Sand dunes, sea grasses and coral reefs protect US shorelines from sea level rise and extreme weather and must be protected, says a new Stanford University study, reports Wendy Koch at USA Today. As climate change brings higher sea levels, sand dunes and coral reefs help protect 67% of US coastlines, says the published study. 16% of US coastlines are at “high-hazard” risk, and the number of threatened residents could double if natural habitats — sand dunes, coral reefs, sea grasses, mangroves — aren’t protected. Doing so could be cheaper and more effective than engineered alternatives. 23 of the 25 most densely populated US counties are coastal. “If we lose these defenses, we will either have to have massive investments in engineered defenses or risk greater damage to millions of people and billions in property,” said lead scientist Katie Arkema. Besides reducing the need for costlier solutions, such habitats offer other benefits such as recreation, fish nurseries, water filtration and erosion control, a co-author noted. “It costs a ton of money to build a sea wall, and a sea wall does one thing only. Habitats do many.”
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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