ASWM's Hot Topics Webinar Series

The Association of Wetland Managers (ASWM) occasionally opens up its Members Webinars to non-members on special topics that are not specific to any of our other webinar series and that appeal to a broader audience than our membership. For this reason, the Association started a Special Topics Webinar Series that is available for anyone to participate in. Some of the topics in the past have included the Ramsar Convention and international projects, complex legal cases, environmental economics and more. These webinars are advertised through our website, newsletters, social media and emails. There is no specific day of the month when these webinars occur. For more information and/or to join our email list for notices about upcoming events, please contact Laura Burchill at . 

If you haven’t used Go To Webinar before or you just need a refresher, please view our guide prior to the webinar here.  


ASWM American Wetlands Month Webinar 

Measuring the Economic Benefits and Cost Effectiveness of Coastal Wetlands and Ecosystems

Wednesday, May 30th at 3:00pm ET


  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


  • Mike Beck, The Nature Conservancy and University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Siddharth Narayan, University of California, Santa Cruz


ASWM will be wrapping up our celebration of American Wetlands Month with a fascinating webinar discussing two report’s findings that show how investments in nature-based adaptation can meet multiple objectives for environmental restoration, adaptation and flood risk reduction as well as result in millions of dollars in savings from storm damages. 

In 2016, the release of the report “Coastal Wetlands and Flood Damage Reduction: Using Risk Industry-based Models to Assess Natural Defenses in the Northeastern USA” gained international attention. In the report the authors quantified the economic benefits of coastal wetlands in reducing property damage from storms and flooding in the northeastern United States. Using risk industry models, they estimated that coastal wetlands saved more than US$ 625 million in avoided flood damages from Hurricane Sandy across the northeastern USA. Just this spring, a second report was released entitled “Comparing the cost effectiveness of nature-based and coastal adaptation: A case study from the Gulf Coast of the United States.” This report also shows that investments in nature-based adaptation could meet multiple objectives for environmental restoration, adaptation and flood risk reduction. In this presentation, Mike Beck and Siddharth Narayan will share their research, methods and findings from these two studies.


Mike Beck is the Lead Marine Scientist at TNC and adjunct Professor in Ocean Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. Mike focuses on building coastal resilience in the interface between risk reduction and conservation. His approach is multi-disciplinary across ecology, engineering and economics. Mike has authored more than sixty peer-reviewed publications. His work covers topics from the role of coral reefs in reducing risks from storms to the effects of people on extinctions of Pleistocene mammals. He has also published numerous popular articles including Op-eds in the NY Times, Miami Herald, Huffington Post and the Caribbean Journal. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Sydney and in 2012 Mike was also selected as a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow.

Siddharth Narayan (Sid) is a Research Scientist in Coastal Adaptation and Nature-based Solutions. A civil and coastal engineer, hailing from Chennai in southern India, he is based at the University of California Santa Cruz and works with Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Sid's research interests focus on modelling interactions between natural and human coastal systems, to help develop sustainable measures for coastal adaptation. At present, he works closely with insurance risk modelers, ecologists and engineers to assess the role and value of wetlands for reducing flood risk and damages to people and property.



To view Past ASWM's Hot Topics Webinar Series, click here.