Water Equity Clearinghouse

The Conservation Fund


The Conservation Fund is United States-focused charity that helps conservationists, government agencies, community leaders, and land trusts to permanently protect land and water properties for wildlife, recreation and/or historic significance through funding. The Fund builds networks between communities, government and corporations to share knowledge, develop technical skills, and achieve environmental and economic successes.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

The Conservation Fund works extensively on solutions that advance green infrastructure to protect cities and watersheds. At the local level, for example, the Fund has been engaging with Atlanta community-based groups, Department of Watershed Management, and a wide variety of non-governmental entities and corporation to design, construct and manage new storm water parks in the Proctor Creek watershed.  At the regional/state level, Fund designed a green infrastructure network to assist the Central Indiana Land Trust in identifying critical lands for conservation, raising awareness among residents of the value of these natural lands, and identifying implementation strategies to ensure that there are abundant and clean soil, air, and water resources for future generations. In the Milwaukee area, the Fund has been a long-term conservation acquisition partner to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District implementing MMSD’s celebrated Greenseams program, a highly efficient means of reducing flooding potential and managing storm water in an urbanizing region. And in North Carolina, it is working with the Upper Neuse River Basin Association and local and regional governments to devise one water policies and practices to protect source waters and improve downstream storm water management.

One of the many other green infrastructure projects that the Fund has involved with began in 2012, when the Fund’s Strategic Conservation Program assisted Amigos de los Rios in developing a plan for a 17 mile loop. The plan that the Fund assisted Amigos de los Rios in developing would connecting 10 cities and close to 500,000 residents along the Río Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers. It then provided Amigos with “bridge capital” loans to build projects so the organization could receive reimbursable grants.  Amigos has been implementing their vision to create safer places for children to play, cleaner air and water, improved public health, more habitat for wildlife, better resilience to climate change, better historic and cultural preservation, and the jobs and investment that come with a robust green economy.

The Freshwater Institute is another innovative Fund program that works to achieve cleaner water and better conditions for wildlife and humans alike. This initiative advances commercial-scale research application for recirculating, freshwater aquaculture technology that is highly efficient and sustainable. It provides engineering design expertise for public fish hatcheries and commercial aquaculture production facilities and holds workshops on the subject of sustainable fisheries to achieve goals in environmental sustainability, human health, and economic vitality. The Conservation Fund has helped fisheries and anglers in Maryland, West Virginia, Washington, Indiana and Pennsylvania and continues to help communities sustainably raise and harvest healthful food.

Beyond these watershed, state and neighborhood level projects, the Conservation Fund finances many projects that are high impact and benefit multiple states and localities. For example, The Fund has worked for decades in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, concentrating efforts in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to conserve and restore agricultural and forest land, implement green infrastructure, train workers, and develop long term conservation strategies in this 64,000 square-mile watershed.  On the opposite side of the country in California redwood country, The Fund launched its Working Forest Program on the Garcia River. This program restores forest and stream health and secures local water supplies while sustaining local rural towns whose economies are dependent on timber harvesting while it also sequesters carbon. The Fund is one of the largest providers of forest-based carbon sequestration in the country, helping reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and counter the effects of climate change.