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The Nature Conservancy in Washington 

Description

We protect life in Washington and around the world. We are the go-to environmental leaders, bringing together agriculture, business, government, communities and other stakeholders, driving collaboration and delivering outcomes. We develop science-based solutions to some of the toughest challenges. Our deep experience, commitment to results and ability to get work done on the ground enables us to have a significant impact, preserving and restoring land, protecting wildlife and water, supporting communities and jobs and growing local economies.

Mission Statement
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends.
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The Nature Conservancy in Washington
1917 First Ave 
Seattle 
WA
98101 
(206) 343-4344 

Michael Stevens 
State Director 

Programs

The Nature Conservancy in Washington Programs

The Nature Conservancy in Washington works across our state to ensure clean, plentiful water, assure community safety in the face of floods and wildfires, adapt to climate change, and create ways humans can interact with nature that support jobs, local communities and economic growth while protecting natural resources.

In the Puget Sound region, we are helping farmers thrive in the face of rising water and developing agricultural practices that protect and enhance the land and water around farms. Our Floodplains by Design program helps communities threatened by too much or too little water create systems and infrastructure that preserve and enhance life.  With pollution damaging the health of the Sound, we are developing and implementing ways to clean and filter storm run-off before it reaches the Sound and advocating in our state capital for funding to clean up the Sound.

Along Washington’s Olympic coast, we are on the ground in forests where decades of logging have damaged habitat and water. Our science-based restoration program meticulously restores forests for birds, fish, animals and humans to enjoy for generations to come. Our partnership with fishing communities is leading to the development of innovative solutions to overfishing and the accidental catching of endangered marine life. 

Across the state in Eastern Washington, we are also on the ground in the forests, restoring forests to health and diminishing the risk of catastrophic forests fires. Eastern Washington forests shade and cool the streams and rivers used by farmers and agriculture, in areas where much of our food is grown. By protecting those forests and streams we support local economies and assure the availability of healthy, local food.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Our unique science-based approach, commitment to communities across our state and strong working relationships with a wide variety of partners allows us to make a big impact. The Nature Conservancy in Washington has:
  • Led the way to preserve more than 550,000 acres of beautiful nature in Washington.
  • Restored forests and rivers, improving habitat for salmon and other wildlife, while also providing people with clean water and recreational opportunities. 
  • Kept beaches clean and safe by modeling farming practices that lessen the flow of contaminants into Puget Sound.
  • Reduced vulnerability to coastal flooding by protecting wetlands that serve as the first line of defense during storms.
  • Restored estuaries, where freshwater meets saltwater, creating salmon habitat and protecting farmers from flooding.
  • Removed lost and abandoned fishing gear from coastal areas where it’s a threat to marine life and people.
  • Reduced the risk of catastrophic wildfires to communities that live near forests.
  • Enabled more conservation work by inspiring changes to public policy.
While our successes are big, the challenges are even bigger. Increasingly we are asked to help solve big problems related to too much water on land being used for farming, forests in desperate need of restoration and industries that rely on the sea looking for ways to survive in the face of changing conditions. The Nature Conservancy is on the ground, on the water, in local communities, here and around the world, finding innovative, science based solutions that work for people and nature.

Evaluation

The Nature Conservancy has worked in Washington State for 50 years. It is the largest conservation agency in Washington State, the United States and the world. While originally their mission focused more closely on endangered and threatened species, in the past decade they have realized that all of their strategies must also specifically focus on the benefit to people.

Proven Success
The Conservancy has set Puget Sound as a top priority. From engagement with farmers and government agencies on flooding and drainage issues, to expansion of habitat for native fish populations, to reversal of near shore habitat loss, they are working towards sustainable solutions for Puget Sound.

They are focusing on; reducing toxic runoff by convening partners, government agencies and tribal nations, working with farmers, timber managers and shellfish growers to make conservation on the lands and waters they manage good for their bottom line and protecting and restoring rivers and shorelines, and the clean water and habitat they provide, so that they support fisheries, farming and other human needs.

Use of Best Practices
In the upcoming fiscal year, their business plan lays out the following action steps toward improving water quality in Puget Sound; map the locations that contribute the most polluted runoff so thet can target landowner incentive programs where they will have the greatest public benefit; develop incentive programs with agricultural producers who volunteer to improve water quality coming from agricultural lands in order to reduce the likelihood of regulation; initiate river restoration projects which demonstrate to public and private investors how restoration of clean water flow can strengthen communities and increase public safety

Collaboration
The Nature Conservancy builds community connections through collaborative work that empowers local farmers, tribes, business people, non-profits and agencies to work towards common and mutually beneficial conservation goals.

They collaborate not only with those outside of the organization, but also with other chapters around the country, sharing best practices, expertise, and assistance in essential business activities such as human resources and financial services.

They are involved members of two nonprofit partnerships – the Alliance for Puget Sound Shorelines and the Environmental Priorities Coalition – as well as convening an outreach effort to raise awareness of the actual state of Puget Sound.

Sustainability
The Nature Conservancy works with public land-owning entities and partners, and helps all people realize the importance of conservation. They have more than 32,000 members in the state of Washington, and a broad donor base.

They have expanded their fundraising staff and their board is actively engaged in the process of encouraging others in the community to invest time, money and other resources into the Washington Chapter of the Conservancy. They are seeking new partnerships and have retained a consultant to develop a corporate engagement program that will be implemented this year.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
3/10/2013 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/21/2007 $40,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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