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Walton Family Foundation Invests $71.4 Million
in Environmental Conservation Initiatives in 2011

Key Investments

The foundation made strategic investments to further its Freshwater Conservation and Marine Conservation initiatives.

Freshwater Conservation - $26.8 Million

  • The National Audubon Society helped develop nature-based tourism opportunities throughout the Mississippi River Basin that will bring jobs and economic growth to the region.
  • The Nature Conservancy developed innovative ways of protecting and restoring the Colorado River that benefit both people and nature.

Marine Conservation - $30.5 Million

  • Conservation International continued to implement a three-year program to empower local communities to manage and conserve fishing resources on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.
  • The Marine Stewardship Council worked with seafood buyers and retailers to create a market for sustainably-caught seafood, preserving the livelihoods of fishermen while protecting depleted fish populations.

Foundation embraces “conservationomics”: conservation solutions that make economic sense

The foundation invested more than $71 million in environmental conservation initiatives in 2011, demonstrating its commitment to ‘conservationomics’ – the idea that conservation efforts can and should bring economic prosperity to local communities. The foundation made grants to more than 160 organizations in the U.S. and other countries that work to protect natural resources while strengthening the local economies that depend on them. The foundation directed an overwhelming majority of the grants toward its two core environmental initiatives – Freshwater Conservation and Marine Conservation.

“Our work is rooted in our belief that the conservation solutions that last are the ones that make economic sense.”

- Scott Burns, Director, Walton Family Foundation's Environment Focus Area

 About the Walton Family Foundation and the Environment
The Walton Family Foundation promotes environmental solutions that make economic sense for communities and their natural resources. The foundation works to achieve change that lasts by creating new and unexpected partnerships and bringing conservation, business and community interests to the same table to build long-term solutions to big problems. 

A majority of the foundation’s environment grants are made to organizations and programs that pursue lasting conservation solutions for oceans and rivers while also recognizing the role these waters play in the livelihoods of those who live and work nearby. The foundation divides its environmental giving into two initiatives:

  • Freshwater Conservation, which works to sustain healthy and resilient communities of both people and wildlife in the Colorado River basin and along the Mississippi River from its headwaters to the delta; and
  • Marine Conservation, which supports initiatives that create economic incentives for sustainable resource management in some of the world’s most ecologically rich ocean areas, from Indonesia to Ecuador to the Gulf of Mexico.