The Nature Conservancy, Tom's of Maine, and You: Restoring Nature Together
By Mali Anderson in Thinking Sustainably
Any lover of the environment knows that we need to make efforts to protect nature for future generations. Tom's of Maine believes in this mission and the importance of preserving and restoring natural waters and lands. In fact, Tom's of Maine has been donating 10 percent of its profits to The Nature Conservancy for decades.
What Does the Conservancy Do?
The Nature Conservancy is a global organization committed to conserving the waters and lands that all living things need to survive. Through its partnership with Tom's of Maine, the Conservancy has been able to pursue a number of water protection projects to restore natural habitats across the United States.
"The Nature Conservancy understands the importance of protecting and restoring America's natural waterways to ensure people and nature have access to clean water to thrive," says Dr. Shelly Lakly, Managing Director of the Conservancy's Saving Rivers program.
Making Waves in Waterway Restoration
The partnership between Tom's of Maine and the Conservancy grew when the Conservancy was selected as an environmental partner through Tom's of Maine's 50 States for Good program. In addition to fostering a lasting relationship between the two organizations and their aligned values, the program supported these specific freshwater projects:
- Cold Springs Project, Sauk River, Minnesota. The Sauk River is a key tributary to the Mississippi River. The Cold Springs Project aims to permanently protect seventy acres of a critical floodplain, restoring habitats and protecting water supplies.
- Fannie Stebbins Memorial Wildlife Refuge Floodplain Restoration Project, Longmeadow, Massachusetts. By restoring more natural water flows in this floodplain, forests can flourish, providing a diverse habitat for bald eagles and rare riverine clubtail dragonflies to call home.
- West Britannia Dam Removal, Taunton, Massachusetts. The removal of this dam will help restore the populations of river herrings and American eels and reconnect the lake habitat with the coast.
Turning the Tide Together
After the initial partnership efforts proved successful, Tom's of Maine increased their support for the Conservancy. In 2018, Tom's of Maine committed $1 million to fund more projects, including the following:
- Mississippi River Basin. Monitoring pollution levels in the Mississippi River Basin will restore the water quality in the world's fourth largest river basin.
- Colorado River Basin. Protecting the water supplies of the Colorado River Basin will support nearly forty million people and more than five million acres of land.
- East Coast Dams. Removing outdated dams can restore habitats of aquatic species and reconnect fish with their migration paths.
- Sustainable Rivers Program. Revisiting the country's water infrastructure will protect the needs of the people and the environment.
"Engaging with partners such as Tom's of Maine in water protection projects across the country—such as protecting the Colorado River Basin and restoring the Mississippi River Basin—not only provides clean drinking water and lower flood risk to our communities, but ultimately keeps our rivers healthy," says Dr. Lakly.
How You Can Help
While it may not seem like a small donation or a one-time purchase goes a long way to make an impact, know that your dollars add up and truly help the causes you're supporting. There are plenty of ways to get involved with the Conservancy, such as volunteering, attending local events, or pledging your support for one of its initiatives, like renewing The Land and Water Conservation Fund.
"It is an honor to work with communities who are true stewards of the land and water to find long-lasting, collaborative solutions," says Taylor Hawes, the Conservancy's Colorado River Program Director.
Everyday Efforts Go a Long Way
If you're not able to get involved directly, know there are plenty of everyday ways to help save water and other environmental resources. In your home, run washing machines and dishwashers only when they're full, since large loads minimize the amount of water used to clean. Similarly, turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth to save the clean water for when you need it.
Outside of your home, plant a tree in your yard, in a friend's yard, or in a local park. Trees help keep soil in place, rather than flowing into our streams and lakes, and help reduce flooding.
If you can, set aside time to volunteer for a river cleanup or wetland restoration event. You can make an impact and meet others in your community committed to making a difference. Together, we can make significant strides in restoring and revitalizing our rivers.
Have you donated to an environmental cause or participated in a nature restoration project? We'd love to hear about your efforts on Twitter!
Image Source: Pixabay | Pixabay | Pixabay
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Why It's Good
Be part of the change. Your dollars, time spent volunteering, and small, everyday efforts all work to help restore and revitalize our natural habitats. Any step you take toward protecting the environment will make a lasting impact for future generations.