What comes to mind when you think of green infrastructure? This question opened the session on green infrastructure for coastal resilience conducted by NOAA. Among the enormous list, adaptation, gardens, sense of place, future, health, best management practices, nature-based solution, sustainability, and energy conservation are some examples brought up by a wide range of stakeholders. In the phase of recovery, Puerto Ricans seem to realize that building back greener could be one, among several essential solutions, that make the island more resilient. People started to see the connection between green infrastructure and hazard impacts, and it all seemed to make more sense to them during the group activity. Sand dunes and coral reefs were among the discussion topics, and one of the questions was specifically addressing the integrated information and technology used to investigate the status of not only coral reefs, but also watersheds, rivers, wetlands and the sea level rise. The presence of technology such as the map hazard overlay was substantially informative as they were hoping that many more opportunities would arise to bring local projects on the table. For instance, I found the small-scale projects initiated by Sea Grant, which as well served as a learning platform for the youth and local community particularly motivating. They were emphasizing that sustainability and resiliency can be achieved locally.
So, what does green look like to you?