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Loss of Coastal Wetlands

Coastal wetlands in the United States are disappearing faster than ever, as population growth and human development place pressure on this critical habitat.

Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on earth, and a loss of wetlands is also a loss of wildlife habitat, water quality control and shoreline protection. Wetlands provide spawning grounds, nurseries, shelter and food to fish, shellfish, birds and other animals; wetlands filter polluted runoff before it can enter our rivers and streams; and wetlands stabilize shorelines in the face Coastal Wetland Mapof strong storms, sea level rise and climate change.

While some wetland losses can be offset by the creation of new wetlands elsewhere, this mitigation strategy is often ineffective along the coast. According to the report, this is because coastal ecosystems can be difficult to work in, storms and sea level rise can hamper reestablishment efforts, and human encroachment and land use can cut down on the number of available sites to restore. Indeed, most of the nation’s coastal wetland loss can be attributed to development and other human activities that increase impervious surface area, affect water quality and fragment or destroy natural habitats.

Learn more about the status and trends of wetlands in the coastal watersheds of the conterminous United States.

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Six Ways to Go Green on Earth Day

Earth Day Tips

Annual Earth Day celebrations highlight the importance of conserving energy, reducing waste and treating the planet with respect and care. Remember, even minor changes to your daily routine can go a long way toward reducing waste.

With this in mind, here are six ways you can go "green" this Earth Day:

Water Conservation
Water conservation is a critical part of an eco-friendly lifestyle that can also save you hundreds on annual heating and water costs. By simply taking shorter showers and shutting off faucets completely when they are not in use, you can vastly reduce the amount of water your household consumes each year. You might even consider installing inexpensive appliances like low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to limit your water waste even further.

Reusable Bags
Each year, just 1 percent of the 100 billion plastic bags consumed in America are recycled, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. So next time you head to your local supermarket, try bringing reusable bags with you. These sturdy and recyclable bags can drastically cut down on waste and pollution and can be purchased at most supermarkets and stores.

Donate Old Electronics
The meteoric rise of the tech industry over the past two decades has brought with it new and severe consequences for the environment. In response, a plethora of groups have emerged offering to recycle and reuse outdated and unwanted technology.

Best Buy's Take Back program, for example, accepts all electronics for recycling, regardless of where they were purchased. Alternatively, there are a number of charities that will accept your old cellphones and other devices, for the purpose of refurbishing and redistributing them among the less fortunate.

Adjust the Thermostat
As much as half of the energy used in your home is spent on heating and cooling, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. By making minor adjustments to your temperature control systems, you can save hundreds on energy bills while significantly reducing your carbon footprint.

For a more long-term solution, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Although these systems can be costly initially, they will more than pay for themselves over the course of several years.

Shop Smart
Try getting the most from your regular grocery shopping by buying in bulk whenever possible. Not only will this save you from the hassle of making extra trips, but it will also cut down fuel and packaging waste. Similarly, if you're shopping for clothes, you should consider paying a little extra for garments made from more high-quality material that will last longer than cheaper throwaways.

Pass on Gas
According to the Worldwatch Institute, the United States consumes about a quarter of the world's fossil fuel resources despite accounting for less than 5 percent of the global population. Why not consider biking or walking to work or school for a healthy way to save on gas and parking prices? Alternatively, you could try using more fuel efficient methods of traveling, like carpooling or public transportation, to get to your destination.  


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org 
             
The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

Ford Motor Company
www.ford.com

Urbana University
www.urbana.edu

Defenders of Wildlife
www.defenders.org

The Earthday Network
www.earthday.org/2012

Bloomberg Businessweek
www.businessweek.com

Small Busienss Trends
www.smallbiztrends.com

The Dodson Group
www.thedodsongrp.com      

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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