Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds President Biden’s Expected Announcement of a 30% by 2030 Conservation Goal for the United States

Announces Goal to Protect 30% of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by 2030

Annapolis, Md. – Today, President Biden is expected to announce a national goal to conserve at least 30% each of our lands and waters by the year 2030 in order to protect America’s wildlife and natural landscapes.

President Biden’s “30 x 30” initiative for conservation in the United States was issued in response to the current global biodiversity and species abundance crisis. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), one million species globally of a total estimated eight million species are at risk of extinction within the coming decades. About one-third of all wildlife in the United States are at increased risk for extinction.

The threat of species extinction and severe loss of species abundance is directly linked to the loss of wildlife habitat due to changes in sea and land use, exploitation of organisms, global climate change, pollution, and invasive species. The IPBES reported in 2019 that humans have significantly altered 75% of the land-based environment and 66% of the marine environment.

Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn praised the announcement by President Biden, stating,

“Chesapeake Conservancy applauds the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement today of a 30% by 2030 conservation goal for the United States. The global biodiversity crisis and global climate change are existential crises that will determine the future of nature and in turn, the future of humanity on our precious planet earth. There is simply no way to overstate the gravity of these imminent threats, and humanity as a species must take immediate action to prevent these environmental crises.

“Achieving a 30 x 30 conservation goal to protect nature in the United States is an important and feasible milestone that will protect America’s iconic wildlife, waters, and landscapes and that will demonstrate conservation leadership internationally.

“Achieving this goal in a meaningful way means that the United States must protect a diversity of habitats and species across the country, including here on the eastern seaboard. Getting to 30% by 2030 requires local support and adoption. Importantly, inclusion of all communities in the effort, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who have been forcibly separated from land and water ownership and historically excluded from America’s conserved areas, must be a core component of this goal. Finally, achieving 30 x 30 will require increased innovation and partnership across all levels of government, communities, non-profits, and the private sector.

“Chesapeake Conservancy is embarking on a 30% by 2030 conservation and restoration goal for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay is our nation’s largest estuary and a national treasure. The Bay is one of the most biologically productive environments in the world, and its 64,000 square-mile watershed is home to more than 3,600 species of animals and plants. The Bay watershed is an incredibly diverse landscape, featuring a gradient of land uses from highly urbanized cities to agriculture to protected forests. Conservation and restoration practices have a big impact here on the water quality and habitats of our rivers and streams and the Bay itself.

“Chesapeake Conservancy believes that the Bay watershed is an ideal proving ground for a U.S. 30% by 2030 conservation and restoration goal. The Bay features a rich ecosystem of partners, from environmental non-profits to governments to businesses, all working together to restore the Bay and protect its watershed. With a rapidly changing landscape due to increased urbanization and land use change and with a beloved ecosystem damaged by pollution, the Bay has also been a center for innovation in conservation and restoration practices that have been replicated across the country.

“Getting to a conservation goal of 30% by 2030 as a nation will be a monumental challenge, but the urgency and importance of our efforts to achieve this goal could not be greater. With 22% of our watershed already conserved and a strong Chesapeake Conservation Partnership in place, Chesapeake Conservancy is calling for a 30% by 2030 conservation goal for the Chesapeake Bay watershed to protect our own lands and waters and to contribute to this national 30 x 30 conservation goal.”

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