West

Amboy Crater in Mojave Trails National Monument, California

Bob Wick/U.S. Bureau of Land Management

From Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to the Mojave Desert in Southern California, the American West is home to a great number of unique landscapes—some of which support communities and cultures that go back thousands of years. Unfortunately, areas all across California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii are now experiencing life at the forefront of the climate crisis, facing destructive wildfires, severe droughts, rising sea levels, and more.

NRDC is working with local leadership, businesses, and advocacy groups to tackle this crisis, as well as other threats to our environment and health, with some of the most progressive policies in the country. Together we’re pushing for 21st-century energy systems; advocating for legislation to curb climate-damaging pollution; and creating programs that will protect vulnerable communities, lands, and waters.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • NRDC is working to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in food and consumer products. In California we helped pass a law that protects families and firefighters by ending the sale of furniture containing flame-retardant chemicals. We’re also joining with food system advocates to develop an organic farm-to-school program, increasing access to pesticide-free foods that are good for students as well as farmworkers.
  • Through partnerships with business and state leaders, NRDC is producing stronger climate and energy actions, like a commitment to 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030 in Nevada, economic development initiatives in Oregon, and low-carbon fuel programs in Washington. Through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge, NRDC is supporting Honolulu, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle to accelerate and deepen their efforts to create the greatest climate impact through 2020.
  • NRDC is working to protect our coasts and communities from the dangers offshore drilling. In California, we helped pass legislation that made it illegal for the state to approve any new infrastructure that would enable new drilling in federal waters. Our experts are also combating dammed rivers, toxic chemicals, and disruptive activities in order to bring species like Washington’s endangered Southern Resident killer whales back from the brink of extinction.
  • NRDC and local community and environmental justice advocates are pushing for cleaner air around the nation’s ports, and our persistence is paying off: We persuaded city leaders in Los Angeles and Long Beach, home to one of the largest port complexes in the world, to commit to all zero-emissions trucks and cargo-handling equipment by 2035—protecting the air and health of residents from harmful diesel exhaust.
  • NRDC experts are developing practical strategies to protect clean water. In California, we successfully won stricter water efficiency standards for toilets, urinals, faucets, and showerheads that are projected to save one billion gallons of water every year.