Land protection is among the most effective, versatile, and cost-saving tools available to address climate change and maintain clean water. OSI translates scientific research into practical guidance to help land trusts and communities conserve lands that store and absorb atmospheric carbon, buffer the impacts of storms on flood-prone communities, and safeguard water quality.
In a slate of virtual presentations this spring, OSI staff are sharing their knowledge with the goal of empowering decision-makers with strategies that can guide land protection for water and climate benefits.
2021 Southeast Land Conservation Conference
Addressing climate change is a core theme of the 2021 Southeast Land Conservation Conference put on by the Land Trust Alliance. OSI staff are leading two sessions that aim to help land trusts embed climate priorities in land protection and support community resilience to climate change.
- April 30, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm: “Land Protection to Curb Impacts from Freshwater Flooding”
Hallie Schwab, OSI Conservation Planning Coordinator; Maria Whitehead, OSI Senior Project Director for the Southeast; and Mary Alice Holley, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, will frame the important role that land trusts can play in addressing flood impacts through their conservation planning, acquisitions, and partnerships. It will also spotlight several efforts to foster local partnerships that support community priorities around flood resilience, including OSI’s land protection and planning work with partners along the Waccamaw River in Conway, South Carolina, a collaborative engaging community in plans to address flooding and expand recreational access along South Carolina’s Black River, and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s work to support flood resilience in Princeville, North Carolina.
- May 11, 9:30 am – 10:30 am: “Conservation and Carbon Mitigation: Approaches to Maximize the Carbon Impact of Conservation Projects”
Joel Houser, OSI Southeast Field Coordinator will lead an interactive session offering practical guidance to help conservationists evaluate projects and land holdings for carbon storage potential, develop a framework for integrating carbon considerations into conservation easement language, and deepen their understanding of managing conserved lands to maximize carbon storage and sequestration. The workshop draws on research and consultation with field experts that helped shape OSI’s Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund.