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Experts outline framework to monitor projects that use nature-based features

Partners from Mid Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and the National Wildlife Federation (NFW) have released a report that presents findings from experts in the field of Natural and Nature-Based Features who convened to develop a regionally standardized and coordinated approach to monitoring the performance of these projects after implementation.
Experts outline framework to monitor projects that use nature-based features

Artificial oyster reefs are an example of a nature-based feature that helps to stabilize the shoreline. Credit: USFWS

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the potential benefit of using Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) to increase resilience of coastal habitats and communities seemed clear. By mimicking features that form naturally within coastal systems, like dunes and reefs, NNBF are designed to work with physical, biological, geological, and chemical processes along the coast, rather than against them.

However, due to a range of barriers related to project monitoring, permitting, and communication the path to implementing these kinds of projects was anything but clear.

To help advance coastal resilience in the face of increasing threats from sea-level rise and storms, partners from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) examined these challenges from the perspective of those in the field: practitioners, permitting agencies, and contractors in the five-state Mid-Atlantic region, from New York to Virginia.

The new report "Working Towards a Robust Monitoring Framework for Natural and Nature-Based Features in the Mid-Atlantic Using Citizen Science" presents the findings from the convening of a small group of experts in NNBF to begin the development of a regionally standardized and coordinated approach to post-implementation performance monitoring.

Supported with Hurricane Sandy funding coordinated by the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC), this work builds upon a previous report on "Improved Use and Understanding of NNBF in the Mid-Atlantic" completed in March of this year.

Together, these resources represent a step toward overcoming limitations inherent in most NNBF projects, namely the short timelines and low level of funding associated with post-implementation monitoring.

For more information about this collaborative effort from MARCO and NWF visit: http://midatlanticocean.org/benefits-to-using-and-barriers-to-implementing-natural-waterfront-defenses-for-climate-change/


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