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National Nature Assessment

I recently came across an e-mail prompt asking for public comment.  It was from the US Global Change Research Program.

To better understand the full picture of what is happening with nature, the US Research Program is undertaking a National Nature Assessment which will take stock of US lands, rivers, lakes and bays, wildlife and the benefits they provide to our economy.  Also included are the benefits to our health, climate, environmental justice.  Even national security.

The Assessment will also look ahead at how nature might change in the future, and what those changes many mean for our economy and our lives.

This call for public comment is a new opportunity to provide input on the first ever National Nature Assessment. The report aims to summarize the status of nature based on a review of peer-reviewed literature on a very broad range of topics. So the more input they can receive, especially by people who love and protect nature, the more likely the report will address critical issues, not the least of which is water.  For River Action, whose mission it is to make the Mississippi swimmable and fishable that is a key, critical element.

The opportunity to submit comments on the draft prospectus of the National Nature Assessment, or NNA1, is open until September 18th of this year.  Go to National Nature Assessment | GlobalChange.gov to learn more.

I think we can all agree that the challenges of climate change and nature loss are interconnected.  Yet, the significance of nature in recent patterns of intensifying floods, heat stress, and wildfire is often overlooked. More frequent and extreme floods are the result of climate change, and the extensive loss of wetlands along the Mississippi that once acted as buffers, reducing some flood impacts is noticeable.  More intense heat waves stem from climate change and the loss of forests’ cooling canopies in cities and around farms.

These interacting aspects of global change need to be understood and confronted together.

We are all busy, but this is a unique opportunity worth our time.  I hope you will join me in answering the call for public comment on the National Nature Assessment.