Nature provides a wealth of ecological services: forests store carbon and clean the air; rivers provide water for drinking and harbor animal species; and wetlands purify stormwater and serve as buffers against floods. Governments around the world are increasingly recognizing that this “green infrastructure” can be a cost-effective supplement or substitute for the “gray infrastructure”—pipes, dams, levees, treatment plants—traditionally used to control flooding, purify and store water, and reduce urban stormwater runoff.
At this First Wednesday Seminar, sponsored by RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth, panelists will explore what “green infrastructure” means and describe how to evaluate the costs and benefits of land-use options for reducing flood damages. They will also discuss the challenges of convincing stakeholders that natural systems can provide infrastructure services and complement public projects. RFF experts will describe a case study evaluating flood abatement options in a Wisconsin watershed, and provide some lessons learned from working to implement a payment for environmental services program in the Florida Everglades.