Ecosystems: Increasing resilience

There will be 9 billion people on Earth by 2050. If we're smart, we can supply enough food, water and shelter – and restore ecosystems.

How? By creating economic demand for farming, ranching and water management programs that increase the resilience of natural systems.


  • sustainable agriculture

    Sustainable agriculture »

    Why: Prevailing farming strategies are not efficient or adaptable enough to meet demand, especially with climate change underway.

    How: We're launching solutions that help retailers, food companies and farmers avoid the business risks of unsustainable agriculture practices.

  • monarch butterfly

    Wildlife protection »

    Why: Existing tools for protecting wildlife can no longer adequately preserve habitat facing encroachment, pollution and other threats.

    How: We're defending the Endangered Species Act and creating flexible solutions that balance wildlife protection and economic growth.

  • coastal wildlife

    Coastal resilience »

    Why: Climate change and sea level rise put coastal cities, from New Orleans to New York, at risk from rising seas and increased storms.

    How: We're working with engineers, policymakers and communities on restoration projects, like marsh creation, to protect nature and people.

  • birds on a lake

    Rebalance water use »

    Why: Over-allocation of water in the West means rivers that serve as major watersheds are drying up, as groundwater reserves dwindle.

    How: We're working with farmers, cities and policymakers to ensure water markets deliver benefits for wildlife and the economy.

Updates on our ecosystems work

Ecosystems blog posts

Posts by EDF experts, written for a general audience

See all EDF Voices ecosystems posts »

Press releases

All ecosystems-related press releases »

Publications

  • Type: Fact Sheet
    Date: October 24, 2019
    The Salton Sea, the state’s largest lake, has shrunk by some 40 square miles, exposing tens of thousands of acres of playa, increasing dust and salinity, and reducing habitat. The state of California has a 10-year plan to reduce dust and build habitat around the Salton Sea, and more than $365 million in funding has been approved. However, work at the Sea has been stalled and the region has been ignored far too long.
  • Type: Report
    Date: September 23, 2019
    <p>This study presents the first systematic literature review of academic research on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) program. The CRS is a voluntary program created in 1990 as a means to incentivize communities in the United States to implement floodplain management activities that surpass those required under the National Flood Insurance Program. As participating communities adopt additional flood mitigation measures, flood insurance policy holders in those communities receive reductions in their flood insurance premiums. To identity studies for inclusion, the authors searched three academic databases using the keywords "Community Rating System" and "Federal Emergency Management Agency" and "Community Rating System" and "FEMA." We discovered 44 studies that met our selection criteria (e.g., peer-reviewed, focus on CRS, and are empirical) and are included in the review. The findings provide significant insights into the current state of research on the CRS. This paper concludes by providing some recommendations to policymakers aiming to enhance communities' resilience to floods and by outlining a future research agenda for the academic and practitioner communities.</p>
  • Type: Report
    Date: September 20, 2019
    Protecting groundwater quality is an essential&nbsp;component of sustainable water management. However,&nbsp;active groundwater management often focuses on&nbsp;maintaining groundwater quantity – a target that does&nbsp;not always ensure groundwater quality goals are met.

See all ecosystems-related documents »

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