, study finds
April 19, 2021
Honolulu Star Advertiser
A new study shows U.S. coral reefs provide $1.8 billion in flood-risk benefits to property owners and people’s livelihoods every year, with top value assigned to the reef stretching offshore of Diamond Head, Waikiki and Kakaako.
Coral reefs prevent >$5.3 billion in potential U.S. flood damage
April 15, 2021
UC Santa Cruz
Coral reefs provide many services to coastal communities, including critical protection from flood damage. A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the U.S. Geological Survey reveals how valuable coral reefs are in protecting people, structures, and economic activity in the United States from coastal flooding during storms.