The Future Is in Our Lands: A Campaign for a Natural Climate Solution

People on a trail bridge at North River Wildlife Sanctuary
North River Wildlife Sanctuary

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This article was featured in the Summer 2020 issue of Explore, our quarterly magazine for members.

In times of crisis, the things that matter most come into sharper focus. Recent events have triggered a broad, and growing, recognition of the role that land plays for people working through challenging times. In terms of the climate crisis, we find that this deeply held connection to land not only provides immediate solace but is part of the larger solution we need.

We experience or read about the climate crisis every day. We know now that we have just 10 years to boldly address the crisis before the trends become irreversible. While we cannot turn back the clock, there is much we can still do—that we must do. We need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are releasing into the atmosphere while at the same time prepare for and adapt to a changing landscape.

Protecting land does both of those things and is one of the most tangible and powerful solutions to combating climate change. This is why Mass Audubon is launching an ambitious campaign to protect 4,000 ecologically significant and resilient acres in Massachusetts. And you can help.

Wellfleet Bay marsh in late afternoon summer
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Land Protection as an Answer

Land is what grounds us, literally. Forests, wetlands, grasslands—they all provide homes for plants and wildlife as well as sanctuary for people.

Increasingly, land also plays a critical role in protecting our climate and our health. Undeveloped land stores carbon and other greenhouse gases—our most important weapon in the fight against climate change. In fact, every acre of conserved land offsets the emissions of approximately 25 cars per year on average.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, connected open spaces provide corridors that give wildlife and plant species the room to move to more suitable habitat as the climate changes. Salt marshes, for example, will need to migrate inland as sea levels rise, to continue serving as an effective flood buffer for developed areas. These shifting ecosystems will also protect the biodiversity found in our undeveloped natural areas.

The Future is in Our Lands Campaign

Mass Audubon has been conserving land for more than 100 years. We currently protect more than 38,000 acres across the Commonwealth. But we need to and are committed to doing more.

Least Tern with a wing over its chick © Jeff Blanchard
Least Tern with chick © Jeff Blanchard

By protecting ecologically significant and resilient land from development, we will trap the carbon these lands store. We will also save wildlife and their habitats, secure places for people to connect with nature, and improve the well-being of the nearby communities by contributing to clean air and drinking water. Specifically, we will prioritize the acres we protect by evaluating their impact on:

  • Carbon Storage
  • Flood Storage
  • Wildlife Protection
  • Clean Water and Air
  • Human Health

We now must use Mass Audubon's long-standing strength of protecting critical lands to maximize our impact on climate change. With your help, Mass Audubon is ready to act now, with several exciting land conservation projects already underway.

How You Can Help

You can make a difference in the effort to fight climate change! Our goal is to raise $4 million to protect 4,000 acres. With every gift, you will make a difference in the future of Massachusetts so that everyone can continue to appreciate the resilience, beauty, and restorative power of nature.

Please consider a gift to this effort today. Make a gift to a particular land project, or the overall campaign for 4,000 acres across Massachusetts.

Support the Campaign >