As climate change elevates the threats posed by natural hazards, many states, localities, tribes, and territories are exploring nature-based solutions to help keep families, businesses and neighborhoods safe.
Nature-based solutions are sustainable planning, design, environmental management and engineering practices that weave natural features or processes into the built environment to promote adaptation and resilience. These solutions use natural features and processes to:
- Combat climate change
- Reduce flood risk
- Improve water quality
- Protect coastal property
- Restore and protect wetlands
- Stabilize shorelines
- Reduce urban heat
- Add recreational space
- And more
Nature-based solutions offer significant monetary and non-monetary benefits. They often come at a lower cost than traditional infrastructure.
These benefits include economic growth, green jobs, increased property values and better public health.
While FEMA uses the term "nature-based solutions," other organizations use related terms, such as green infrastructure, natural infrastructure, natural and nature-based features, or Engineering with Nature®, a program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
As a best practice, use the term that best resonates with your target audience.
Get Started with Nature-Based Solutions
Nature-based solutions can be applied at different scales. Browse practices in three categories:
- Watershed or landscape-scale
- Neighborhood or site-scale
- Coastal practices
FEMA has grant programs dedicated to restoring community infrastructure, increasing resilience and reducing risk from many hazards. In some cases, an approved mitigation plan is required to apply for and receive certain FEMA non-emergency assistance.
Building nature-based solutions requires governmental and non-governmental organizations to work together. Find resources to help:
- Collaborate with partners
- Update existing plans
- Understand regulations
Continuously updated, we've collected reports, blogs, webinars, external sources and other resources to help support the pursuit of nature-based solutions.