Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are essential to creating flood resilient communities in Texas. Traditional gray infrastructure techniques such as dams, levees, and channels, capture water and push it downstream. On the other hand, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are effective flood mitigation tools that capture water at the source, and allow the water to infiltrate into the ground. This reduces runoff and strain on traditional flood infrastructure during flooding events.

Examples of green and nature-based flood mitigation solutions include: open space preservation, bank stabilization and natural erosion control, wetland restoration, permeable pavement, and bioswales, and others. Importantly, when not serving flooding mitigation purposes, green and nature-based solutions provide multiple-benefits to communities (such as park space, improved air and water quality, and habitat for wildlife). While we recognize that traditional flood infrastructure projects are necessary, we believe that it is essential to take a hybrid approach to flood mitigation, which integrates the green and the gray to protect communities and provide year-round benefits.

Read more from Danielle Goshen, Water Policy and Outreach Specialist for the Galveston Bay Foundation from the Texas Living Waters Project here.