The Effectiveness of Coral Reefs for Coastal Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)
Michael W. Beck,The Nature Conservancy, Santa Cruz, CA
We analyze globally the role of coral reefs in risk reduction and show that they provide an effective first line of defense by reducing wave energy by 97%. There are > 100 million who may receive risk reduction benefits from reefs. Coral reefs can provide comparable wave attenuation benefits to artificial defenses such as breakwaters, and reef defenses can be enhanced cost effectively. There is opportunity to guide adaptation and hazard mitigation investments towards reef restoration.