» Land use

The Nature Conservancy Global Solutions

We are optimists about Earth’s future. The Nature Conservancy envisions a world where people and nature thrive together. But today our world is at a crucial juncture. We will soon be nine billion people sharing one planet. A development boom is lifting billions out of poverty, but increasing demands for food, water and energy are stressing nature to its limits. We are trapped in a vicious cycle in which we over-exploit and degrade nature, in turn impoverishing life for people. We see another way forward – one that accounts for nature’s full value in all the decisions we make. It’s about creating a virtuous cycle, in which we take care of nature so that nature can continue to take care of us. Pursuing Global Solutions: In response to current Global Challenges, we will pursue Global Solutions at the intersection of nature’s and people’s needs. The Solutions are areas where we will develop specific strategies and link them to our place-based work at the system scale. These are the leverage points that take our work to a greater relevance beyond the acres we can conserve directly. Read More

National Low Impact Development (LID) Atlas

This Low Impact Development (LID) Atlas was created for the National Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network by the Connecticut NEMO program and the California Center for Water and Land Use to highlight innovative LID practices around the country. Its goal is to encourage and educate local officials and others about low impact development practices by providing specific, local examples of their use. The 31 member programs of the National NEMO Network have compiled the projects highlighted on this site and will continue to add new projects as they become available. Each project balloon contains project specifics, a summary of the project, photos (when available) and links to more information. Read More

Islands on the Edge: Housing Development and Other Threats to America's Pacific and Caribbean Island Forests (2014)

This report provides an overview of expected housing density changes and related impacts to private forests on America’s islands in the Pacific and Carribbean, specifically Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The vulnerability of island forests to conversion for housing development, introduction and spread of invasive species, and risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, among other concerns are discussed. The maps and projections suggest that in localized areas from 3 to 25 percent of private forest land is likely to experience a substantial increase in housing density from 2000 to 2030. Resource managers, developers, community leaders, and landowners should consider the impacts of housing development and invasive species on ecosystem services in coming decades. Read More

Threats to At-Risk Species in America's Private Forests: A Forests on the Edge Report

America’s private forests harbor thousands of species – from butterflies, bears, birds and bats; to salmon, snails and salamanders that inhabit streams and wetlands; to flowers, trees and shrubs that feed and protect wildlife and enrich human lives. Many native animals and plants found in private forests nationwide are at risk of decline or extinction, in part because of impacts of increasing housing development. The effects of development on at-risk species on private forests are intensified by additional impacts from fire, insects and disease. Read More

Nonpoint Pollution for Municipal Officials (NEMO): Tools and Resources

Basic NEMO (Nonpoint source pollution Education for Municipal Officials) presentations, fact sheets, and soap box articles regarding the link between land use and water quality. NEMO has come to stand for outreach programs that provide resources that allow for good land use planning and site design that balances growth AND environmental protection. Read More

Understanding the Motivations, Satisfaction, and Retention of Landowners in Private Land Conservation Programs

Private land conservation is an increasingly popular approach to protect critical biodiversity. In the Western Cape Province of South Africa private land conservation is the focal strategy for CapeNature, the provincial conservation agency. Despite its importance, little is known about the drivers of landowner participation in the CapeNature program and how these varied motivations influence participant satisfaction and retention. Our psychometric survey of 75 enrolled landowners found that the highest ranked motivations to participate were Conservation and Place Attachment but Social Learning had a stronger influence on program satisfaction. Landowners participate to fulfill a motivation or set of motivations but their satisfaction and commitment may hinge on other unforeseen motivations or factors. Understanding the relationship between motivations, satisfaction, and commitment is necessary for a successful retention strategy in any conservation program, especially on private lands where success depends on landowner commitment. This research was incorporated into improving CapeNature’s program delivery. Read More

Environmental Politics and Law (Yale Open Courseware)

Can law change human behavior to be less environmentally damaging? Law will be examined through case histories including: environmental effects of national security, pesticides, air pollution, consumer products, plastics, parks and protected area management, land use, urban growth and sprawl, public/private transit, drinking water standards, food safety, and hazardous site restoration in this free online class. In each case we will review the structure of law and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Read More

Ecological Dimensions of Biofuels

In this report we summarize the environmental effects of biofuels, illustrate some uncertainties about these effects, and identify topics for an integrated research program aimed at clarifying tradeoffs and reducing uncertainties in planning for sustainable biofuels production. Our considerations include effects on GHG emissions, soil carbon, water supply and quantity, land use, and biodiversity. Read More

Climate Change and U.S. Natural Resources: Advancing the Nation's Capability to Adapt

Climate change is affecting land, water, and biodiversity in a variety of ways. Higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, increasing extreme events (droughts and floods), and increasing disturbances are occurring across the United States, with detrimental effects on sensitive systems. These kinds of changes, combined with other ongoing stresses, such as landscape fragmentation, could dramatically hinder the ability of natural resource managers to maintain established goals for ecosystems and species now and in the future. The purpose of this Issue is to provide a broad perspective on approaches for adapting to climate change impacts on national water and land resources and biodiversity. Using examples from different management settings, we explore ways to apply management options that allow natural and managed systems to adjust to the range of potential variations in future climate conditions. Read More

EPA Envirofacts

Envirofacts is a single point of access to select U.S. EPA environmental data. This website provides access to several EPA databases to provide you with information about environmental activities that may affect air, water, and land anywhere in the United States. With Envirofacts, you can learn more about these environmental activities in your area or you can generate maps of environmental information. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu