Policy Work in Ohio
The Nature Conservancy is striving to create a world where people and nature thrive. Ohio is a state with a strong economy and an abundance of natural resources. We believe those are not mutually exclusive. Our policy efforts reflect that philosophy.
The Nature Conservancy in Ohio focuses on policies that will help Ohio solve urgent issues that affect the lives of all Ohioans. We seek to apply the best available science to protect and restore our most important lands and waters, address the causes and impacts of climate change, help our cities become more sustainable, and create opportunities for people to connect with nature. We are nonpartisan and strive to work cooperatively with elected officials, partners and policy makers in Washington D.C., Columbus and throughout Ohio to achieve lasting results.
CHANGING CLIMATE AND ADAPTATION
We face ever-increasing pressures related to climate change. Ohioans are experiencing the impacts of record-setting rainfall and drought events, water level increases and decreases, unseasonable temperatures and other atypical occurrences.
America now has the challenge and the opportunity to reinvent how we generate, transport, store and use our electric power. Ohio has always been an innovative and energy-rich state. Our geographic location puts us right at the center of opportunities to help meet the growing and changing needs of Americans while demonstrating leadership to ensure a prosperous, clean and secure energy future.
We see unprecedented opportunities to advance clean energy policies at the federal and state levels. Clean energy can cost-effectively address climate change, reduce health risks to people and create a more reliable energy sector. We support policies to increase energy efficiency, spur growth in renewable energy and enhance technology. We oppose the recently-passed House Bill 6 which weakened the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy portfolio standards, as well as the restrictive wind setback regulations that have prevented new wind farm development in Ohio.
PROTECTING LAND AND WATER
Federal and state investments in nature bring big returns. They help America sustain healthy lands and waters that support thriving, resilient communities and dynamic economies. Investments in nature are also investments in clean water and clean air for our children and grandchildren. The Nature Conservancy in Ohio supports federal, state and local programs and partnerships that enrich our lives and connect people with nature.
We advocate for programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which is a federal program that protects parks, battlefields and other iconic places nationwide for the public benefit. Since it was initiated, the program has provided $330 million to protect some of Ohio’s most cherished places, such as Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
At the state level we continue to highlight the importance of the Clean Ohio Fund . This is a state program that funds greenspace conservation, farmland preservation and trail construction and, initially, brownfields revitalization. We believe that all four of these pillars are important to protecting land and water, building healthy cities and connecting people with their natural environment. Since its inception, it has benefited all 88 counties in Ohio and has leveraged millions of dollars of private support.
We believe that integration of natural solutions, as well as the acceleration of agricultural best management practices, can help realize significant improvements for Ohio’s water quality. We were instrumental in designing and advocating for the recently passed H2Ohio fund. This innovative fund is set up to improve water quality by reducing and removing excess nutrients before they pose a threat to public water supplies. This program will improve the quality of life for our urban and rural residents, lead to safer drinking water and improved recreation, tourism, habitat, and enhance the quality of life for all who live and recreate in Ohio.
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