Wetlands and Disaster Resilience: Leveraging Ecosystem Services for Community Preparedness

May 19, 2020 12:00 pm — 2:00 pm
Webinar Only

An ELI Public Seminar & Celebration of the 2020 National Wetland Awardees

This program commenceed with congratulatory remarks by ELI's President, Scott Fulton, honoring the recipients of the 2020 National Wetlands Awardees. To see who won, click here.

Throughout May, we are honoring these awardees and their accomplishments via a virtual celebratory campaign. Stay current on our virtual programming by using #WetlandsAwards2020 on your favorite social media platform.

Educational Event

In the face of the global climate crisis, wetlands protection is arguably more important now than ever before. The implications of climate change include rising seas and more frequent droughts, which in turn pose serious threats to both coastal and inland wetlands. These wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services including as habitat for countless species, as highly effective carbon sequestering systems (carbon sinks), and as a buffer to reduce the intensity of waves and storm surges as part of disaster preparedness plans. Wetlands conservation, therefore, is an important component of the fight to decelerate climate change.

Wetlands are being increasingly incorporated into local and state climate resiliency plans as a result. Additionally, a variety of stakeholders are taking notice of wetlands’ capacity to mitigate climate change-related disasters. This February (2020), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced a partnership with Wells Fargo to establish the Resilient Communities program, allocating $3 million per year to promote disaster preparedness in the United States by taking advantage of natural and nature-based features, including wetlands. A range of stakeholders are now making major investments to bolster the capacity of these natural buffers, and in turn, make the human communities they border more resilient.

How can wetland conservation and restoration mitigate some of the most deleterious impacts of climate change? What actions can local and state governments, NGOs, and corporations take to fortify wetlands as natural bastions for more resilient communities? Our panelists explored the relationship between healthy wetland ecosystems and disaster resilience.

Erik Meyers
, Vice President, Climate and Water Sustainability, The Conservation Fund, Moderator
Nicole Carlozo, Natural Resource Resiliency Planner, Maryland Department of Natural Resources​
John W. Day, Jr., PhD,
Emeritus Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University and 2020 National Wetlands Award Winner, Scientific Research
Stephanie Robinson
, Coastal Management Specialist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


ELI members will have access to materials/a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.