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Natural and nature-based features (NNBF) combine coastal engineering and ecosystem benefits. Features include dunes and beaches, vegetated features, reefs, islands, and maritime forests. NNBF have the potential for adaptive capacity under sea level rise and climate change stressors, as well as provide wave ...

Natural and nature-based features (NNBF) combine coastal engineering and ecosystem benefits. Features include dunes and beaches, vegetated features, reefs, islands, and maritime forests. NNBF have the potential for adaptive capacity under sea level rise and climate change stressors, as well as provide wave dissipation, surge reduction, sediment trapping, habitat creation, and social benefits by aligning engineering with natural processes. The engineering attributes, reliability, evolution, and benefits of NNBF structures within the coastal system must be quantified to support design of flood mitigation projects. The great challenge is providing guidance for features that evolve over both short and long time frames in an nonstationary environment while providing diverse benefits.

The problems to tackle under the Research Topic of natural and nature-based features include:

• Quantifying feature performance to reduce flood risk for a range of forcing conditions
• Parameterizing feature characteristics and the evolution of the characteristics over time
• Evaluating feature damage and recover progression
• Assessing feature adaptive capacity to changing sea level and climate

Examples of recent progress includes quantifying wave and surge dissipation by idealized vegetation in the laboratory, vegetation stabilization of dunes (lab and field), wave dissipation by oyster and artificial reefs, and wave energy reduction and sediment trapping by island features in wetlands.

The scope includes, but is not limited to:
• Wave and surge reduction by vegetation
• Sediment trapping in wetlands
• Vegetation stabilizing and growing dunes
• Interaction of grey and green infrastructure systems
• Wetland damage and recovery in storms
• Case studies on NNBF flood risk reduction projects
• Scaling of NNBF lab studies
• Response of NNBF to sea level rise

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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