"Many decisions and investments for coastal protection are being made today. The concern is that most money will go to gray infrastructure (artificial breakwaters and seawalls) – with further detrimental effects on coasts and habitats, expensive maintenance costs and no other benefits beyond their protective service.
"Green infrastructure solutions, like reef and mangrove conservation and restoration, are viable and cost effective alternatives. ...
"The benefits from natural solutions are real, but not a panacea. Indeed no defense guarantees protection; even the largest and most fortified barriers fail to offer complete protection (e.g., Japanese tsunami). It is also possible for any defense – green or gray – to funnel waters in ways that can increase hazards in other areas; barriers do not stop water, they redirect it.
"Bottom line: green infrastructure solutions for coastal protection to people and property must be valued alongside gray solutions."