"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is known for damming rivers and building levees to keep waterways at bay. But a new initiative seeks natural flood control solutions as climate change brings increasingly frequent and severe weather events that test the limits of concrete and steel.
It only makes sense to use Mother Nature’s flood defenses as one of the tools to combat destruction from intense rains in the middle of the country and storms and sea level rise on the coasts, says Todd Bridges, who heads the Corps Engineering with Nature initiative.
Pieces are in place to make the change. In the 2020 Water Resources Development Act, Congress directed the Corps to consider nature-based systems on equal footing with more traditional infrastructure. And the initiative was directly funded for the first time last year with $12.5 million.
But the Corps is often constrained by its own rules and the way costs and benefits of its projects are evaluated."