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Landscape Architect Receives Money to Help NYC Fight Rising Sea Levels

Homeowners only need to spend a minimum of 5% of their home’s value on landscaping to get an ROI of up to 150%. With so many people thinking about what their homes look like and how they can save money, there is also the concern for where their home is located and what is happening to the ground they sit upon.

Coastal flooding and rising sea levels are plaguing various cities around the United States. And as these cities grow, the wetlands around them shrink. Unfortunately, those wetlands are pivotal in preventing flooding.

Landscape architect Kate Orff highlights and focuses on issues such as loss of wetlands, trees, and native flora within her work for her company Scape Studio. Her projects focus on finding solutions to many problems that the world may be facing in terms of ecological situations.

Orff and Scape Studio are best known for making urban spaces green and ecologically friendly. Most of their projects are based in New York City, however, they do have a few creations overseas and across the United States.

Back in 2011, Orff gave a speech regarding an oyster reef that could protect low-lying areas from a rise in the sea level in the New York Harbor. The oysters would filter around 50 gallons of water each day to remove pollutants such as algae.

Orff and Scape Studio recently proposed a new project geared toward a Brooklyn neighborhood. Formally known as the Gowanus Lowlands project, it would take a neighborhood in Brooklyn and transform it into a park with a vegetable garden. The team announced their newest project in Summer 2017.

Some past projects include a Harlem playground, which replaced a depleted asphalt play lot, and the Dune Co-Habitat, which protects New York City’s Far Rockaway Beach from any storm surges that might occur in the future.

Some of Orff’s and Scape’s projects also come with an educational benefit. The update of a De-constructed Salt Marsh would re-purpose a collapsed pier in Brooklyn into a learning laboratory that would be available for public access.

Construction for one major project is set to begin in 2018. In Staten Island, the project called the Living Breakwaters will consist of storm surge-fighting sea walls that double as fish habitat and reefs for oysters.

Orff recently won the MacArthur Fellowship, which gives her $625,000 to aid in saving cities from the rising sea levels. She will receive the money over a five-year period.