Conservation of Valuable U.S. Lands and Waters Can Help Species Thrive

Collected resources on federal and state efforts to protect and restore biodiversity

Mark O. Kaletka BY NC SA

The United States is one of 17 nations worldwide that scientists have defined as “megadiverse,” meaning they harbor a wide selection of the Earth’s species, including many found in only one place. The nation’s mountains, forests, rivers, and coasts provide immense benefits to nature and people, including clean drinking water, habitat, recreation, and wildlife viewing. These landscapes also hold cultural and spiritual importance and serve as economic engines for communities nationwide.

Although governments and communities have made great strides to protect U.S. lands and waters, more action is needed to conserve species-rich ecosystems and those that can help to support wildlife in adapting to a changing climate. By protecting these areas, the nation can safeguard its natural and cultural resources and promote people’s health and well-being.

The resources collected here reflect the breadth of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ efforts to protect and restore U.S. lands, rivers, coasts, and oceans. 


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