"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
- Charles Darwin
ECCo scientists recognize that climate change has the potential to jeopardize much of the regional conservation and restoration work that has been done over the past 30 years. As a member of Chicago Wilderness (CW), an alliance of over 250 organizations dedicated to restoring biodiversity in the region, the team helped to develop and launch the CW Climate Action Plan for Nature (CAPN) in 2010. This Plan specifically addresses climate change impacts to the natural communities spanning across a four-state region and represents an ecosystem-based approach to responding to climate change. The CAPN complements the Chicago Climate Action Plan, focused on human health and the built and natural environments within the City of Chicago, and ECCo ecologists work collaboratively with Chicago's Department of Environment on urban ecosystem adaptation strategies.
The team serves on the CW Climate Change Task Force and is leading several of the efforts to implement the CAPN, including developing Climate Clinics aimed at building the capacity of CW members to put the Plan's actions into practice. In Spring 2011 ECCo ecologists completed a revision of CW's Biodiversity Recovery Plan, a road map to restoration and management in the region, that incorporates climate change impacts to biodiversity. These “climate-smart” management practices are intended to not only protect current conservation investments, but also increase the likelihood natural resources can continue to provide the ecological services both human and natural communities rely upon as the environment continues to shift.
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Learn more about ECCo's work Engaging Chicago Communities in Climate Action