As a state director, I’m often asked what’s needed to protect and restore local natural resources. Greater awareness? More funding? Better laws? Yes, yes and yes, but something equally important is often left out – imagination.
The Nature Conservancy is a science-based organization, so the role of “imagination” in our work may come as a surprise. Yet, without it, we not only might have dismissed inventive experiments and creative solutions currently at work on and in our lands, rivers and oceans, but also we might be without our greatest resource in the fight for nature: supporters like you.
Fifty years ago, author Rachel Carson drew on the power of imagination when she published the groundbreaking “Silent Spring” and introduced the specter of a world in which nature’s song had been silenced by DDT. Today, local artists and authors like James Prosek capture the imaginations of a new generation with vivid, lifelike renderings of the colorful fish and mysterious eels that make their homes in our fresh and salt waters. Theirs is the talent of storytelling; yours is the power of standing up and making a change.
Without imagination, our scientists never could have envisioned new, creative solutions to help protect local resources, and without supporters like you, none of those solutions would have left the drawing board. Click through a slideshow of our 2012 Year in Review to see some of the accomplishments you made possible, or read more in-depth about:
- Dam removal and fish ladder construction on Anguilla Brook and the Mattabesset River, as well as throughout New England.
- New research to restore eelgrass to Connecticut’s coast.
- Disease-resistant elms planted to filter water and reduce flooding (plus, see new photos on Facebook).
- A partnership with Aquarion Water Company to help eels reach the sea to breed.
- Identification of natural strongholds through the Northeast that, if protected, can offer resilience to a warming climate.
As we look back on a year of great successes, I hope you feel a sense of pride in the crucial conservation you have helped us imagine – and achieve.
Please consider making a commitment today to protecting and restoring nature in the Nutmeg State. Give a year-end gift, become a member or share one of our online stories with a friend. Together, imagine what we can achieve in 2013.
Dr. Frogard Ryan, State Director