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Lessons From Sandy: Even New Green Infrastructure Was Destroyed

Restoring or creating wetlands that last is no small feat.
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Reuters

When we talk about ways to protect cities and other coastal communities from storm surges, the idea of restoring or creating wetlands is coming up more and more often these days. Bolstering this kind of "green infrastructure" was one of the topline recommendations in the draft report of the NYS 2100 commission, created by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to chart a future path for storm preparedness in the state.

Wetlands can create an important buffering zone, although there is plenty of debate on just how much. Engineers have long relied on studies that show 2.7 miles of wetlands reduce storm surge by one foot, but that rate can vary by a factor of three. One thing Sandy made clear: building soft, green infrastructure that can withstand a historic surge is a challenge in its own right.