Policy Options




NCEL Point of Contact

Kate Burgess
Conservation Program Manager



For state legislators, the goal of conserving 30% of land and water by 2030 offers the opportunity to protect critical wildlife habitat, increase outdoor access for underrepresented communities, boost local economies, and prevent continued ecosystem degradation and loss. There are many paths to 30%, as outlined below. As federal momentum continues to build, states can play a key role in protecting lands and waters that support ecosystem, economic, and community health.

Policy Strategies

**Indicates bipartisan support

Direct 30×30 Support

  • Michigan SR 0072 / HR 0025 (Introduced, 2021)**
    • Urges the Governor to establish a statewide 30×30 goal and to update the state land management plan accordingly.
  • Illinois HB 3928 – (Passed, 8/27/21)**
    • Creates the Illinois Thirty-By-Thirty Conservation Task Force, which will make recommendations regarding conservation of Illinois land and implementation of the 30×30 goal.
  • Nevada AJR 3 – (Passed Senate, 2021)
    • Expresses support for various actions related to implementing 30×30 in Nevada. 

Funding Mechanisms

  • Maryland SB 457 (Enacted, 2020)**
    • Creation of “Resilience Authorities” that allow local governments to fund climate infrastructure and resilience, including developing green space, stormwater infrastructure, and floodplains. 

Land Protection/Reforestation

  • Maryland HB 991 (Enacted, 2021)
    • Funds planting of five million trees over the next 10 years, and allows jurisdictions to continue “conservation banking” to meet reforestation requirements.
  • Rhode Island SB 172 (Enacted, 2021)
    • Creates a voluntary mechanism for municipalities to use to dedicate a park, conservation or other land they own as public trust land in perpetuity to protect and preserve its future use.

Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Restoration 

  • Massachusetts H. 1002 (Introduced, 2021)
    • By 2030, would designate at least 30% of all Wildlife Management areas lands as Wildlife Management Area Nature Reserves according to criteria that prioritizes ongoing carbon capture and storage and encompasses wetlands.
  • Lawns to Legumes – (Ongoing Minnesota Program)
    • Offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns.

Outdoor Equity and Access

  • Colorado HB 1318 (Enacted, 2021)**
    • Outdoor Equity Grant Program: Supports organizations providing outdoor education and recreation opportunities for Colorado’s underserved youth; funded at $3 million per year. 
    • Piloted first in NM (SB 462, Enacted, 2019) as part of their Division of Outdoor Recreation
  • Virginia HB 1928 (Enacted, 2021)**
    • Provides expanded access to VA’s easement program and tools to document and preserve historic African American Sites in VA
  • No Child Left Inside Program – Minnesota SF 1293 & Washington SB 5147 (Both Enacted, 2021)**
    • Varies state to state; Broad goal: grant program to provide under-served youth with quality opportunities to experience the natural world.

Habitat Connectivity

  • Florida SB 976 (Passed, 2021)
    • Formally recognizes the 18 million acre Florida Wildlife Corridor and establishes various goals to conserve it, including the implementation of wildlife crossings. 
  • Virginia SB 1290 (Passed, 2021) 
    • Creates a data-driven geographical model to identify potential conservation areas that would provide benefits to Virginia residents. 
  • Colorado SJR 21 (Passed, 2021)**
    • Encourages state agencies to collect additional wildlife movement data and create a plan for improving habitat connectivity for native species, as well as establish a working group aimed at wildlife corridor policy development.

Marine Protection and Management

  • Hawaii HB 1019 – (Enacted, 2021)
    • Establishes a fund to help implement Hawaii’s 30×30 marine management goals
  • ConnecticutHJR 53 (Introduced, 2021)
    • Long Island Sound Blue Plan: Implements a science-based planning tool that integrates all environmental, recreational and commercial uses of the Sound.
  • Illinois SB 1352 (Introduced, 2019)
    • Wetlands Protection Act: requires extensive wetlands protection measures, from classifying wetlands under protection, a permitting system for activities on or near wetlands, and creating a Wetlands Advisory Committee.

Additional Tools

  • HawaiiHB 1020 (Enacted, 2021) – Adaptive Management Strategy
    • Authorizes the board of land and natural resources (BLNR) to implement effective and adaptive management measures in response to rapidly changing resource conditions.
  • MinnesotaSF 1124 (See Section 23) (Enacted, 2017) – Land Back Strategy
    • The Minnesota Historical Society officially returned 114 acres along the Minnesota River bluffs to the Lower Sioux Indian Community.
  • Hawaii HR 139 (Enacted, 2021) – Co-Management Strategy
    • Recognizes the request for a long term water lease between the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Wai’oli Valley Taro Hui, a community group.


NCEL Resources

Online Resources

States Spur Federal Action on 30×30

NCEL 30×30 blog highlighting state action.

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The Case for Protecting 30% of U.S. Land and Ocean by 2030

Fact sheet about 30×30 and conserving oceans by the American Nature Campaign.

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GETTING TO 30X30: Guidelines for Decision-makers

Defenders of Wildlife’s 30×30 Guidelines for Decision Makers.

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Tribal Leader Statement on 30x30 Policy

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Empower State Environmental Champions

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