We all rely on a familiar set of indicators – interest rates, unemployment, inflation, the Dow Jones index, and GDP, for example – to gauge the performance of national economies. No such measures are currently available to describe the environment.
The State of the Nation's Ecosystems lays out a blueprint for periodic reporting on the condition and use of ecosystems in the United States. Developed by experts from businesses, environmental organizations, universities, and federal, state, and local government agencies, it is designed to provide policymakers and the general public with a succinct and comprehensive – yet scientifically sound and non-partisan – view of 'how we are doing'. The State of the Nation's Ecosystems should prove invaluable for decision makers in natural resource management and environmental policy in government and environmental organizations, businesses, and trade associations; academics with a research or teaching interest in environmental issues; and the general public interested in the continued well-being of American ecosystems.
List of participants
Part I. The State of the Nation's Ecosystems: Philosophy, Framework, and Findings
1. Reporting on the state of the nation's ecosystems
2. The reporting framework
3. The state of the nation's ecosystems: what we know and what we don't know
Part II. The Indicators
4. Core national indicators
5. Coasts and oceans
8. Fresh waters
9. Grasslands and shrublands
10. Urban and suburban lands
Part III. Appendix and Technical Notes
Data Availability and Gaps