Alaska Native elders from Bering Sea coastal communities on Friday blasted Alaska's congressional delegation for not doing more to prevent President Donald Trump from striking an Obama-era executive order that gave them a voice on federal management decisions in the region.
Carpe Diem West sorted through dozens of watershed protection plans from around the American West to get a sense of what actions and outcomes communities are prioritizing, and how those priorities were decided upon.
CDW hopes this guide will get you thinking about what successful restoration looks like in your watershed.
Last week, the Value of Water Campaign released an economic impact analysis it commissioned to understand how investments in the nation's water infrastructure affects economic growth and employment. The report, "The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure" was shared for the first time on World Water Day at a briefing on Capitol Hill.
The analysis found there is an upside to investment, as well as a severe economic cost to inaction. At a national level, a one-day disruption in water service represents an aggregate daily loss of $43.5 billion in sales and $22.5 billion in GDP. For context, an eight-day national disruption in water service would amount to a one percent loss in annual GDP--putting roughly 1.9 million jobs at risk. For every day of water service disruption, the average US business loses $230 in sales per employee. In industries most reliant on water, sales drop by up to 75 percent, or up to $5,800 per employee. Read the full report here.
APA is one of six key partners united behind a new effort called the "Naturally Resilient Communities," or NRC, program that promotes the role nature-based solutions can play in helping reduce flood risk for communities while providing other benefits, such as improved water quality and enhanced recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat — all of which positively impacts local economies. Together, we collectively represent county governments, professional engineers, community planners, floodplain managers and conservationists.
Online at NRCSolutions.org, the partners have created a guide of nature-based solutions and related case studies of successful projects to help communities learn more and identify those solutions that might work best for them. This tool:
- Enables end users to be able to understand and consider the suite of nature-based infrastructure options available at given locations based upon the type of issue to be addressed (e.g. stormwater, flooding, or erosion control/reduction)
- Describes how projects, such as wetland restoration, oyster reef construction, or beach dune restoration, can be used to address flooding issues facing these communities
- Provides an understanding of the ability of natural infrastructure to contribute to reducing risks and to provide a suite of other benefits.
- Provides real world examples of success stories related to the implementation of natural infrastructure projects; and
- Broadens the understanding of when such projects may be appropriate so they can be considered as part of the many regular and ongoing planning and project development activities undertaken by communities.
The guide also includes a collection of case studies that further articulate key steps in the process of developing natural infrastructure projects, identify specific types of natural infrastructure applications that can be implemented in a diverse set of geographies (e.g., wetland restoration), address a specific set of impacts (e.g., riverine flooding in industrialized waterfronts), or serve as iconic stories that create a compelling and memorable narrative around the use of natural infrastructure.
WHY WE CONTINUE TO DEVELOP FLOODPLAINS: EXAMINING THE DISINCENTIVES FOR CONSERVATION IN FEDERAL POLICY
This report explores the value of floodplains and attempts to explain how the nation's rivers and floodplains have become physically disconnected, leading to loss of floodplain functions. With federal agencies now incorporating the value of natural infrastructure, or ecosystem services, into federal planning and decision-making, there are opportunities as never before to examine and change the disincentives for floodplain conservation.
Agencies have taken steps towards supporting nonstructural mitigation projects and higher regulatory standards, but this support is not uniformly reflected in federal regulatory policy. This report investigates whether current federal policy is structured to prevent future flood damage or if incentives are leading to further floodplain development.
The Nature Conservancy publishes Beyond The Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection
The lands around our water sources serve as vital water infrastructure for cities around the world. These lands collect, store and filter our water, and when managed well, can provide a number of additional benefits to people and nature. Beyond the Source, a new report from The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, Forest Trends, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, seeks to illustrate how nature-based solutions can be implemented at a scale that will make a visible difference in our collective pursuit to create a sustainable world and improve the lives of billions of people.
In September, Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed AB 2480 into law. This bill established that “source watersheds are recognized and defined as integral components of California’s water infrastructure.” The conservation think tank Pacific Forest Trust created the bill together with its author, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica).
Located in southern Cook Inlet, the Kachemak Bay Habitat Focus Area supports important recreational, subsistence, and commercial fishing. The area is also important for marine transportation, tourism, and threatened and endangered species. The bay provides a remarkably fertile environment for both fish and shellfish. The abundant marine life draws waterfowl, shorebirds, moose, and bears. Marine mammals, including otters, seals, porpoise, and a variety of whales, live in the bay year round.