A new report from the White House offers federal recommendations for supporting nature-based solutions to fight climate change, citing USGS coral reef research in Florida and Puerto Rico.
USGS Coral Reef Science Featured in White House Report
The report, “Opportunities to Accelerate Nature-Based Solutions: A Roadmap for Climate Progress, Thriving Nature, Equity, & Prosperity”, was delivered to the National Climate Task Force at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties (COP27) in November 2022.
Deep knowledge, science, and experience have yielded a wide variety of nature-based solutions, the report notes. These solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, or restore natural or modified ecosystems to address societal challenges. Largely untapped but nonetheless powerful, nature-based solutions are critical tools in the fight against climate change, nature loss, and inequity.
Citing USGS coral reef research on nature-based solutions, the report states that coral reef restoration in Florida and Puerto Rico has the potential to provide $272.9 million annually in direct and indirect flood damage savings—dollars that will compound in value over time.
A number of USGS researchers in the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resource Program provided scientific review of the White House report, at the request of the USGS Director's office.
“It is an honor that the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy has acknowledged our work on the role that nature-based solutions, such as coral reef restoration, can play in reducing the risk to, and thus increasing the resiliency of, coastal communities,” said Curt Storlazzi, USGS Research Geologist and lead author of the coral reef studies cited in the report. “Importantly, the report acknowledges that those benefits are not only cost-effective and will increase in time, but also disproportionately help vulnerable, generally underserved, native communities in coastal areas.”