A Blue View: A Natural Defense

Floods, storms, hurricanes and other extreme forms of weather can have dramatic impacts on communities, depleting natural resources, damaging important infrastructure, causing injury and costing money.

Published July 28, 2015

So, how do we protect vulnerable coastal communities against the effects of extreme weather? The answer might surprise you: bolster natural habitats along shorelines, riverbanks and streams.

Wetlands and streams absorb floodwater, purify water, sequester CO2 and provide vital native habitat. Dunes deliver a sandy buffer against storm surges.


The trees, shrubs and grasses in a riparian forest filter sediment, nutrients and pesticides, improving water quality. Their roots stabilize the shore and reduce erosion from heavy rainfalls.

The maintenance and restoration of these natural areas is our best defense against bad weather and is often more affordable and sustainable than manmade infrastructures. 

Want to get involved?

Volunteer at a conservation event to help restore native forests and wetlands.

If getting your hands dirty isn’t your thing, consider how you can help shape legislation to protect coastal habitats. Contact your local representative and ask them to prioritize legislation that protects native habitat and strengthens laws restricting development that can damage these vital ecosystems.

Investing in organizations that work to protect and restore coastal habitats is also a great way to contribute. The benefits of conserving dunes, wetlands, forests and shorelines go beyond battling bad weather.

Protected coastal spaces invite tourism and recreation, provide clean water and deliver critical habitat for native species. It’s one of those rare occasions where the best solutions for humans also benefit our natural environment, a win-win for people and wildlife alike.

Previous Post

Featured Stories

New scarlet macaw in the upland tropical rainforest. Animal Update: Macaw-esome Pair in Upland Tropical Rain Forest

Next time you visit, keep your eyes peeled for the Aquarium’s two new residents—a blue and gold macaw and a scarlet macaw!

Read the full story

Fort McHenry clean up. Baltimore Addresses Plastic Pollution

Our hometown of Baltimore is currently considering legislation to reduce plastic pollution by eliminating the distribution of single-use plastic bags.

Read the full story

Related Stories

A Blue View: Shark Navigation is All in the Nose

Published June 28, 2016

A Blue View: Oyster Gardens

Published June 21, 2016