The Fund for Clear-Eyed Conservation

We are entering into a new era.

One that understands action taken without knowledge and tested results will not make a true difference. The Freshwater Trust has long been science-centered and data-focused. But our approach remains the exception rather than the rule. After a full generation of modern environmental effort, here is a quick snapshot of where we are:

  • The number of worldwide dead zones has grown from 30 to 500. 
  • The total number of freshwater species has declined by 50%. 
  • Total acreage of U.S. wetlands has decreased by more than a third.

This is why we need to normalize data-driven conservation and restoration in this country.

In view of this, we have undertaken a three-year, $3 million effort to recalibrate conservation to deal with the problems of this century. Last year, we quietly engaged a small set of donors to build momentum to catalyze this initiative: The Fund for Clear-Eyed Conservation.

Clear-eyed means having a shrewd understanding and no illusions. Supporting the Fund and helping us raise $3 million by 2018 means understanding the freshwater problems facing our country, seeing the solutions available, and demanding bold, urgent action.

With science, 21st century technology and new financing mechanisms, we will design and build solutions that match the scale of the water issues impacting communities everywhere.

100% of funds raised over the next three years will support three major initiatives that will help advance the field of conservation and get real results for our freshwater resources: Discover. Declare. Do.

Why Water?

Water is at the heart of it all. By restoring freshwater ecosystems, we’re protecting our native fish and wildlife, our economy, our food systems and our future generations.

Why us?

Traditional conservation tactics of the last quarter century have proven inadequate against the increasing demands placed on our freshwater ecosystems. The Freshwater Trust is a group of bold problem-solvers pioneering the next generation of conservation. 

Check out articles about our data-driven approach to restoration and conservation in Scientific American, Bloomberg, Fast Company and more.

Why you? 

Freshwater GalaOur ability to secure a future with clean, healthy water starts with support from dedicated people like you.

Decades of treating a finite resource as infinite has taken a toll. More than 2.3 billion people live in river basins that are under stress.

Half the rivers and streams in the U.S. are unhealthy and not functioning as they should. In the absence of swift, purposeful action, there will continue to be severe consequences for people and nature.

A successful effort over the last 18 months enabled us to improve our research and technology capacities, increase public awareness about our “Quantified Conservation” approach, and work with more communities to design targeted restoration programs that improve the health of more rivers and streams faster.

But we can’t slow down. The challenges to our freshwater resources are only getting more complex and more urgent.

Now we are creating a fund that will help us advocate for a clear-eyed approach to solving problems.

Have a question about the Fund?

I'd love to chat.
McCailin Wunder, Freshwater Fund Associate Director

Contact McCailin