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Rebuilding Smarter After Hurricane Sandy

Not surprisingly, the top three hazards identified by Bridgeport include coastal and inland flooding, storm surge from tropical storms and hurricanes, and rising seas and groundwater levels. The unprecedented 11-foot storm surge recorded in parts of Bridgeport during Sandy punctuated these findings.

Clearly we have more work to do. Bridgeport is working towards enrollment in FEMA’s Community Rating System, which provides incentives for communities that take steps to increase resilience, by offering reductions to private property owners on flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Across the nationís coast, and most recently in the wake of Sandy, communities face a difficult situation that needs to be addressed: how do we balance safety and cost efficiency with respect for individual choices, property rights, and natural systems that offer protection?

Living through Storm Sandy has reinvigorated my work to help communities find the answers to these questions. One thing is clear: there are tools, strategies and solutions available to support the economic and ecological health of our coastal communities. We now have an opportunity to build back smarter, taking advantage of nature’s protective buffers where we can, and using lessons from Irene and Sandy to plan wisely for a more resilient future.

Adam Whelchel is Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. This post is adapted from a recent blog on Cool Green Science. Opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.

Read more: Community, Conservation, Environment, Global Healing, Green, Health & Safety, Home, Inspiration, Life, Make a Difference, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Self-Help, Spirit

By Adam Whelchel, Ph.D., The Nature Conservancy

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34 comments

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8:39AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:29AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Noted this interesting read. This was such a terrible tragedy, and hoping when rebuilding is taking place, people will take into consideration that if they are really close to the sea, down the line they might have to face storms again, I don't think they will be another as wicked, considering that fact that Sandy happened on a night with the full moon, which of course affects the tides. Also I heard a gentleman on TV speaking about Statin Island where he is rebuilding with his own money so far, and how the storm sewers have never been upgraded.

1:44PM PST on Jan 12, 2013

noted

9:07AM PST on Jan 12, 2013

ty

7:06AM PST on Jan 12, 2013

So sad...

10:54PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

So very sad.. Signed and noted..

5:28PM PST on Jan 8, 2013

Sadly these super storms,hurricanes,droughts,and tornadoes will be increasing in numbers in the near future. Not really sure how one can prepare and build better structures that will withstand these forces of nature.

1:57AM PST on Jan 8, 2013

Noted.

8:59PM PST on Jan 7, 2013

So sad

7:44PM PST on Jan 7, 2013

It would be good to go with solar and wind and replace fossil fuel-based infrastructure.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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