Seventy-four groups sent a letter to Senators and a letter to Members of Congress today urging them, respectively, to co-sponsor a resolution Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have introduced, and a companion resolution introduced by Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), calling for bold federal action to preserve nature in the face of the climate and biodiversity crises.
“To confront the rapid loss of America’s natural places and wildlife,” the groups write, “the U.S. needs to accelerate land and ocean protection and restoration efforts at all levels of government and across the country.”
Senate Resolution 372, the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature, calls on the federal government to set a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and at least 30 percent of ocean areas by the year 2030.
The letter cites the precipitous decline of wildlife and loss of public lands, waterways and ocean habitat:
- A million species at risk of extinction globally;
- A football field’s worth of U.S. land disappearing every thirty seconds;
- The sweeping erosion of wetlands;
- The loss of billions of birds in North America over the past 5 decades; and,
- The alteration of lands and ocean habitat by human activity.
Nature itself holds the potential to help solve this crisis, scientists say—but only if we take bold, transformative steps to protect it. We need to preserve and restore ecosystems so they can store as much carbon as possible, protect biodiversity, and help safeguard human communities.
The U.S. currently protects only 12 percent of lands and 26 percent of oceans (primarily in the central and western Pacific).
NRDC joins with these partner groups in urging the U.S. to lead in this vital global effort by working with states, local communities, tribes and private landowners to ramp up strong protections for lands, waters and ocean areas.
We need dramatic change, and we need it fast. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us to preserve nature, and not enable its decline.