Let’s try doing that with infrastructure.
Based on some early reactions to the president’s remarks, the ability of the U.S. Congress to gain enough support to fund and pass an infrastructure package is certainly not a given. But, if a new plan to improve America’s infrastructure does move forward, we must ensure that we seize that opportunity to advance nature-based solutions, such as reefs, dunes, floodplains and wetlands.
These solutions can provide some of the same benefits of traditional infrastructure, often at a lower cost and with additional benefits. For example, nature can help keep communities safer from storms and floods, clean our drinking water, and more—all while also providing wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities.
TNC is taking this message to lawmakers across the U.S. at all levels of government, from cities to states to Congress and the executive branch, and to other countries across the planet. We have the science and experience with natural infrastructure projects now to help make a strong case for making sure nature is considered as an effective, efficient solution to infrastructure challenges.
Now is the time to tap the full potential of nature to meet our planet’s needs. Last year was the costliest year ever for natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires, and we need the most efficient and effective tools possible to protect our communities from future disasters and costs.
As with any infrastructure development, we should also be mindful of ways to lessen the impact of construction projects on our nation’s lands and waters, while still maintaining or even improving the speed and cost-efficiency of projects.
We’ve proven that is possible in our work on the ground, and we look forward to expanding that win-win approach even more broadly through upcoming policy opportunities on infrastructure.