aerial view of a river near grassland

Last week, the Engineering With Nature® movement was referenced in an NPR article that covered the risk of flooding in California due to a complex confluence of issues: record-breaking precipitation over the winter, aging flood infrastructure, and development that crowds the rivers’ natural floodplains.

The article highlights the Engineering With Nature practice of giving rivers more space, particularly “setting back” levees (or removing them and rebuilding further away, with room for a floodplain). Levee setbacks come with a number of benefits. Not only can they reduce flood levels up and downstream from where the setback occurs, they also provide wildlife habitat. However, space, especially water-side space, is often at a premium, and relocating landowners comes with its own host of difficulties.

Want to learn more about levee setbacks? Check out this Q&A with a N-EWN researcher from the University of Georgia who specializes in them, Matt Chambers.

Curious about the specific water management dynamics of the region? Visit this travel blog by N-EWN member Todd Bridges, which touches on Dos Rios and Pajaro, both mentioned in the article.


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