Program areas at National Wildlife Federation
Conservation programsrecovering wildlifeas a leading conservation organization, the National Wildlife Federation is active across a broad array of issues. The breadth of our work reflects the breadth of threats confronting fish and Wildlife and it has never felt more important as treasured and unknown species alike face mounting pressures. Habitat degradation and fragmentation, the spread of zoonotic diseases and invasive species, and the impact from extreme weather events mean more than one-third of all species in the u.s. face an increased risk of extinction in the coming decades.from breaking ground on the historic wallis annenberg Wildlife crossing and securing funding in the bipartisan infrastructure law that supported the development of Wildlife crossings, to advancement of the historic and completely game-changing recovering america's Wildlife act, the National Wildlife Federation continues to show that Wildlife conservation is a uniting force.in 2022, the Federation partnered with the eastern shoshone and northern arapahoe tribes to facilitate the repatriation of thousands of acres on the wind river reservation in Wyoming to bring back more than 150 buffalo to tribal lands. This effort represents a continuation of the Federation's commitment to support the economic, ecological, and cultural restoration of indigenous communities across the country.habitat loss, pesticide exposure, and climate change have contributed to the rapid decline of the migratory monarch butterfly many other native pollinators across the country. The mayors' monarch pledge engages mayors and other heads of local government across north america to commit to actions that help create safe havens for monarchs and to educate and engage residents. The los angeles highway system has long been a nightmare for drivers. But the area's freeways and interstates have also created deadly barriers and islands of habitat that can genetically isolate Wildlife - from bobcats to birds to lizards. In april 2022, construction began on the wallis annenberg Wildlife crossing above the 101 freeway along a 1,600-foot stretch of land where protected areas lie north and south of the freeway. The Wildlife crossing will span over ten lanes of freeway and an access road and will re-establish ecological connectivity for a multitude of native plant and animal species in the santa monica mountains ecosystem. This visionary structure will preserve biodiversity, connect an integral Wildlife corridor, and most critically, help save an imperiled local population of mountain lions from extinction. When complete, the crossing will be the largest in the world and the first of its kind in california.embracing environmental justicethe National Wildlife Federation strives to ensure that environmental justice is an integral part of its core mission. Because we recognize that this is extremely important and necessary when creating external partnerships, we work to ensure programs across the Federation are incorporating environmental justice and tribal justice into their action plans. In this way, our partners can confidently and readily work with the Federation to address the environmental inequities resulting from systemic racism and past racist practices.in 2022, the Federation completed a two-year environmental justice analysis that included training for all staff, affiliates, and board members and created a roadmap to institutionalize environmental justice principles across the Federation. By institutionalizing these principles across all programs, policies, and practices, the Federation can transform into a 21st century organization that is committed to addressing environmental inequalities that have overburdened communities of color and those with lower wealth.forging authentic partnershipsthe Federation's impact and success in conservation and advocacy efforts emerge from its commitment to building authentic relationships that make our communities stronger. These connections are based on collaboration, innovative ideas, cultural respect, understanding, and trust with many different partners.an example of the unique and mutually beneficial relationships we have built is the program and partnership developed with hecho (hispanics enjoying camping, hunting, and the outdoors). Our efforts have strengthened each organization as we united to accomplish common goals and shared the same values of inclusion and equity. For a year, the Federation and hecho collaborated on an assessment of the upper rio grande basin, from its headwaters in southern Colorado to cochiti pueblo in new mexico. Different threats endanger the future of this watershed that plays a pivotal role in ecological, agricultural, recreational, and ceremonial needs within the indigenous and hispanic communities of southern Colorado and northern new mexico.another example concerns grazing disputes between livestock and Wildlife on public lands, which have been ongoing for several decades. Under our Wildlife conflict resolution program, currently celebrating our 20th year, the Federation works with federal land managers to negotiate with livestock producers to retire grazing allotments on public lands that experience chronic conflict. In 2022, we adapted our unique conservation strategy in partnership with several ngos and blackfeet fish and Wildlife to achieve a grazing agreement (non-use) on the blackfeet reservation in northern Montana. The agreement will benefit Wildlife, including grizzlies and wolves, over 24,000 acres that border glacier National park in an area called ninnaastakoo (chief mountain), which is of special cultural significance to the blackfeet and preserving and protecting this region has been a priority of the tribe for years. Conserving land & waterprotecting and conserving land and water is at the heart of the Federation's mission. Across the country, americans flock to majestic wild spaces and serene coasts and rivers to connect, recreate, and rejuvenate. These places define "america the beautiful