With the backdrop of negotiations between Congress and the White House on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, Infrastructure Week will take place from May 13-20. The event is sponsored by a mix of business and advocacy groups, labor organizations, and think tanks, but a conservation voice is missing from this coalition. Audubon is taking the opportunity to fill that void. While Congress will be hearing from many stakeholders about gray infratructure—roads, bridges, and transit projects—Audubon is working to educate key Senators, Representatives, and their staffs about the value and benefits of green infrastructure.
Natural, or green, infrastructure is the strategic use, restoration, or management of natural lands and waters to conserve and restore ecosystem functions and/or reduce flood or storm damages. Examples include coastal wetlands that absorb floodwaters, forests that prevent erosion, and barrier islands that buffer against hurricanes and protect inland communities.
Natural infrastructure is a win-win-win for birds, people, and economies. Restoring or leaving nature alone allows it to support fishing, wildlife watching, and tourism, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.
Audubon’s letter also asks that as “Congress considers investments to maintain and improve U.S. infrastructure, it should provide direction, authority, and funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural infrastructure.” Because climate change is the greatest threat to North American birds, reducing carbon emissions is urgent.
Read the letter here.