Across the country, people are working to heal entire ecosystems by rectifying damage caused by development pressures, poor management, and large-scale threats like climate change. In the Mississippi River Delta leaders work to rebuild wetlands destroyed by altering the flow of the Mississippi River. In the Great Lakes they hope to clean up the toxic legacy left behind from the past century.
Ecosystem restoration results in self-sustaining, healthy habitats for use by people and wildlife. However, restoration leaders face many challenges they must navigate, including complicated processes, lack of funding, and determining how to address the impacts of climate change.
Recognizing that restoration leaders nationwide share many of the same challenges, the National Wildlife Federation has worked for the past several years to create a forum in which restoration advocates can share their ideas and work toward smarter, better restoration policies.
The National Wildlife Federation helped found and build the America's Great Waters Coalition to help restoration advocates unify their voice at the national level.
The National Wildlife Federation took a major step toward realizing this vision in June 2009 with the Great Waters Summit, which brought together over a hundred leaders including scientists, federal and state agency officials, non-governmental organizations, and business leaders from across the country.
The goals of the America's Great Waters Coalition are to:
Our nation's aquatic ecosystems sustain our existence. America's waters provide us with drinking water, recreational opportunities, and a conduit for transportation, while simultaneously hosting diverse fish and wildlife communities. Quite simply, uncontaminated waters make life as we know it possible. Due to our dependence on and constant use of our water resources, restoring these important ecosystems is both challenging and crucial.
America's Great Waters Coalition
America's Great Waters Coalition is an alliance of national, regional, state, and local organizations working to protect, preserve, and restore our nation's Great Waters.
The Chesapeake Bay faces serious problems due to human activities, deforestation, wetland destruction, and sea level rise caused by climate change.
Home to already-imperiled salmon, orcas, and shorebirds, the Puget Sound could be further jeopardized by intensified elements brought on by climate change.
Mississippi River Delta
The islands, estuaries, and wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta provide habitat to migratory birds, economically important finfish and shellfish, and endangered or threatened animals.
Delaware River Watershed
The Delaware River is the longest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, spanning five states from its headwaters in the Catskills of New York to the mouth of the Delaware Bay.
This watershed has to combat man-made threats such as pollution, and development, which are exacerbated by climate change.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.