and are essential, not just to people, but also to Wildlife. Healthy habitats and secure corridors allow species of all types to thrive.the Federation's work in this space is diverse and critical as our planet faces pressures from a changing climate, urban sprawl, and pollution. Our work ensures that every american enjoys safe access to an array of undeveloped, tranquil spaces and that embracing habitat connectivity allows people and Wildlife to flourish together. We employ innovative strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change along our coasts and rivers to conserve spaces that many people and Wildlife call home.for example, along the gulf of mexico, communities know all too well the impacts from rising sea levels and extreme storms. Working with community partners, we proudly advanced large-scale coastal restoration programs, prioritizing adaptation and building resilience for future generations. These efforts help to safeguard these communities on the frontlines of climate change, while also protecting iconic species like alligators, manatees, and sea turtles.in another example, over many decades, the Mississippi river gulf outlet (mrgo) federal shipping channel degraded protective coastal wetlands surrounding new orleans and those impacts came to the nation's attention when hurricane katrina hit in 2005, devastating communities with severe flooding. Since the storm, we have led a coalition that advocates for the restoration of the ecosystem in and around the mrgo. Our mission is steeped in environmental justice and we partner with local leaders, especially in underserved, predominantly black communities like the lower 9th ward and new orleans east, to ensure all voices are heard in the planning and implementation of these projects. In 2022 we hit major milestones, with $400-million worth of projects moving into construction. These projects will restore nearly 50,000 acres of coastal marsh, ridges, and swamps. Other projects moved into design, including a $200-million landbridge project that will restore over 1,500 acres of marsh. These large-scale projects will create and enhance large sections of coastal habitat, providing critical Wildlife habitat, storm protection for communities, and healthier estuaries for the working coast.
Membership & other nature education programsmembership education programs maintain an active, engaged and informed membership providing supporters with the information and inspiration to make a difference in their own backyards, their communities, and across the country. Nwf reaches millions of supporters on a monthly basis to communicate the most pressing needs facing the environment today - from people becoming more disconnected from nature to loss of habitat and the impacts of climate change. Through such publications as National Wildlife magazine, the nwf website, and other sources of information, nwf is educating our membership base on how nwf is working to protect Wildlife and habitat. Every month, through National Wildlife millions of people can read informative feature articles about Wildlife and Wildlife conservation, the latest environmental news and success stories from nwf and around the nation.
Education outreach & publicationsinspiring future generationsat the heart of the National Wildlife Federation's work is a desire to leave a legacy to future generations of thriving Wildlife, protected natural resources, and open access to cherished landscapes. If we are to succeed, we must engage our youth to inspire, equip, and support future conservation leaders.the choose clean water coalition is an incredible example of how the Federation works through authentic partnerships to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders while also conserving and restoring a true National treasure, chesapeake bay. The coalition directs an innovative program to help close the racial diversity gap that exists within the chesapeake bay restoration movement.attracting young people to pursue green jobs is another way we are leaving a legacy. Our sixth ecocareers conference 2022 inspired and informed secondary and higher education youth about "green careers." Key speakers discussed their professional journeys and careers in environmental justice, health and wellness, urban planning, and environmental education.the campus race to zero waste competition, managed by the National Wildlife Federation, is an annual competition for colleges and universities in north america to reduce their waste footprint through minimization efforts, including sustainable purchasing, reuse, single-use plastics bans, campus-wide adoption of reusable products, and education and awareness around responsible recycling. In the 2022 competition, more than 3.6 million college students and staff across 200 campuses competed in the race. Their efforts resulted in more than 27.9 million pounds of waste being donated, composted, or recycled. Thanks to the race, campus participants kept more than 200 million single-use plastic containers out of landfills and prevented the release of 30,288 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 6,376 cars.our two climate-change education programs for middle and high school students - resilient schools consortium (risc) and student climate resilience ambassadors (scra) - provide more than 50 hours of free lessons, activities, and field trips. In new york city, risc has educated thousands of students and community members about climate justice and resilience solutions. In 2022, students from 9 nyc public schools planted 10,000 beach grass culms to stabilize the dunes in coney island, brooklyn, a frontline community devastated by superstorm sandy. In Texas, (scra) worked in the city of houston to help students develop habitat for Wildlife along 3.5 acres of the sims, buffalo, and greens bayous. This included 3,500 native prairie plants and 500 trees. Students learned how to create natural infrastructure such as rain gardens to help protect their homes and community from severe floods and polluted water.