A new poll by the National Parks Conservation Association finds that most Americans support funding infrastructure that will help national parks withstand climate change.
The national polling aimed to determine Americans’ awareness of the Inflation Reduction Act’s funding for national parks’ recovery and infrastructure in response to climate change’s immediate and long-term effects. It also aimed to better understand public perceptions of national parks and park staff as solutions for addressing climate impacts.
The NPCA poll (PDF) was conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,041 adults, ages 18 and older, between December 13-15, 2022. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race, income, education and size of household to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
The national poll found that roughly 3 in 4 Americans believe that climate change has already had a negative impact on national parks throughout the US, and the majority (71%) are concerned about the future of U.S. national parks if more is not done to address climate change. Yet few Americans – a mere 21% – are aware that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has $700 million set aside to create jobs and build durable infrastructure to face climate change’s ongoing impacts. IRA funding helps NPS hire more staff, recover from natural disasters and invest in park projects that withstand climate impacts. A strong bipartisan majority (79%) support funding the National Park Service to rebuild parks with green infrastructure to ensure parks are accessible and enjoyable for generations to come.
*Note: Green infrastructure includes creating wildlife habitat, improving pollution runoff, curbing floods and rebuilding other natural systems that make our parks stronger to the effects of climate change.