Ocean, Marine Life & Freshwater Systems: CLASSY Awards Top 5

Ocean, Marine Life & Freshwater Systems: CLASSY Awards Top 5

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Ocean & Marine Life & Freshwater seek to create clean and sanitary waterways by addressing problems like habitat degradation, invasive species, urban development and water pollution. They work to reduce destructive fishing practices and strategically revive dying coral reefs and ocean dead zones. View the key indicators of this subcategory here.


Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative
Ecotrust
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING There is a widespread lack of coordination and focus among the funders of salmon restoration in the Pacific Northwest. Funding is available from government agencies, yet most of it is spread opportunistically and too thinly across the landscape to effectively recover salmon. Funds need to be focused in areas with high conservation value, and agencies need to collaborate across boundaries to restore watersheds.
Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative
Program Name

Oregon
Location

2007
Start date

Brent Davies
Program Director

@Ecotrust

The Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI) is inspired by public-private partnerships, such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), that have succeeded in making measurable differences in other sectors. The program increases collaboration between agencies who contribute to an annual pool, giving up control over individual pots of money to create a larger, more strategic fund. Ecotrust solicits proposals from community groups, coordinates an Evaluation Committee representing 14 public, private, and tribal partners and funds top-ranked projects and then moves to the next set of priorities. Each year they run a competitive, open solicitation that awards $1-2M to organizations for 10-30 projects that address chronic risk factors, come from published plans, restore natural processes and create jobs. Over the last 6 years, WWRI has exceeded habitat and socio-economic performance targets by restoring all major ecological functions in 4 of 24 focus watersheds and 4,000 acres of priority salmon habitat, as well as opening nearly 500 river miles to fish passage. LEARN MORE.

People in the Pacific Northwest have realized that we need to coordinate, collaborate, and target our limited funds in those places that are most important to both salmon and people, if we want to increase our collective impact. Cathy P. Kellon, Program Director

 

 

Saving Coral Reefs Program
Endangered Species International
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING About one-quarter of coral reefs worldwide are already considered damaged beyond repair, with another two-thirds under serious threat. Indonesia and the Philippines hold 77% of Southeast Asia’s coral reefs and nearly 80% of threatened reefs.
Saving Coral Reefs
Program Name

Mindanao and Negros, Philippines
Location

2007
Start date

Pierre Fidenci
Program Director

The Saving Coral Reefs program understands the close relationship between healthy forests and healthy oceans, especially in the Philippines. The program approaches conservation with a strategy rooted in evidence that states that increasing forest protection in the right areas could increase benefits up to 10.4% to coral reef conditions. In addition to engaging the community in coral reef and environmental education and awareness initiatives, the program planted 400,000 native trees above coral reef areas and watersheds and created 3 marine protected areas in 2013. With a 70% tree survival rate, the program shows a solid reduction of sedimentation into ocean, ultimately protecting coral reefs nearby. LEARN MORE.

We’ve been effective because we’re able to address the concrete causes of the problem. I spend considerable time in the field and positive impacts can be seen on the ground; coral reefs are recovering with the great support of local communities. Pierre Fidenci, Program Director

 

 

Consumer Outreach Program
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Growing seafood demand threatens ocean health and wildlife like tuna, sharks, birds and mammals. Experts warn the majority of fisheries are over-exploited or depleted. Fish farming can help alleviate pressure but if not managed properly, brings its own set of environmental concerns such as pollution and habitat loss.
Consumer Outreach Program
Program Name

United States
Location

1999
Start date

Vicki Wawerchak
Program Director

@SeafoodWatch

The Seafood Watch Theory of Change posits that as businesses respond to a consumer demand for environmentally responsible seafood options, they in turn will put pressure on the supply chain to improve fishing and farming practices. As better choices become available, companies will have an incentive to improve customer awareness about those options, thus driving a preference for better choices. Through scientific assessments and a suite of outreach tools, the program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood from environmentally responsible fisheries and fish farms. Seafood Watch recently created an iPhone app that gives consumers recommendations for ocean-friendly seafood and sushi and allows users to share their own locations where they’ve found sustainable seafood. 138,000 people downloaded the application in 2013. LEARN MORE.

Seafood consumers play a critical role in ocean health and can help influence positive changes by choosing sustainable seafood. They can be the catalyst for change. Vicki Wawerchak, Program Director

 

 

Blue Trails and Scenic Protection
American Rivers
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING Habitat degradation in the United States. Most Americans live within one mile of a river or stream. However, many do not realize the central role that hometown rivers play in enhancing quality of life. 67% of the U.S. streams and small rivers are in poor or fair condition.
Blue Trails and Scenic Protection
Program Name

United States
Location

2007
Start date

Jamie Mierau
Program Director

@americanrivers

The Blue Trails program builds on existing conservation efforts to employ a community-based strategy to protect rivers across the US. A blue trail is a dedicated stretch of river that enjoys special clean water safeguards and is a destination for fishing, boating, and other recreation. Blue trails, like hiking trails, help people discover rivers and provide a connection between urban and rural communities and the great outdoors. So far, the Blue trails have protected 6,000 acres of riverside lands and permanently protected 8 threatened or endangered species. In May 2014, they will launch a 2.0 version of the Guide with enhanced features, including a searchable database of state and federal funding available for Blue Trail efforts. LEARN MORE.

Blue Trails provide family-friendly recreation such as boating and fishing, and are an innovative way to preserve rivers and their surrounding landscapes. They foster outdoor educational opportunities, access to river recreation, and a more active lifestyle for underserved communities. Jamie Mierau, Program Director

 

 

Change the Course
Bonneville Environmental Foundation
WHAT THEY’RE ADDRESSING The United States is using freshwater resources in an unsustainable manner, with extraction exceeding supply. Today, there are 13 U.S. states engaged in interstate political conflict over water supply between other states, and 20 states with river flows that are inadequate to support basic ecological needs for fish and wildlife.
Change the Course (CtC)
Program Name

United States
Location

2013
Start date

Sandra Postel
Program Director

Change the Course uses the collective impact model as the basis of their strategy. The campaign raises awareness about the plight of rivers and freshwater ecosystems, educates and engages the public on their own water footprint and motivates them to conserve, provides a platform and incentive for corporations to sponsor public engagement and water restoration, and lastly, supports innovative projects that restore flows to priority de-watered rivers and streams. In partnership with Participant Media, National Geographic and the Nature Conservancy, in the first 11 months of the program they’ve had 41,000 people pledge to support the campaign and conserve water, secured almost $1M raised through the corporate sector to support flow restoration, and have restored 1 billion gallons to dewatered rivers and streams of the Colorado Basin. LEARN MORE.

The breadth, depth, and collective impact approach of this initiative gives us immense confidence that we are on track to create a virtuous and ever-expanding cycle of water restoration, conservation, and education. Sandra Postel, Program Director
In 11 months, Change the Course has secured $960,000, engaged seven corporate sponsors, supported five projects and have restored 1 billion gallons to dewatered rivers and streams of the Colorado Basin.

In 11 months, Change the Course has secured $960,000, engaged seven corporate sponsors, supported five projects and have restored 1 billion gallons to dewatered rivers and streams of the Colorado Basin.

 

 

The Environment Experts

The Leadership Council is an honorary board comprised of a diverse group of experts that will collectively determine the winners of the CLASSY Awards in this cause sector. Their unique perspective and valuable insight establishes this recognition as one of the highest honors in the social sector.

LC_environment - FINAL

 

 

 

Photo credit: American Rivers

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