Publications

Department of the Interior Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap

This comprehensive resource, created in collaboration with the US Department of the Interior, is a first-of-its-kind reference for implementing nature-based solutions. Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage or restore natural or modified ecosystems to address societal challenges—including climate change—in ways that help people and the environment. Examples cited in the Roadmap range from urban stormwater and runoff management to prescribed burns to living shorelines to restoration of various ecosystems.

Financing Nature-Based Solutions via the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

The $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) in the Inflation Reduction Act—particularly the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund and $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator—represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage private capital for investments in environmental infrastructure and nature-based solutions, but the groundwork needs to be laid now. This document summarizes the relevant GGRF funds and their applicability for nature-based solutions.

Expanding Finance for Nature-Based Solutions to Achieve Climate, Environment, and Community Goals: An Introduction for Green Banks and Community Lenders

There has been unprecedented recent government investment in nature-based solutions. This document lays out a vision that describes why nature-based solutions are relevant and important to green banks' and community development financial institutions' climate- and community-driven missions, and what types of projects these institutions might support.

Assessing the Effects of Management Activities on Biodiversity and Carbon Storage on Public and Private Lands and Waters in the United States

Natural and working lands (NWLs) provide many benefits to people, including storing greenhouse gases (GHGs), supporting biodiversity, and generating other ecosystem services. Management of NWLs can influence their condition and function and therefore the benefits they provide. This project surveys the synthesis literature to assess how management actions on various types of NWLs affect biodiversity and GHG outcomes. This information can help to determine how to best manage these lands to contribute to both biodiversity and climate solutions in the United States.

State of the Coast: A Review of Coastal Management Policies for Six States

This analysis of coastal habitat policy in six US states—California, Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington—aims to identify promising policy approaches for improved protection and restoration of oyster reefs, mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass.

Developing a State-Level Natural and Working Lands Climate Action Plan

Natural and working lands—forests, wetlands, coastal, and agricultural lands—provide many benefits, including supporting key economic sectors, enhancing community resilience to hazards such as fires and floods, and contributing to climate mitigation by storing large amounts of carbon. This guide is aimed at states interested in developing plans for conserving, managing, and restoring these lands to preserve and enhance their benefits. The guide uses examples from North Carolina’s recently completed Natural and Working Lands Action Plan to walk through the planning process, helpful resources, and the tracking of plan implementation.

Sea Level Rise Drives Carbon and Habitat Loss in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastal Zone

As the climate changes, marshes on the Atlantic coast will migrate inland and cause even more carbon to be released into the atmosphere, a new modeling study finds. Researchers developed a spatial model for predicting habitat and carbon changes due to SLR in six mid-Atlantic U.S. states likely to face coastal habitat loss. The modeling runs looked at land changes in coastal areas through the year 2104 in scenarios that predict intermediate sea level rise. In 16 out of the 19 runs of the model, inland marsh migration converted land from a net carbon sink to a net carbon source.

A Menu of State Actions to Promote Forest Carbon Sequestration and Storage

Across the U.S., states are developing policies and programs to help promote forest-based natural climate solutions. This effort is bolstered by a growth in forest carbon programs that aim to make entry into the voluntary carbon offset market accessible to all landowners. Here we present a “menu” of policy and program options (that we call action items) derived from existing state programs and policies that decision makers can leverage to promote forest carbon solutions.

Tracking the Benefits of Natural & Working Lands in the United States: Dataset Evaluation and Readiness Assessment

Natural and working lands (NWL) in the United States provide many benefits, including food, climate mitigation, recreational opportunities, jobs, and many more. There is currently no coordinated approach in the United States to track how provision of these benefits is changing over time. This project begins to fill this gap by identifying datasets that can be used to track the status and trends of NWL benefits (i.e., ecosystem services), assessing their readiness for use in the near-term, and highlighting data gaps and limitations that need to be addressed for a national assessment.

Fixing Financial, Economic and Governance Structures to Save Forests and the Ocean, and Enhance Their Contributions to Climate Change Solutions

Forests and the ocean are vital for climate, biological diversity, and human communities, but they are degraded and their ecosystem services are seriously impaired, mainly because financial, economic and governance structures are misconfigured. We propose that G20 help strengthen the REDD+ climate instrument for forests and extend it to Blue Carbon1 from coastal and marine ecosystems. Scaled up to cover the Earth’s two largest, most diverse and most productive ecosystems, these two approaches can deliver significant economic and climate benefits.