Restore America’s Estuaries’ Living Shorelines Initiative is Solution Search Contest Top Ten Finalist: “Reducing our Risk: Innovation for Disaster Preparation”

For Immediate Release; March 25, 2015                                                            Contact: K. Diane Hoskins; (202) 642-4615

(March 25 – ARLINGTON, VA) For the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Solution Search has announced that Restore America’s Estuaries is a finalist in its third contest, “Reducing our Risk: Innovation for Disaster Preparation.”

This project is an unprecedented effort to identify and celebrate the many ways Americans are working to reduce the risk of weather-related disasters on their communities. Restore America’s Estuaries is working with partners at all levels, from local communities to the highest levels of the Federal Government to increase the use of living shorelines. Living shorelines are an innovative approach to shoreline management that increase flood storage capacity, and protect against erosion and storm damage through the strategic placement and site-specific combination of plants and other materials while maintaining ecosystem function.

The online prize competition identifies the top ten ways Americans are reducing the risk of weather-related disasters, and now Solution Search is holding a nationwide vote to pick the winner of a $25,000 prize. The goal is to build greater awareness and preparedness across the country. Click here to vote for Restore America’s Estuaries.

“Living shorelines help prepare our nation’s coastal communities to be more resilient against the impacts of the increased flooding, erosion, and storm surge that will result from rising sea levels and intensifying storms,” said Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. “Hard structures like seawalls can give communities a false sense of security and living shorelines provide an innovative alternative that will help communities positively adapt to our changing future.”

Restore America’s Estuaries is leading efforts to advance the national use of living shorelines by both public and private property owners through education of key audiences, increasing the exchange of information on living shorelines among practitioners and decision makers, and facilitating the installation of living shorelines. These efforts lead directly to America’s coastal communities being better prepared for future weather-related coastal disasters.

“We are excited about the top ten solutions and their potential to improve preparedness to extreme weather events,” said Brett Jenks, CEO of Rare, the international non-profit that manages Solution Search. “Human and economic costs are increasing, and not only are solutions needed, but so too is a new kind of conversation.”

Storms, floods, droughts and other weather impacts threaten human safety and the nation’s financial underpinnings. Between 1980 and 2012, the U.S. experienced 144 weather/climate disasters in which the cost of each event reached or exceeded $1 billion, and the total cost of those 144 storms exceeded $1 trillion. In 2012, weather-related disasters killed over 500 people and caused nearly $40 billion in damage.

A Solution Search combines the dynamism of a talent competition (think American Idol for grassroots change), the focus of a mission-driven aspiration (think X Prize), and the transparency of an online platform that lets all participants and the general public review entries along the way. Based on a careful study of innovation and competition theory, Solution Search not only fosters identification and replication of proven methods, but by accelerating discourse and networking, it helps advance the entire sector.

Judges include former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, The Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore, former NOAA Admistrator Jane Lubchenco, and the leaders of MunichRe America, TransRe, Tampa Bay Rays, Evangelical Environmental Network, and Robertson Foundation.

The Solution Search contest, “Reducing our Risk: Innovation for Disaster Preparation” partners include Rare, TransRe, MunichRe, The Nature Conservancy, Evangelical Environmental Network and Save the Children.


Click here to vote for Restore America’s Estuaries

About Restore America’s Estuaries:
Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. Celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2015, RAE leads an alliance of eleven community-based conservation organizations working to protect and restore the vital resources of our nation’s estuaries. RAE works through these members and local community volunteers to perform on-the-ground conservation and restoration work at the local level, while also working nationally to build support for protection of coastal lands and waters, and raise awareness of the threats they face. Visit RAE on the Web at

About Rare:
Rare inspires change so people and nature thrive. Rare looks for proven conservation solutions and trains local leaders to inspire communities to adopt them and make them their own through its signature Pride campaigns. Pride campaigns use proven marketing techniques to move the hearts and minds of local communities, accelerating the adoption and increasing the sustainability of the solutions. Rare has conducted over 250 Pride campaigns in more than 50 countries, empowering local communities across geographies and cultures to shift from resource users to become natural asset managers. Visit Rare on the Web at

For Solution Search, visit