This year, Restore America’s Estuaries celebrates 25 years of history in the estuary restoration community. As we reflect on our past success, we are also looking to the future with a new strategic plan that will see us through to 2025 and beyond. Key underpinnings and components of this ambitious plan center around the common theme that our coasts and estuaries are on the front lines of defense against an uncertain future.
Coasts are the front lines
Our nation’s coasts are on the front lines of climate change. Sea-level rise, increasingly dangerous storms, poor water quality – all place millions of lives at risk around the country. These climate impacts threaten the natural resources, ecology, and scenic beauty that sustain coastal communities and drive local economies.
It is time to invest in our estuaries for the benefit of all
Restore America’s Estuaries envisions a future in which estuaries and bays are healthy, thriving, and resilient ecosystems for both people and wildlife. In moving towards this future, we look for inclusive community partners, strong sustainable funding, fully-scaled infrastructure, and a national commitment to protecting and restoring our coasts. How our nation responds to the threats posed by these coastal climate impacts is profoundly important. Coasts serve as our first line of defense against storm surges and flooding, and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people and the economies of local communities.
We are uniquely positioned to lead this charge; our influence stretches from the Puget Sound to Narragansett Bay, from the Gulf Coast to the Chesapeake. The time is now to save our bays and estuaries for future generations to enjoy.
Our blueprint for the future
To strive towards our vision for the future, we have established three pillars of our strategic vision.
- RAE will lead a national campaign aimed at achieving a massive federal investment for our estuaries at a level that is commensurate with the magnitude and scale of the climate threat. A sense of urgency underpins this effort as we seek to develop a broad, bipartisan coalition of congressional champions.
- We aim to engage a broader, more inclusive community to increase the scale of our efforts. We seek to find innovate strategies to protect, restore, and adapt estuaries to the effects of climate change.
- We will focus internally to increase our capacity as an organization and position ourselves as the “go-to” source for estuary priorities and resources.
The stakes are high as we enter this next phase – but the time is now. Through RAE’s continued leadership, we are sure to protect these special places for the future.
To read our full 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, click here.
Jeff Benoit is president and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries.