Reverse The Effects Of Hurricanes

2017 has been a hard year in terms of natural disasters. Hurricanes in particular have ravaged the U.S., Caribbean, and Central America, with forces rarely seen. It has many people asking what can be done to mitigate the damage these powerful storms cause, and one of the suggestions is actually to use nature itself.

Large open natural spaces such as meadows and wetlands lessen the effects of heavy rainfall by a significant amount, by being able to absorb and funnel all that extra water away from homes and into lakes, rivers, and sometimes even the ocean. Soil and sand absorb and hold water much better than concrete and asphalt, and so wetlands are more efficient than levees or pumps.

The city of Cape May, New Jersey, knows this well enough. Hurricane Sandy came through in 2012 and devastated a lot of homes and property on the eastern seaboard, but Cape May recovered very quickly, thanks to the nearby South Cape May Meadows Preserve. “Wetlands reduced the impact of Sandy by $425 million,” says Nate Woiwode, who works for The Nature Conservatory. “So, these aren’t just small solutions, there’s really big impact to be had when you made the investment in nature.”

Global warming may be the cause of the increase in intense weather recently, but it seems like that man-made phenomenon is not the only reason to invest in preserving nature. By treating the symptoms of global warming, we might also be working towards reversing it.