NWF Green Works for Climate Resilience: A Guide to Community Planning for Climate Change

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Green Works guide is a primer on nature-based approaches that communities can use to respond and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The report highlights some common examples of nature-based adaptation, green projects that communities have implemented, and strategies that communities can use to apply nature-based approaches.

For this guide, climate impacts and related solutions are divided into five categories:

  • Sea-level Rise, Coastal Flooding, and Erosion (includes marine as well as freshwater coasts in the Great Lakes region)
  • Drought and Increasing Aridity
  • Extreme Heat and the Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Inland Flooding and Stormwater Management
  • Changes to the Natural Landscape

The chapter entitled Working with Nature to Prepare for Climate Impacts begins with a definition and description of each climate change impact (e.g., coastal flooding), followed by the nature-based approaches that can be used to best address each impact (e.g., oyster reefs). Within the Coastal Impacts section on sea level rise, coastal flooding, and erosion, the benefits of a living shoreline are detailed along with successfully implemented examples, and cost benefits. The Urban Heat Island Effect section discusses urban forestry and provides detailed implementation strategies for using nature-based approaches to adapt to increasing temperatures. Longer case studies of select communities are included to describe how nature-based approaches have been planned and implemented for each of the impact areas discussed. 

The Implementation of Adaptation Actions chapter describes approaches to using nature-based practices, which are organized into the following categories:

  • Multi-sector adaptation planning
  • Updating existing programs and policies
  • Changes to zoning and land use regulations
  • Creating new programs and policies
  • Developing public-private partnerships


Publication Date: April 2014

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  • Planning guides


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User Comments:

  • September 14, 2018
    Jessica Grannis, Coastal Resilience Director at National Audubon Society

    This is a great resource for helping communities deploy nature-based solutions to climate change impacts, including sea-level rise, coastal flooding, urban heat islands, and more.