"Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man." ~Stewart L. Udall
Preserving natural habitats has never been so important in the history of humanity and for the sake of humanity. Habitat loss is among the greatest threats to species diversity and the natural world, occurring when natural land cover, or its aquatic equivalent, is destroyed, fragmented or degraded, usually as a result of human activity. Humans have already transformed about 43% of the ice-free land surface of the planet, and according to a study from 22 respected biologists and ecologists, the world is approaching a "state shift" in Earth's biosphere where once 50% of the natural landscape is lost, there may be an ecological collapse, threatening the web of life, including humans (see also | see also). The main causes for habitat loss are logging forests, oil and gas exploration and development, draining swamps and coastal habitats for development, road construction, cattle ranching, mining, pipelines, damming rivers and draining them for irrigation, and urban sprawl, which have degraded and destroyed critical habitats throughout the world. When an ecosystem has been dramatically altered or destroyed by human activities, it may no longer be able to provide the fundamentals for species to survive or the food, water, cover, and places to raise their young. Every day there are fewer places left that wildlife can call home. Protecting and preserving the habitats that wildlife need in order to survive runs parallel to protecting the future of humanity. We depend directly on natural habitats for essential, irreplaceable ecosystem services and on key species, such as pollinators, for countless needs and benefits, but indirectly on all other species for the simple reason that everything connects. Replacing natural habitats with unnatural habitats that depend on natural habitats, yet destroy or degrade them at alarming rates - faster than they can replenish themselves - is a recipe for disaster. A recipe that can only continue to brew for so long. Learn more.
Why Protect Habitats?
American Farmland Trust
Discover 7 ways to save farmland.
Feeding a rapidly growing human population can be done by adopting a sustainable food production approach that can run indefinitely with minimized impacts on the environment, animal welfare and human health.
Rainforest Alliance Certification
"Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms have reduced their environmental footprint, are good neighbors to human and wild communities and are often integral parts of regional conservation initiatives."
Grace: Sustainable Agriculture
"Sustainable agriculture can feed the world without damaging the environment or threatening human health. The pages in this section describe what it means to produce food sustainably and how we can transition to a sustainable food future."
The Institute for Self Reliant Agriculture
"SRA is a nonprofit organization that brings self-sufficiency to people in the developing world. We teach families how to grow what they eat, providing balanced nutrition through implementation of a small-scale agriculture model.We are making a measurable, meaningful difference."
"Farm Forward implements innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farm animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture."
"Ecology Action teaches people worldwide to better feed themselves while building and preserving the soil and conserving resources."
National Parks Conservation Society
"Protecting Our Parks"
20 things you can do for rivers and rights.
National Wildlife Federation
Learn more about habitat loss and what you can do to help.
Reforest the World
Learn quick actions to help prevent deforestation and begin reforestation, find resources for assistance in planting a tree and discover the organizations working to protect forests around the world.
End Plastic Pollution
Take the plastic pledge, discover organizations working to reduce plastic pollution, purchase compostable and reusable items, and see how you can do more and go the extra mile!
Discover the three R's to help minimize the amount of waste thrown away, conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Learn the 'Ins and Outs of Recycling', how to best prevent litter and why and how to compost your waste!
The Trust for Public Land
"The nation's leader in creating city parks and raising money for local conservation, The Trust for Public Land conserves land for everyone to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places."
Avert Climate Change
Discover solutions to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Learn what you can do to help reduce air, water, soil, light and noise pollution.
Guide to Green Living
Discover the many creative, economical, smart and sustainable actions you can blend into your everyday life or add to your list of goals in order to help sustain the systems that sustain us and give future generations of all life a brighter welcome into this world.
Conserve the Oceans
"Oceans may seem vast and endless, but human activity is impacting every part of our waters and putting the health of the oceans in jeopardy. For oceans to keep sustaining us, we must find a way to sustain them." ~Nature Conservancy
Reduce Urban Sprawl
Smart Growth Network
Discover network partners and smart growth principles.
Sierra Club: Stopping Sprawl
"The Challenge to Sprawl Campaign works to fight poorly planned runaway development and promotes smart growth communities that increase transportation choices, reduce air and water pollution, and protect our natural places."
Smart Growth America
"Our coalition works with communities to fight sprawl and save money. We are making America’s neighborhoods great together."
Natural Resources Defense Council
"Cities and towns across the country are embracing smart growth as a better solution to meet the needs of their growing populations. Smart growth principles accommodate growth and development while saving open space, revitalizing neighborhoods and helping cool the planet."
Congress for the New Urbanism
"New Urbanism is lighter on the pocketbook, more efficient with tax dollars, safer for pedestrians, bikers and drivers, easier on the environment and is a healthier way to live. It just performs better."
David Suzuki Foundation: Discourage Urban Sprawl
"Okay, so you know sprawl is bad news for your health and for nature, so what can we do about it? As it turns out, quite a lot."
Sierra Club: New Roads Are Not The Answer
"A number of recent studies have provided evidence that protecting lands creates both jobs and economic opportunities. For example, a report from Headwaters Economics found that non-metro counties with at least one-third protected public lands saw employment increase by 300 percent. Another found that homes near national wildlife refuges have higher values. And recreation on lands managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior stimulated 403,000 jobs in 2011. Protecting places like Chimney Rock isn’t just about history — it’s also about the economy by supporting jobs through the varied economic impacts of tourism. A study commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation found that making Chimney Rock a national monument will double the amount of visitors to the site from 12,000 to 24,000 people over 5 years, stimulating spending and job growth. It will also double the site’s current economic impacts from $1.2 million to $2.4 million." ~Climate Progress