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Article

Natural Infrastructure Practices as Potential Flood Storage and Reduction for Farms and Rural Communities in the North Carolina Coastal Plain

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Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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College of Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Szilvia Bencze, Dóra Drexler and Giuseppe Barbaro
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169309
Received: 16 May 2021 / Revised: 4 August 2021 / Accepted: 13 August 2021 / Published: 19 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Solutions for an Agro-Ecological Transition)
Increased global temperatures resulting from anthropogenically induced climate changes have increased the frequency and severity of adverse weather events, including extreme rainfall events, floods, and droughts. In recent years, nature-based solutions (NBS) have been proposed to retain storm runoff temporarily and mitigate flood damages. These practices may help rural farm and forest lands to store runoff and reduce flooding on farms and downstream communities and could be incorporated into a conservation program to provide payments for these efforts, which would supplement traditional farm incomes. Despite their potential, there have been very few methodical assessments and detailed summaries of NBS to date. We identified and summarized potential flood reduction practices for the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. These include agricultural practices of (1) cover cropping/no-till farming; (2) hardpan breakup; (3) pine or (4) hardwood afforestation, and (5) agroforestry; establishing the wetland and stream practices of (6) grass and sedge wetlands and earthen retention structures, (7) forest wetland banks, and (8) stream channel restoration; and establishing new structural solutions of (9) dry dams and berms (water farming) and (10) tile drainage and water retention. These practices offer different water holding and storage capacities and costs. A mixture of practices at the farm and landscape level can be implemented for floodwater retention and attenuation and damage reduction, as well as for providing additional farm and forest ecosystem services. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural infrastructure; hazard mitigation; flood reduction; resilient design; nature-based solutions natural infrastructure; hazard mitigation; flood reduction; resilient design; nature-based solutions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hovis, M.; Hollinger, J.C.; Cubbage, F.; Shear, T.; Doll, B.; Kurki-Fox, J.J.; Line, D.; Fox, A.; Baldwin, M.; Klondike, T.; Lovejoy, M.; Evans, B.; West, J.; Potter, T. Natural Infrastructure Practices as Potential Flood Storage and Reduction for Farms and Rural Communities in the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9309. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169309

AMA Style

Hovis M, Hollinger JC, Cubbage F, Shear T, Doll B, Kurki-Fox JJ, Line D, Fox A, Baldwin M, Klondike T, Lovejoy M, Evans B, West J, Potter T. Natural Infrastructure Practices as Potential Flood Storage and Reduction for Farms and Rural Communities in the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Sustainability. 2021; 13(16):9309. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169309

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hovis, Meredith, Joseph C. Hollinger, Frederick Cubbage, Theodore Shear, Barbara Doll, J. J. Kurki-Fox, Daniel Line, Andrew Fox, Madalyn Baldwin, Travis Klondike, Michelle Lovejoy, Bryan Evans, Jaclyn West, and Thomas Potter. 2021. "Natural Infrastructure Practices as Potential Flood Storage and Reduction for Farms and Rural Communities in the North Carolina Coastal Plain" Sustainability 13, no. 16: 9309. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169309

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