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.