Using Green Infrastructure to Reduce Coastal Hazard Impacts in Alaska
Alaskan communities face many challenges due to the changing climate, including severe storms, decreased pack ice, and coastal erosion. These communities are recognizing the need to enhance their resilience and build awareness of how green infrastructure can reduce impacts.
Trainers from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management partnered with Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Alaska Sea Grant to deliver several Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience training sessions and visit local sites in the area. Participants from non-profits, academia and local municipalities throughout Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage shared ideas for solutions specific to Alaska’s landscapes—including absorbing floodwaters in urban areas and using natural shoreline stabilization techniques to reduce erosion.
Following the training, the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is using some of the materials from the training in their request for proposals for Alaska Clean Water Actions. Additionally, the City of Homer is undergoing a code review to allow green infrastructure in new development and other projects. Throughout the training locations, participants are now discussing green infrastructure—a concept rarely discussed until recently—as a technique to help reduce coastal hazard impacts, and are developing new partnerships to bring communities together. (2019)