On 16 March 2023, Coastal scientists, insurance industry experts, and representatives of state and federal agencies came together at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center to address challenges and opportunities for building coastal resilience to climate change. Dr. Jeff King, national lead for USACE Engineering With Nature, offered a welcome and opening remarks, and Mr. Steve Hill, USACE Director of Contingency Operations and Chief, participated in a fire side chat.
The symposium focused on the role of insurance and nature-based solutions in reducing the risks of flooding and other natural disasters that are being exacerbated by climate change and rising sea levels. One of the goals of the symposium was to bring together key parties to build partnerships and collaborations between different sectors and help speed the integration of nature into risk management and insurance. The flooding from a levee breach in nearby Pajaro served as a somber reminder of the urgency of the issues they had gathered to discuss.
Jeff noted that collaborative efforts with University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) such as the development of the International Guidelines for Natural and Nature-based Features are essential for changing how engineers design and work with nature instead of trying to only harness it. UCSC just joined the Network for Engineering With Nature (N-EWN). “It’s great to have UCSC join the N-EWN,” said King, “the university has contributed a great deal to our understanding of nature-based solutions. Their engagement with other partner organizations will certainly advance opportunities for integrating more nature-based solutions into the landscape.”