The Nov. 19 news article “Wildlife refuges among areas dealt a blow by Sandy” highlighted the high cost of repairing the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is struggling to manage its refuges on a limited budget in the face of a serious and long-term threat: climate change.
It is vital that our national wildlife refuges are sufficiently funded. But preparing for storms and other climate-change impacts and making these special places more resilient is just as important. As our planet warms, glaciers melt and sea levels rise, storms like Sandy could cause even more damage. Our refuges are a haven for our wildlife, but they also help protect human communities from extreme weather. Protecting and restoring our wetlands, barrier islands and other types of wildlife habitat is a sound investment for people and wildlife alike.