June 20, 2008

EPA Creates Strategies to Save Ecosystems

Strategies to protect sensitive ecosystems in the Unites States from the impact of climate change are the basis of a new federal report.

People always say, 'Don't just tell us what will happen -- tell us what we can do about it,' George Gray, assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development, said in a statement. By using the strategies outlined in this document, we can help managers protect our parks, rivers, and forests from possible future impacts of a changing climate.

The report used management goals for each protected area to understand what strategies would help each ecosystem bounce back. Using these strategies, the EPA said its managers can maintain the original goals set for these ecosystems under changing climatic conditions.

Researchers found climate change increases the impact of an ecosystem's stressors, such as pollution or habitat destruction, and that many existing best management practices to reduce the stressors are applicable in reducing climate change's impact.