NBS Guidance

White Paper: Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Highway Resilience

About This Guide

Webb, Bret; Douglass, Scott; Dix, Brenda; Asam, Susan. (2018). White Paper: Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Highway Resilience [White paper]. United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

This white paper serves as input to an upcoming round of regional peer exchanges on nature‐based solutions, and constitutes an incremental step toward developing an implementation guide for using nature‐based solutions to improve the resilience of coastal highways to extreme events and sea level rise. Nature‐based solutions include a spectrum of natural and nature‐based features that serve as alternatives to, or ecological enhancements of, traditional shoreline stabilization and infrastructure protection techniques. In this case, the ability of nature‐based solutions to mitigate storm surge flooding, wave‐related damage, erosion, shoreline retreat, and the potential impacts of sea level rise is of interest. While nature‐based solutions have been used extensively across a diverse array of coastal settings, they are not commonly deployed within the transportation sector. In some cases, understanding of the engineering tools and methods for designing nature‐based solutions to achieve a specific outcome is lacking. This white paper addresses these issues by providing examples of nature‐based solutions and highlighting the best available science that describes their performance as solutions for coastal highways’ resilience. The implementation guide will be informed by the peer exchanges and will address the issues outlined here for the use of nature‐based solutions.