What is Sustainability?
Search the Internet for sustainability and, at last check, you will receive more than 37 million hits! There are seemingly endless definitions, articles, homepages, reports, documents, organizations… you name it, and there is something on the topic. It can be overwhelming and daunting. Still, we need to start somewhere. As Sustainable Philadelphia aptly describes, just because a concept can’t be defined or can’t quite be agreed upon does not make it meaningless. In fact, that is part of the fun.
So, while nailing down a specific definition may be difficult, the concept of sustainability is rather straightforward. Sustainability recognizes that humans are part of and confined within the boundaries of our natural world and the ecosystem services it provides. The ideal state is one in which the health and vitality of our society, economy and environment are all one and the same. It is not an issue of balancing these elements against each other, or choosing one at the expense of the others, but rather basing decisions on the common needs of all three.
With the increasing population in our Chesapeake Bay watershed come increasing stresses upon our communities and environment. Government must face these growing challenges with new attitude, perspective and direction. As DNR Secretary John R. Griffin states, “As society progresses and government evolves, we must constantly and vigilantly examine our challenges differently than we have in the past.”
Such a paradigm shift has never been so important.
For Additional Information:
A Greener DNR: Creating
Maryland's Sustainable Future