Ecological Revitalization: Restoring Lands
Superfund cleanups protect and restore the environment as well as public health. Before natural systems at Superfund sites can support parks, wildlife habitat, farmland and forests, they often need to be restored to functioning and sustainable use. This process – increasing or improving habitat for plants and animals – is called ecological revitalization.
Restored ecosystems help people live healthier lives and have fun. Ecological revitalization improves soil health and supports diverse vegetation, sequesters carbon, protects air and water quality, and sets the stage for wildlife habitat and passive recreation opportunities, including hunting, hiking, biking, horseback riding and bird watching, as well as environmental education. Through 2012, nearly 100 Superfund sites nationwide are in planned or actual ecological reuse.
- EPA’s Clean-Up Information Network’s EcoTools: A comprehensive online resource for ecological land reuse tools.
- Ecological Revitalization database: This EPA database provides the latest information on the use of ecological revitalization at contaminated properties.
- Ecological Revitalization – Turning Contaminated Properties into Community Assets (PDF) (83 pp, 4.4MB, About PDF): This EPA report discusses how ecological revitalization can also be part of site cleanup plans and even serve as a cleanup technology in some situations, when soil amendments are used to bind contaminants, build soil and establish plant growth.
Ecological Reuse Examples
Continued ecological use and new ecological reuse site examples are listed on the Green Space Reuse Type Page.