New Climate Resilience Project Partnership with The Nature Conservancy
Published on January 28, 2021
(Miami, FL - January 28, 2021) - Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined Commissioner Ken Russell and leaders from global conservation and climate action nonprofit The Nature Conservancy (TNC) yesterday at Morningside Park to announce a new project partnership that will help bring nature-based solutions to strengthen the park’s shoreline against the impacts of climate change. The new partnership includes a grant agreement that provides up to $400,000 for the City and TNC to design the Morningside Park Resilient Shoreline Project. The funding stems from a larger grant provided directly to TNC by the Chubb Charitable Foundation in an effort to expand the use of green infrastructure to protect Miami’s coast and its communities.
“The City of Miami is proud to announce this project partnership with The Nature Conservancy, made possible by the financial support of the Chubb Charitable Foundation,” said Mayor Suarez. “Our hope is that the Morningside Park Resilient Shoreline Project will both safeguard our waterfront and become a prototype for future green and green-grey infrastructure solutions in Miami. It is clearly a step in the right direction as we work – with the input of our community – to safeguard Miami’s future for our own children and for their children, too.”
Once designed and implemented, the Morningside Park Resilient Shoreline Project will incorporate and leverage natural infrastructure that can provide significant risk-reduction benefits. Healthy mangroves, intertidal zones and coral reefs reduce wave energy, and they have the potential to buffer coastal communities like Miami’s Morningside neighborhood from storm surges and sea level rise. A recent study funded by The Nature Conservancy concluded that mangroves in Florida protected approximately 625,000 people and prevented $1.5 billion in direct flood damages during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
"Morningside Park has provided generations of Miami residents with access to our beloved, but vulnerable, Biscayne Bay,” said City of Miami District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell. “I am proud to work with The Nature Conservancy to support new initiatives like the Resilient Shoreline Project that will protect my constituents living around Morningside Park from coastal flooding. By implementing a hybrid of smart engineering and natural defenses -- like marshes, mangroves and coral reefs -- we can fortify the coastline so that future generations can continue to enjoy this vital section of our city's shores."
The City’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy will begin as a collaboration to design and permit applicable nature-based solutions for Morningside Park that will provide flood risk reductions within the park and/or surrounding neighborhood. Nature-based solutions, including natural, green, and green-gray or hybrid infrastructure, are inspired by nature and offer environmental, economic, and social benefits, while increasing resilience.
“Florida is at the global forefront of climate change and its impacts, and Morningside Park is a perfect example of how vulnerable our coastlines are,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida. “The Nature Conservancy is committed to protecting our coasts and coastal communities through scientific research, informing policies that reduce CO2 emissions, and innovative projects like the Morningside Park Resilient Shoreline. Thanks to supporters like the Chubb Charitable Foundation and willing partners like the City of Miami, this project can demonstrate that nature is a powerful ally in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change.”
“As a property and casualty insurer, Chubb recognizes that mitigating the growing threat of climate change requires action from government, the private sector and society-at-large. Through Chubb’s collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, we can help make a difference not only in this resilience project with the City of Miami, but gain practically tested insights that can be replicated around the world in other coastal cities vulnerable to climate change,” said Lori Dunstan, Executive Director, Chubb Charitable Foundation.
As the City of Miami and The Nature Conservancy set about the work of designing the Morningside Park project in the months ahead, gathering input from the community will be a key part of the process. A successful design and project will help inform future City of Miami resilience projects that incorporate natural infrastructure, as well as green-gray solutions that will play a quantifiable role in protecting people and businesses in the future.
About the City of Miami
The City of Miami is the dynamic municipality at the heart of Miami-Dade County, home to Greater Miami’s financial and cultural heart, and economic engines such as PortMiami. Established in 1896, Miami has grown to become South Florida’s largest city by population and serves as the county seat. Today, the City of Miami proudly continues to provide core municipal services to its diverse population, from public safety to parks, as well as forward-looking initiatives like climate resilience. To learn more, visit www.miamigov.com.
About the Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org/florida. In Florida since 1961, with support from our members, we have helped protect more than 1.2 million acres of vulnerable lands and waters across the state. We own and manage more than 52,000 acres in 25 Conservancy preserves in Florida. nature.org/florida, facebook.com/NatureConservancyFL, twitter.com/nature_florida, instagram.com/natureflorida/
About the Chubb Charitable Foundation
The Chubb Charitable Foundation supports U.S.-based non-profit organizations through grant-making and projects aligned with defined focus areas including education, the environment, and poverty and health. The Foundation believes that meaningful contributions that support our communities globally provide lasting benefits to society, to Chubb and to Chubb employees. Through philanthropy, global partnerships and company sponsored-volunteer activities focused on giving the gift of time and donations, the Chubb Charitable Foundation supports clearly defined projects that solve problems with measurable and sustainable outcomes, helping people in the countries where we live and work build productive and healthy lives. Our commitment to assist those less fortunate and to be stewards of the planet is focused on the areas of education, poverty and health, and the environment.