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Opinion

4 smart ways to rebuild after superstorm Sandy

Early estimates of the damage from superstorm Sandy are staggering. In the days ahead, once people's immediate needs are met, we must focus on rebuilding. It is increasingly clear that rebuilding efforts must consider the following four points.

3. Nature and man-made systems can cooperate

Nature can also work in conjunction with man-made structures to enhance their effectiveness and reduce their costs. In Louisiana, stabilized and restored wetlands are seen as an essential first line of defense from Gulf of Mexico storms even though the levees protecting New Orleans have been strengthened. In New York City, the “Redesigning the Edge” project being supported by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and others is looking at ways to combine built and natural infrastructure to reduce flooding and to create more usable open space along the city’s waterways.

And of course natural infrastructure provides other important benefits, too – from wildlife habitat and tourism, to healthy fisheries and clean water.

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