Our 2016 Annual Report is now available online. Below, President David Batker and Executive Director Matt Chadsey highlight last year's accomplishments and lay out a bright vision for Earth Economics' future.
Letter from Our Leaders
People need nature. Economies need nature.
A biodiverse, sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all requires that we account for nature. For the past 19 years, Earth Economics has been a national leader in identifying, quantifying, and valuing the essential benefits that nature provides to communities and to the economy.
2016 was a year of great success. FEMA improved their benefit-cost mitigation nationally, informed by Earth Economics’ numbers and advice. Applicants in the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition used our economic analysis to win resilience awards. We conducted ground-breaking studies from Alaska’s St. George Island to the Mississippi River Delta, and we are always working with many partners here in the Northwest.
Our theory of change is simple but powerful—taking nature into account channels investments and policies toward creating healthier ecosystems and more resilient communities. Incorporating nature in planning and development yields better outcomes and frequently costs less than traditional infrastructure solutions, like engineered flood control levees. Nature-based solutions also supply numerous other benefits for free, like improved health for residents, enhanced wildlife habitat, protection for cultural resources, expanded recreation opportunities, and a more abundant water supply.
2016 was also a year of metamorphosis for our organization. Successful planning with our board, staff, and consultants launched Earth Economics from a team bulging in our chrysalis to a robust organization that can spread its wings to help our partners meet the challenges of climate change and growing inequity. To facilitate growth and rapid decision-making, our leadership team expanded with David Batker becoming our President; Matt Chadsey, our Executive Director; and Maya Kocian, Rowan Schmidt, and Tania Briceno joining our Leadership Team as Program Directors. With our new structure and strong leaders, Earth Economics will be able to take on even more complex and transformational initiatives in the coming years.
These are challenging times. Times that call for real solutions, at scale. Nature is essential to our present and future. With our dedicated staff and generous supporters, Earth Economics will continue to account for nature, drive systemic change and secure our vision of economies and nature thriving together.
David Batker & Matt Chadsey