By Timothy Cama – 10/09/14 03:06 PM EDT
The White House launched a set of initiatives aimed at protecting natural resources like landscapes and water from the effects of climate change. The actions center around making natural resources resilient to climate change, improving plants and ecosystems that capture carbon dioxide and better incorporating natural systems into infrastructure and communities, the White House said Wednesday. The plan “identifies a suite of actions the federal government will take to enhance the resilience of America’s natural resources to the impacts of climate change and promote their ability to absorb carbon dioxide,” the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality said in a fact sheet. Along with the federal actions, the White House announced a number of commitments from the private sector with similar goals, including restoring estuaries and mapping forests that trap carbon. Specific federal steps are to be taken by a variety of agencies. The Army Corps of Engineers, for example, updated its model for coastal vulnerability assessments. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it would help fund more than 300 projects to build coastal communities that are resilient to climate change impacts like rising sea levels. The American Forest Foundation (AFF) committed help with a $10 million program to reach out to private forest owners and encourage them to maintain the forests sustainably.