The Freshwater Trust receives $64,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support long-term restoration

August 3, 2016


Grant is part of philanthropic effort to help support community-based environmental projects

PORTLAND, Ore. – Better native fish habitat. Cleaner water.

Those will be among the results of a $64,000 grant The Freshwater Trust, a nonprofit freshwater conservation group based in Portland, has received from Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program.

The gift is part of the $2.56 million Wells Fargo is giving this year to 61 nonprofit groups in 22 states to support land and water conservation, energy efficiency and broad-based citizen participation in communities where Wells Fargo customers and team members live and work.

The Freshwater Trust will use the funds to support its ongoing, multi-year effort to improve and protect the Sandy River watershed by restoring ecologically significant fish habitat in the Salmon River and Still Creek. The Sandy basin spans more than 500 square miles, and encompasses the Bull Run watershed, which provides drinking water for more than 900,000 Oregonians.

While the Sandy River and its tributaries still offer critical habitat for salmon and steelhead, populations have plummeted over the last century. Sandy basin chinook, coho and winter steelhead are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Freshwater Trust has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to lead the Upper Sandy River Basin Habitat Restoration Project on behalf of the Sandy River Basin Partners, a group of public and private organizations collaborating to make vital improvements for the watershed.

“We’ve been working in this basin for more than a decade,” said Alan Horton, managing director with The Freshwater Trust. “This grant helps us do more of the good work needed to improve water quality and native fish habitat. The water issues we face as a nation are massive. We hope to take what we learn on the ground in our own backyard and apply those actions and approaches to other basins and help other organizations do the same.”

The Freshwater Trust employs what it calls a “quantified” approach to conservation. Blending science, technology, policy and finance, the organization works to ensure every restoration action translates into a positive and measurable outcome for the environment.

“We all do better when we make decisions that improve the environment,” said Wells Fargo Regional President Tracy Curtis of Portland. “Wells Fargo intends to provide $100 million in funding by 2020 to nonprofits and university programs across the nation focused on environmental sustainability. Our goal is to help provide long-term solutions to environmental challenges at the local level.”

A Five-Year Program

Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program has been a five-year, $15-million collaboration with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Launched in 2012, the program has made 267 grants to local nonprofit groups to promote environmental stewardship and strengthen communities across the United States.

Over the life of the five-year program, the grants have funded 312 projects. They have restored more than 83,000 acres of habitat, planted almost a million trees and engaged hundreds of thousands of community members in environmental protection activities nationwide.

“Wells Fargo has been a long-time supporter of The Freshwater Trust,” said Curtis. “We’ve admired its excellent work over many, many years on behalf of the environment in Oregon and its efforts to inspire the next generation of conservationists.”

About The Freshwater Trust

The Freshwater Trust is a group of bold problem solvers designing and implementing data-driven solutions that protect and restore America’s freshwater. The organization is blazing the path for a new era of conservation from its headquarters in Portland, Ore., and satellite offices throughout the Northwest and in Sacramento, Calif.

About Wells Fargo

Serving Oregonians since 1852, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,600 locations; 13,000 ATMs; the internet (; and mobile banking. In 2015 The Banker magazine named Wells Fargo the best bank in the world, based on its financial strength, culture and leadership.


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