The Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration today announced a joint effort, the Resilient Lands and Waters Partnership, to protect and restore important landscapes in four regions across the country.
“Climate change is impacting every corner of the nation – from the Everglades to the Arctic – which has ramifications for our natural and cultural heritage, public health and economic activity,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said. “Through increased collaboration, we can pool resources and bring the best available science to bear as we take a landscape-level approach to make these treasured lands and waters more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”
Throughout the next 18 months, vulnerable areas of Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region will see federal, state, tribal and local agencies come together to work on issues such as rising sea levels and invasive species. Through the use of existing tools and uniquely created ones, these efforts are expected to benefit the regions on a landscape-scale and protect wetlands, marine conservation areas, urban drinking water reservoirs and wildlife habitats.
Part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, this initiative will identify shared priorities among the agencies and their partners and allow for information gathered throughout the conservation efforts to be easily shared.
“Partnering with other federal agencies in this initiative, we will ensure that our latest research plays a central role in protecting our nation’s most precious natural resources and keeping our economy strong,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.