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What are the Different Types of Environmental Services?

By Felicia Dye
Updated: May 21, 2024

Environmental services typically deal with protecting or enhancing nature in some way. Although respect and appreciation for nature are generally a common interest among them, environmental services tend to have many branches. For example, conservation, geological, and forestry agencies may all work in one municipality. Sometimes their duties, responsibilities, and powers may overlap.

Conservation services are generally established to help ensure that a portion of the environment remains as close to its natural state as possible. These environmental services typically aim to protect land and the animals that live on it. They may be responsible for planning and establishing parks and game reserves. They are also likely to provide veterinary and other services to protected species to help them thrive and reproduce.

Park services generally help run and control parks or animal reserves once they are established. Staff members are often employed to keep the parks and reserves orderly and clean. Park rangers typically have police powers which allow them to effectively enforce laws and regulations that affect visitors.

Forestry agencies are environmental services that are usually concerned with wooded areas and sometimes grasslands. These agencies tend to manage and enforce laws that pertain to activities such as logging and hunting. They may work closely with park services and they may employ park rangers, but their duties are not typically restricted to regulated areas.

Coastal and marine agencies are often established to provide environmental services that relate to the water. These agencies often study how human behaviors affect the waters around them. They may attempt to develop solutions for problems or develop strategies that prevent harm from occurring. These agencies may develop laws and regulations that concern fishing, boating, and construction close to shorelines.

In the United States, the Coast Guard assumes some of these responsibilities. Many people are only familiar with the policing duties of the Coast Guard, which gives it the authority to act when crimes are committed on water. This agency, however, provides many environmental services. These include protection and assistance to endangered species, enforcing fishing and poaching laws, and dealing with marine pollution.

Geological services are generally established to provide an understanding of the planet. These agencies usually employ various scientific methods to conduct studies and provide feedback that is often essential to governments and individuals. Since there are many branches of Earth science, the establishment of geological societies allows information from various fields to be brought together. Their duties may include assessing groundwater supplies, climate change, or volcanic activity.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By lluviaporos — On Sep 17, 2011

It makes me quite happy that the Coast Guard deals with environmental issues as well as rescue efforts. I like to think of them tracking down people who are breaking fishing laws and dealing to them.

People like that spoil it for everyone. If we'd all act in responsible ways, there would be enough fish to go around. But, people have to get greedy.

By pleonasm — On Sep 16, 2011

@irontoenail - In fact, one of the things I learned when I was doing a tour through the redwoods in California is that sometimes they will deliberately set a fire, in order to reduce fire risk.

I know that sounds counter intuitive (to say the least!) but redwoods and many of the trees around them are quite fire resistant. But the debris that builds up around them (leaves and twigs and things) could potentially provide enough fuel that the fire will burn hot enough to damage the trees.

So, every few years they let controlled fires burn in order to get rid of the debris, and to provide the other benefits of fire.

I wouldn't mind working for the environmental services company that does that.

By irontoenail — On Sep 15, 2011

The term "environmental services" sounds quite dry and not very important. But in reality, these are the people who will be helping out if there is a forest fire, or an oil spill, or even a volcano.

Often knowledge of the immediate environment is essential not only to try and save as much of the ecology as possible, but also to try and stop impact on the people around the disaster.

Environmental management services have to keep an eye to emergencies that are happening and ones that might happen in the future, so they can have plans in place, and maybe even do things like put in fire breaks, so that as little damage is done as possible.

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