Environment
Protecting Natural Resources
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
Preservation of the natural environment is essential for maintaining community sustainability. This section presents various approaches and techniques used successfully in different communities to protect and restore their natural resources.
  • Water
    Adequate water supplies of high quality are necessary both for community use and local ecosystems. Communities and jurisdictions must work together to assure an adequate water supply to meet future needs. This section presents resources to aid in that effort.
  • Energy
    Communities require energy. Nonrenewable sources for power generation, home and workplace, and transportation cause pollution and its harmful impacts. Energy conservation and the use of renewable fuels provide cost-effective and more sustainable alternatives. This section contains resources available to make energy use more efficient.
  • Air and Climate
    Both the natural ecosystem and human health can be adversely impacted by declining air quality and climatic change. Communities can preserve air quality by limiting or eliminating the discharge of harmful chemicals into the air and by minimizing the sources of air pollution. This section contains resources and approaches that address air quality and climate change.
  • Biodiversity
    Biodiversity is particularly important for creating sustainability because of the specialized roles each species plays in maintaining ecological balance. Communities can promote healthy wildlife by supporting integrative approaches for managing, protecting, and enhancing wildlife populations and habitats appropriate to their area. Some examples are given here.
  • Land, Forests, and Ecosystems
    While providing a protective covering for soil, water, and the atmosphere, forests are also renewable sources of an endless variety of products. In a healthy ecosystem, policies and programs must balance economic and conservation needs. This section highlights cases where communities have developed land use practices and businesses that both conserve ecosystems and enhance local economies.