Nature Conservancy

Warm day today. We walked over to Open Road for supper and a couple beers. Alex came along.

But boozing is normal for us. The less usual part of our day was our breakfast at Virginia Nature Conservancy (TNC), shown in the last picture.

The Nature Conservancy is the best of the environmental organizations because they effectively work with partners, private, government and NGOs. TNC is not confrontational, nor do they need to take credit. For them the mission of making a better environment trumps all else.

We have been contributing to TNC for more than 30 years, which is likely why they invite Chrissy and me to these sort of events.

The Nature Conservancy
President of Virginia TNC, Locke Ogens, talked about the Conservancy’s efforts in Virginia form the mountains to the sea.

Climate smart forestry
In the mountains, TNC is stitching together lands important to migratory birds. Complementing this is “climate smart forestry”. TNC leadership understands that most conservation much be done on private lands and that it must return some profit. They are showing the conservation can produce profit. Logging and conservation are more than possible; they are both important goals.

On piedmont and tidewater, TNC is working to restore longleaf pine. This is where I have most contact with them because of my interest here. I have written a lot about this elsewhere, so I will not repeat.

Blue Carbon
Something newer to me was “blue carbon”. TNC is working to enhance living infrastructure of clam reefs and sea grass. These are working laboratories. Studies indicate that they slow down storms and help protect coastal ecology and cities. TNC is working with the City of Virginia Beach to improve green infrastructure to also include planting of trees to wick up flood waters and mitigate water damage through transpiration. My friend Tim Receveur might be interested in this.

Sea grass can sequester a lot of carbon. We currently do not know how much. TMC scientists are currently studying this.

Adapting to climate change
An overall theme of TNC is adaptation to climate change. Ecosystems are migrating north as the climate warms. We need to facilitate that movement. We can help by planting southern trees near the north of their range, as we are doing with longleaf. We also want to facilitate movement of animals. To that extent, we need to protect corridors.