Renewable Natural 

Resources Foundation

Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF) recognizes that sustaining the Earth's renewable resources base will require a collaborative approach to problem solving using biological, physical and social sciences, and design and engineering disciplines.

RNRF's mission is to advance the application of science and related disciplines in decision-making, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, and educate policymakers and the public on managing and conserving renewable natural resources.

New on RNRF Blog

2017 Golden Goose Awardees Announced

Golden Goose

The Golden Goose Awards ceremony took place at the Library of Congress on September 27, 2017– the sixth annual celebration recognizing significant federally funded scientific research.

Projects must meet two requirements to receive an award: 1) They must have made a significant or unexpected contribution to scientific advancement and 2) The research project must have a silly-sounding name.

These parameters were set up in response to the Golden Fleece Award, a satirical recognition started by then-Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) in 1975. Every month until his Senate retirement in 1988, Proxmire 'awarded' the Golden Fleece to federally funded projects he thought were a waste of tax dollars. Those projects were frequently scientific studies with funny or ridiculous sounding names.

Despite Proxmire's stamp of ignominy, some of those projects...

Read more on RNRF's blog, The Renewable Resources Report.


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David Conrad Meets with RNRF Washington Round Table on Public Policy

The RNRF Washington Round Table on Public Policy met with Association of State Floodplain Managers water policy consultant David Conrad at the Washington, D.C. office of the American Society of Landscape Architects on October 13, 2017. Conrad spoke about the challenges of crafting effective and impactful flood management policy at the national level. This talk was targeted towards solutions for Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

Conrad focused his talk on issues within the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). He observed that the vast majority of federal funds for the NFIP was going towards repetitive loss properties, with around 2% of properties claiming nearly 40% of NFIP funds. The best solution, therefore, is to buy back repetitive loss properties, ideally immediately after a recent storm. This would prevent losing more funds to reconstruct homes that will again be destroyed. Conrad also identified the "moral hazard" of subsidizing flood insurance costs for low-income households, as this may expose economically vulnerable people to untenable financial risk should their houses flood.

Additionally, Conrad noted that many of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps are inaccurate or out of date, and stressed the importance of updating flood maps to reflect actual risk. Maps also need to be developed for cities that face flooding risks but that do not currently meeting FEMA's minimum drainage area of 1 square mile. While he suggested that flood insurance costs should increase according to the updated maps, he recognized the difficulties of dramatically increasing insurance premiums– a move that is politically unpopular and frequently challenged in court by homeowners whose houses have subsequently lost value.

With these challenges in mind in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Conrad recommends focusing buyout efforts on buildings most in danger of flooding again, and concentrating future building in the 70% of Houston that was not affected by...

Read more on RNRF's News page here.

What's new . . .

2017 RNRF Award Winners Announced

SatHurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated communities along the Gulf Coast. Local, state, and federal agencies are struggling to provide necessary and timely relief.

RNRF conducted a national congress on coastal resilience and risk in 2013 in response to Superstorm Sandy. All of the issues and challenges remain — particularly the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As Congress contemplates extending NFIP, which is slated to expire December 8 with a deficit of more than $24.6 billion, (plus an additional $15 billion for Harvey and Irma) the report's science-based findings and recommendations are as relevant as ever.

RNRF's report on coastal resilience and risk is available as a free download here.

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