WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a testimony to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara urged Congress to invest in natural infrastructure — such as forests and headwaters, coastal dunes and wetlands — as a proven strategy to save lives, protect homes and save taxpayer dollars. O’Mara’s testimony, delivered as part of a hearing on “America’s Natural Solutions: The Climate Benefits of Investing in Healthy Ecosystems,” also highlighted the environmental justice and conservation benefits of investing in wildlife habitat for people and wildlife alike.
“[Natural] systems can mean the difference between life and death, homes still standing or communities that are washed away, life that’s carrying on or lives upended. … These natural solutions present a huge opportunity,” O’Mara said. “Investing in natural infrastructure allows us to center the health and safety of people, as we’re also advancing our climate, conservation and economic goals.”
O’Mara also pointed out, investments in natural infrastructure must take into consideration longstanding environmental justice issues and build off the progress made through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Great American Outdoors Act, the American Conservation Enhancement Act and other legislation.
“We can and must build on these investments — and do so in ways that leave no community behind and ensure that communities of color and frontline communities are never an afterthought ever again,” O’Mara told the committee.
In his testimony, O’Mara urged congress to invest in natural solutions, including:
You can watch the full hearing and testimony here.
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