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Climate change and national security

The military has been a leader in conservation efforts.

Your editorial "The danger of climate denial" (May 22) offered a dismal forecast, yet some people continue to deny that climate change is real or that it is caused at least in part by human activity.

It's significant that President Barack Obama raised the issue at the Coast Guard graduation ceremony last week when he warned that the Pentagon is concerned that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security that we must act on.

The Navy has been a leader in addressing climate change through conservation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Conservancy, based in Annapolis, partners with the Navy as it invests in conserving land to adapt to sea level rise in Norfolk and Hampton Roads as well as along the Nanticoke River in Maryland, which runs under the primary flight path for aircraft out of the Naval Air Station-Patuxent River.

Last month, the departments of agriculture, defense and the interior designated the Nanticoke River and surrounding land as a Sentinel Landscape. This designation opens doors to preserve agricultural lands, restore wildlife habitat and protect the landscape views from the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. It also assists military readiness by protecting test and training missions conducted by adjacent military installations.

I applaud the Department of Defense and The Sun's editorial staff for understanding that defending the country and defending the environment go hand-in-hand.

Joel Dunn, Annapolis

The writer is president & CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy.

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