Horizontal Levee Adaptation: Green Infrastructure for Rising Sea Levels (Video)

Horizontal Levee Adaptation: Green Infrastructure for Rising Sea Levels (Video)

To many, the term infrastructure conjures roads, pipes and walls—pretty much the antithesis of nature. But some scientists and engineers want to reverse that impression by harnessing nature as infrastructure. The idea that plants and soil can prevent flooding and purify water is gaining traction in an era of rising seas and severe storms.

The climate crisis is only making matters worse. Growing storm surges batter coastlines, while pounding rains drench the heartland. These events call into question the reliability of traditional levees, a form of “hard infrastructure.”

One solution? Go green. Green infrastructure, that is. This idea is being put to the test at the Oro Loma wastewater treatment plant along the San Francisco Bay, about a 30-minute drive south of Oakland. There, rising from the sea is a gently-sloped wetland, not a wall. The 2-acre marsh—or horizontal levee--is engineered to absorb the water and impact of intense storm surges.

Source: Marketplace APM