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Conservation center studies impact on environment by COVID-19

As environment improves in pandemic, center highlights unique opportunity to plan more sustainable and resilient communities.

DILLON, Colo. — COVID-19 poses a major threat to human health during this pandemic. However, effects on the natural environment are less black and white. 

High Country Conservation Center Climate Action Director Jess Hoover said the consequences of the pandemic, such as the shutdown of businesses, presents a unique opportunity to plan for other climate related changes to everyday life. 

“We have an opportunity as a result of the economic shutdown,” Hoover said. “We can choose to move forward and create more sustainable and resilient communities and prepare for the shock that might come from a climate changed world.”

>VIDEO: Denver's air quality is improving with fewer cars on the road

One environmental factor that has improved is air quality. Hoover said that while the conservation center is not actively tracking emissions at this time, state air pollution maps are likely to show a decrease. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment records air quality levels on an hourly and daily basis for seven main areas: Denver Metro, Fort Collins-Greeley, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Colorado River Valley, Four Corners and “Other,” which includes Aspen. On Sunday, April 12, the air quality of all areas was rated “good.”  ” 

>Continue reading at the Summit Daily.

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