Gather around, everyone—it’s story time! Before we transition to Blueprint 2.1, I wanted to seize the chance to celebrate some of the ways our cooperative community has used Blueprint 2.0. As part of your Blueprint user support team, that seems like the best possible way to celebrate the progress the South Atlantic LCC is making.
You may remember from last year that Blueprint 2.0 helped bring in funding from the DOI Wildland Fire Resilient Landscapes program to support prescribed burning in priority longleaf pine focus areas across the South Atlantic geography. The proposal received $770,000 in the first pilot year–and the second year of funding brings the total to $1.75 million! The South Atlantic ecosystem indicators serve as the metrics of success for this project to calculate the return on investment for improving the condition of the pine and prairie ecosystem.
Staff from the Georgia and South Carolina Departments of Natural Resources used Blueprint 2.0 to protect coastal and riparian habitat. In South Carolina, the Blueprint was referenced in two successful proposals for National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program and Forest Legacy Program funding, which secured about $2 million in total to conserve high priority conservation lands on South Fenwick Island and alongside the Savannah River. In Georgia, the Blueprint helped win $2 million in coastal wetlands grant funds to protect important habitat on the lower Altamaha River and St. Simons Island.
The Blueprint was also used to prioritize fish and wildlife habitat across the South Atlantic region for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Drawing on lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, NFWF recognized the need to identify conservation priorities before the next disaster strikes. The South Atlantic LCC helped connect a coalition of partners who collaborated on a successful proposal, including the Cape Fear River Partnership, NatureServe, and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program. The assessment anchored a local Cape Fear River watershed prioritization around Natural Heritage data, and anchored the broader South Atlantic prioritization around Conservation Blueprint 2.0 and the Florida Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP).
Those are just three great examples of how the Blueprint has been used so far. If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to check out the “Who’s Using the Blueprint” page! Think of it as a sort of Who’sWho in Blueprint users. Maybe glancing through some of these stories will give you some great ideas about how to apply the Blueprint in your work!