Current practice provides a number of examples of resilience strategies that use traditional policy, construction, and "grey" or engineered solutions. The Climate Resilience Tool prioritizes nature-based solutions to raise awareness and understanding of this less-known approach to building resilience. Nature-based solutions generally have lower whole-life costs, provide benefits to people, plants, and wildlife, and are adaptable over time when compared to conventional alternatives.
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Click on a case study below to link to external sites and more detailed project information.
Calabazas Creek Flood Protection
Project to provide flood protection to 2,483 parcels in the Calabazas Creek watershed. A long detention basin next to the creek was built to capture high storm flows, preventing the creek from overtopping its banks in a 1% flood.
Valley Water repaired 14 severely eroding banks, using as little “hardscape” as possible. The project incorporated environmental stewardship principles to reduce erosion, with vegetation to enhance habitat for wildlife. Valley Water reduced the cost of the project by collaborating with the City of San José, which rebuilt a bicycle motocross (BMX) park at Calabazas Park.
Napa River Flood Protection
The Napa River had a history of catastrophic flooding events, impacting downtown Napa, tourism, and agricultural assets. After a long history of utilizing engineered solutions, a multi-faceted collaboration with stakeholders, the Army Corps of Engineers, businesses, and others worked together to develop an approach to let the river run free - a "Living River" concept that was then and is still groundbreaking. The Napa Flood Protection project is an early and lasting example of using natural systems to manage flooding while protecting important assets in an affordable, durable, and effective way.
Port Lands Flood Protection Project
Toronto’s Port Lands district is an ambitious flood protection project that has evolved into a large urban redevelopment program. The project is about 2 miles outside of Toronto's financial district and has been a industrial no-man zone near Lake Ontario. The project encompasses 600 acres with 64 acres of park , 75 acres of habitat, riverfront pathway and plans for 20,000 residential housing units.
Coyote Valley Preservation
In November 2019, 937 acres in Coyote Valley were permanently protected through an innovative public and private partnership among Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (OSA) and the City of San José. The $93.46 million acquisition deal was funded in part by Measure T, a $650 million infrastructure bond approved by San José voters in November 2018