Research Library

29 May 2020

CONGRESSIONAL CONSERVATION TOOLKIT: A Guide to Land, Water and Climate Issues and the Impact on Latino Communities


Publishers: Hispanic Access Foundation
Author: Hispanic Access Foundation
Topics: Advocacy, Climate Change, Conservation, Public Lands Protection, Public Opinion, Voting
Geographic Focus: National

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Now more than ever, it is essential to demonstrate the importance of public lands and waters to the Latino community in the US, as well as the policies necessary to maintain them. The COVID-19 crisis has shown how badly we need close, accessible, and abundant public lands and waters for health and wellness. Each section of this toolkit covers the health, economic, public opinion, and cultural implications of the policies that protect our public lands, in addition to the threats that climate change and regulatory rollbacks pose. This toolkit also shows growing concern about the climate crisis and its effects on Latino populations.

This year, we have added a section on the ocean and its deep connections to Latino heritage, jobs, and public health. As ever, the ability of Latino populations to access protected public lands and waters for work and leisure remains critical to socio-economic equity, health and well-being.

Latinos remain the largest untapped segment of the population with a passion for environmental stewardship and the willingness to protect our nation’s natural resources for future generations, which is embraced as a moral obligation. This represents huge growth potential for the recreation and tourism economies. Combined with the Latino community’s increasing electoral power, we find a growing political force with the potential to shift the balance on conservation issues. Moreover, there is mounting desire to do so.

Recent polls have shown that Latinos care deeply about the environment, a sentiment that is rooted in a culture and history of taking care of the land for future generations. At Hispanic Access Foundation, our goal is to bring this perspective into environmental decision-making. Latinos are vocal advocates for creating new national monuments, protecting water sources like the Colorado River, encouraging the permanent reauthorization and full dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and establishing and maintaining regulations under the Clean Air Act.

This is also available in Spanish.

Last modified on 29 May 2020

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