A site of oyster reef restoration in Mobile Bay, Alabama, led by The Nature Conservancy's Gulf of Mexico Partnership.
Oyster Reef Restoration A site of oyster reef restoration in Mobile Bay, Alabama, led by The Nature Conservancy's Gulf of Mexico Partnership. © Carlton Ward Jr.

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TNC Testimony on the U.S. Restoration Economy

Testimony of Brent Keith, Senior Policy Advisor for Lands at The Nature Conservancy

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing yesterday on the potential environmental and economic benefits of the restoration economy.

Brent Keith, senior policy advisor for lands at The Nature Conservancy, discussed how – at a time when the country is grappling with so many social, economic and environmental challenges – investments in work like restoring oyster reefs, improving forest health and land conservation can benefit the United States and the planet.

“The Nature Conservancy and other entities’ research present hopeful possibilities to address climate change, to restore ecosystems, and to improve water quality while also meeting the health, welfare and livelihood needs of people in the United States and across the globe. As we shift to broader recovery efforts it is imperative that we invest in conservation and work to unlock the full potential of the restoration economy.”

Noting the wealth of benefits healthy, natural ecosystems provide – including clean air and drinking water, protection from flooding and storms, habitat for wildlife, outdoor recreation opportunities and sequestration of carbon – Keith said investing in restoration is also a proven job creator and economic driver. He noted that evidence from the 2008-2009 financial crisis response measures in the United States shows that environmental restoration has one of the highest rates of job creation per million dollars of stimulus among any of the sectors analyzed.

“Investing in conservation and restoration of these lands and waters can play a critical role in helping America recover while also making progress in shifting us toward a more sustainable future where people and nature can both thrive.”

See Brent Keith's full testimony here. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.