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Category: Organizations

The Nature Conservancy's Freshwater Initiative

The Nature Conservancy’s freshwater biodiversity conservation web site provides information about the challenges of freshwater conservation and the nature of this work at The Nature Conservancy. There is also a wealth of resources, including documents and papers, training and education information, and tools for conservation professionals and others interested in the challenges of freshwater biodiversity conservation.
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2424 Spruce Street
Boulder , CO 80302
Contact Person: Nicole Rousmaniere
Phone: 303-541-0344
Fax: 303-449-4328
E-Mail: nrousmaniere@tnc.org
Website: http://www.freshwaters.org

Detailed Information:
Rivers, lakes, and wetlands cover less than one percent of the Earth’s surface, but their importance is immeasurable. Freshwater ecosystems not only supply virtually all of the easily accessible drinking water on the planet, these environments support human society in many other ways.

The value of the tangible services provided by rivers, lakes, and wetlands, around the world has been estimated to exceed $6.6 trillion annually, and nature will continue to provide them free of charge if these freshwater ecosystems are adequately protected.

Freshwater environments also harbor remarkable biodiversity, including at least 12 percent of the world’s known animal species. Available information suggests aquatic species richness is greatest in the tropics; topping the list are Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia, China, Zaire, and Peru. The Amazon, Congo, and Mississippi River Basins emerge as globally important centers of species richness and endemism. Perhaps surprisingly, the United States, which ranks seventh in terms of freshwater fish species richness, is one of the global hotspots of freshwater species diversity.

Yet, freshwater ecosystems are among the most threatened in the world, challenging their ability to continue providing these important services and functions.

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