Department of the Interior Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap

Katie Warnell, Sara Mason, Aaron Siegle, Melissa Merritt, Lydia Olander
Posted on: 1/22/2024 - Updated on: 1/22/2024

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The US Department of the Interior (DOI) manages more than 480 million acres of federal lands, plus tribal lands, marine national monuments, and the Outer Continental Shelf. Leveraging nature-based solutions can help the department ensure its vast land management portfolio provides the most value to people while also improving ecosystem health.

The DOI Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, along with related strategy documents and fact sheets, is designed to provide DOI staff with consistent and credible information about nature-based solutions. Initially released in December 2023, the Roadmap is a living document that will be periodically updated to include new information and resources about nature-based solutions strategies. While intended primarily for a DOI audience, information in the Roadmap is applicable to anyone implementing a nature-based solutions project.

This comprehensive resource, created by the Nicholas Institute in collaboration with DOI, is a first-of-its-kind reference for implementing nature-based solutions. Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage or restore natural or modified ecosystems to address societal challenges—including climate change—in ways that help people and the environment. Examples cited in the Roadmap range from urban stormwater and runoff management to prescribed burns to living shorelines to restoration of various ecosystems.

Section 1 of the Roadmap includes information about topics relevant to all types of nature-based solutions, such as community engagement, Indigenous Knowledges, and adaptive management. Section 2 contains detailed summaries for 29 specific nature-based solutions strategies, also available below as individual documents along with summary fact sheets. Each strategy summary contains these elements:

  • A list of likely benefits, including climate threat reduction, socioeconomic, and ecological benefits
  • Links to additional tools, training, and resources for project planning, implementation, and monitoring
  • Example projects from throughout the United States
  • Details about site suitability, how the strategy is implemented on the ground, and operations and maintenance needs

The purpose of the Department of the Interior Nature Based Solutions Roadmap is to provide Department of the Interior (DOI) staff with consistent and credible information about nature-based solutions, such as which strategies match certain conditions and goals, what cobenefits they are likely to provide, example projects, and additional resources for project planning, construction, and monitoring. While this content was developed for a DOI audience, the information is likely applicable to any agency or practitioner engaged in planning or implementing an NBS project.


Warnell, K., S. Mason, A. Siegle, M. Merritt, and L. Olander. 2023. Department of the Interior Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap. NI R 23-06. Durham, NC: Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, Duke University. publications/department-interior-nature-based-solutions-roadmap.

Affiliated Organizations

The Nicholas School of the Environment is one of the world’s premier graduate and professional schools for the interdisciplinary study of the environment and the development of pathways for a sustainable future.

Located in the heart of Duke University’s campus, the school functions as an intellectual hub, drawing input from all disciplines at Duke – law, business, policy, medicine, science, social science, engineering
and divinity – and extending that expertise to citizens, governments,
industry and conservation organizations worldwide.

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