It's easy to take for the granted the importance of environmental management. However, its economic and intrinsic value can not be overstated. Environmental management occurs at all levels--from a city park's native prairie garden to grand scale projects such as management of vast wetlands like the Everglades. State and federal agencies work hand-in-hand with non-profit agencies such as the Nature Conservancy and Defenders of Wildlife to acquire and manage resources. Restoration and preservation are key components to resource management.
The impacts of habitat loss are far reaching. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that more than one-third of the nation's threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands, with nearly half dependent upon wetlands at some point during their life cycle. Reductions in numbers of waterfowl dependent on prairie potholes have risen with the loss of grasslands according to North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Clearly, a loss of habitat will contribute to extinction figures.
Why should you care about loss of waterfowl or other animals? In addition to habitat, wetlands provide flood protection. A single acre of wetlands can store up to 1.5 million gallons of water. A study by the Wetlands Initiative states that restoration of the 100-year flood zone on the Upper Mississippi could have mollified the property damage and crop loss of the the Great Flood of 1993. Environmental management also includes the protection of human health through projects such as the Department of Energy's cleanup of nuclear waste sites.
Proper environmental management is vital. The ramifications of mismanagement or no management are severe. With increased habitat fragmentation comes the risk of loss of the benefits the natural environment provides such as flood protection. As non-native plants species spread into native ecosystems, there are additional risks of loss of food sources and habitat.
A widespread belief prevails that the land will take care of itself. Indeed, the land and its wildlife will adapt---or perish. When changes occur too quickly, wildlife species may not recover. If invasive species are allowed to take over wetlands, forests and prairies, the entire underlying structure of the ecosystem is in peril. The economic value of wetlands, for example, in terms of flood protection, makes environmental management of the highest priority.
Additional benefits of environmental management include the aesthetic value of being outdoors and being able to experience the sound of flocks of geese taking flight or hearing the rush of river waters. It is a value that cannot be qualified but surely exists.
As Thoreau once said, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." Respect and support for environmental management practices is key to that goal.
- Photo Credit Cheryl Empey: Stock.xchng
Why Classroom Management Is Important
Discipline often comes to mind at the mention of classroom management, but the crucial component of teaching is much more. Classroom management...
What Is Environmental Management?
As Aldo Leopold defined it, “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” The goal of environmental management is to...
The Importance of Leadership in Managing Change
Small changes occur on a daily basis, but nearly all organizations experience major changes at least once, if not several times over...
CPR Certification Study Guide
When you are tested for CPR certification, there will be some variance in the flow of the skills testing depending on the...
Importance of Environmental Management System
An environmental management system addresses the environmental impact of an organization's activities and establishes goals and procedures that will improve the impact...
The Importance of Hazardous Waste Management
A variety of human activities, including manufacturing, medical practice and transportation, generate hazardous wastes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental...
Importance of Environment in the Classroom
Classroom environments are extremely important for students and for teachers. Everything from the color of the walls to the arrangement of the...
What Is the Concept of Environmental Management?
Environmental management takes an approach of managing an entire ecosystem instead of focusing only on specific resources, such as air, water or...
The Importance of the International Business Environment
The international business and trade environment is the backbone of global economy. Trade agreements to buying and selling goods and services internationally...
Importance of Management
Effective managers are essential to the success of any organization. Management decisions reach into every aspect of the company and affect workers...