Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds Multi-Agency Report “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” on How the United States Will Advance a 30% x 2030 Conservation Goal

Annapolis, Md. – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council on Environmental Quality released a report outlining core principles and recommendations on how the United States can protect 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030 in order to protect nature, mitigate against climate change and address longstanding inequities of access to the outdoors.

The Interior report was issued in response to President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 on “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” which included a 30 x 30 conservation goal as a part of the U.S. strategy to address the impacts of global climate change.

The report states that the “goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 echoes the recommendations of scientists who encourage world leaders to work together to conserve or restore a substantial portion of our planet to stem the extinction crisis, safeguard water and food supplies, absorb carbon pollution, and reduce the risks of future pandemics and other global health emergencies.”

Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn commended the report, stating, “I applaud the swift efforts by the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce and the Council on Environmental Quality to organize a U.S. strategy on conserving 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, as outlined in the report ‘Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful.’

“Our nation and our world face dual impending crises – global climate change and a rapid loss of biodiversity and species abundance. The negative impacts of these crises on public health, our economy, on wildlife and on the health of our planet cannot be overstated. These existential crises demand action by all sectors of society and on all levels of government.

“Protecting nature and America’s lands and waters must be a core part of any strategy to address these crises. Setting a 30% by 2030 conservation goal is a meaningful milestone that will motivate the full spectrum of stakeholders – government, non-profits, tribes, investors and private landowners – to unite behind a 30 x 30 goal for the benefit and health of the American people, our wildlife and our invaluable natural resources.

“Importantly, the report on a 30 x 30 strategy for the United States is guided by principles that would include underserved communities and historically excluded communities, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Land and water protection is land and water policy and conservation partners must ensure that efforts to protect nature do not negatively impact these communities, and even better, serve to benefit the health and well-being of these communities.

“Here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where 22% of the Chesapeake’s lands are protected, we are working to implement our own 30% by 2030 goal for the landscape. Protecting nature and open space in the Bay watershed will through the power of partnerships, especially the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, and by leveraging technology, we can achieve a 30% by 2030 goal to protect nature in the Chesapeake Bay region and to ensure that the Chesapeake Bay watershed continues to be a landscape where people and wildlife can thrive.”