Charlie Nuermberger ’25
Identifying Advocacy Opportunities for a Basin-scale Approach to Natural Infrastructure
Certificate(s): Environmental Studies
Because the biophysical boundaries of a watershed like the Mississippi River basin don’t correlate well with political units like the municipality, county or state, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) advocates for a “whole river” or basin-scale approach to improving water resource conditions in major watersheds. Two central challenges for producing change at this scale are modeling project benefits and accessing appropriate funding mechanisms for project implementation. I worked with EDF to develop an agenda and produce a summary report about a workshop entitled “Quantifying the Downstream Benefits of Natural Infrastructure” that convened to discuss modeling opportunities in the basin. I also drafted briefs on state-level policy for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to identify changes that could enable better access to funds. I practiced skills like workshop facilitation, technical writing and policy research. My experience highlighted the importance of informational collaboration and careful maneuvering through existing economic structures.
Environment and Society and Urban Sustainability
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) - Raleigh, North Carolina
Will McDow, Director, Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds, EDF