How Would You Spend $10 Billion of the Economic Stimulus on Environmental Restoration Projects?
photo: Jack Liddon via flickr
Now that $60 billion for green projects has been included in the economic stimulus bill, and $10 billion or so allocated for environmental restoration, where would that money be best spent? The Nature Conservancy has some suggestions:Restore Florida’s Everglades
In Florida’s Everglades Ecosystem, wetlands have been ditched and drained so that they can no longer hold water and absorb pollutants in times of flood or retain water in times of drought. This threatens populated areas and estuaries in times of heavy rainfall and water supplies when it is dry. Restoring and expanding the original wetlands will bring back these important functions while also creating exceptional wildlife habitat.
Forestry Management in the Rocky Mountains
Along the Front Range of Rocky Mountains in Colorado, years of trying to suppress every fire have caused forests to grow up to unnatural densities such that catastrophic and uncontrollable wildfires threaten whole forest ecosystems, built-up areas and the watersheds of big cities. These forests should be thinned carefully such that they more closely resemble their natural condition. Smaller, more manageable fires will then be the norm and forest ecosystems can fulfill their role of taking up carbon from the atmosphere, protecting water supplies, and providing the venue for outdoor recreation.
Rebuild & Restock Coastal Ecosystems
In coastal areas like Chesapeake Bay and the North Carolina sounds, vast reefs of oysters once filtered the water, were nursery grounds for fish and shielded the shoreline from the impacts of storms. Many of these reefs have been damaged or lost by overfishing, pollution and disease. They can be rebuilt and restocked to once again provide a livelihood for baymen and other important benefits to human and natural communities.
And we have come to understand how excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere threatens to warm our planet at a speed that can have disastrous impacts on people and ecosystems. Energy conservation is by far the most cost-effective means of reducing the input of carbon into the air. Weatherization of homes and schools financed by economic stimulus programs can quickly and practically reduce the demand for energy and, thus, greenhouse gas emissions.
So what do TreeHugger readers think: In what ways do you think $10 billion would be best spent on environmental restoration and why?
via: Cool Green Science
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