Addressing Immense and Interconnected Crises
Taking Action to Save Wildlife, People, and the Planet
Letter from Collin O’Mara
President and CEO
National Wildlife Federation
Our world is at an inflection point. The work of the National Wildlife Federation has never been more relevant, salient, and urgent than now.
Helping Wildlife Thrive to Improve Peoples’ Lives
Recovering wildlife is the thread linking everything the Federation does. And when wildlife thrive, it improves the quality of life and economic opportunities for people and helps restore the environment.
Addressing the Climate Crisis
Uniting for Equitable and Durable Solutions
Unnatural disasters — from the Maui fires, to flooding in California, to the wildfire smoke that blanketed much of the nation, and the heat wave in Europe — confirm that the climate crisis is here and is a real and existential threat to people and wildlife alike.
Embracing Environmental Justice
Authentically Addressing Inequities and Injustices in Communities
Accomplishing the Federation’s core mission to protect wildlife, people, and the planet requires that we address the persistent and pernicious inequities and environmental injustices in communities.
Strengthening Communities Through Authentic Partnerships
Big Impacts Through Community-Driven Steps
The Federation could not succeed without strategic relationships with other committed organizations, governments, and communities. These partnerships are built on the common goal of conservation, with an eye toward promoting environmental justice.
Conserving Land and Water
Safeguarding Public Lands, Watersheds, and Shores
Our work to protect the planet made great strides in 2023. Successes included protecting public land around the Grand Canyon, restoring and safeguarding watersheds and shorelines in Louisiana and Chesapeake Bay, and improving water system infrastructure in Texas.
Inspiring Future Generations
Finding New Ways to Reach Young Conservationists
The Federation believes it is everyone’s duty to be a caretaker of the earth and to improve the environment for those yet to come.
Impacting Communities Coast to Coast
Embracing Sustainable Gardening Practices
People are pursuing sustainable gardening practices, according to a Federation-supported survey by the National Garden Association and the University of New Hampshire. About one-third of gardeners invest in plants that benefit bees, butterflies, and birds, and one quarter are buying native plants.
Photo Credit: Patrick Olmstead
Delaware River Watershed Restoration Investment
The Federation joined more than fifty advocates in Washington, D.C. to urge lawmakers to pass the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act reauthorization legislation. If secured, the bill would continue restoration investments in the Delaware River Watershed region through fiscal year 2030.
Photo Credit: Office of Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)
Tribes and Frontline Community Water Resource Planning
The Federation partnered with allies on the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 to improve water-resource planning for Tribes and frontline communities. New provisions will develop Tribal liaisons with the Army Corps of Engineers and federally funded solutions to correct environmental injustices.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Hoke County Community Forest Project
The Federation joined partner nonprofits, government entities, and businesses to work on a community forest that protects wildlife, the environment, and provides economic opportunities to Hoke County, North Carolina citizens. The project will restore a 532-acre forest in this historically underserved county.
Photo Credit: Tiffany Woods
Department of Defense Contaminated Site Cleanup
After a decade of advocacy, the Federation and its partners, Need Our Water, and the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network, won a huge victory when the Air Force finally committed to clean up two PFAS-contaminated sites around the former Wurtsmith Air Force base near Oscoda, Michigan.
Photo Credit: NWF
Water Equals Life, Safe Drinking Water Policies
People most impacted by high water bills and shutoffs are disproportionately people of color and the underserved. Working with partners, the Federation formed the WEL (Water Equals Life) Coalition in 2023. WEL advocates for policies that ensure Michiganians can access clean, safe drinking water.
Photo Credit: Anna Tarazevich & Getty Images
Ohio River Basin Clean Water Community Forums
The Federation hosted 31 listening sessions in the Ohio River Basin to hear from residents about their clean water concerns, from toxic pollution to sewage contamination. The goal is to ensure community priorities anchor a regional plan to restore and protect the waters of the 14-state Basin.
Photo Credit: NWF
Protecting North American Threatened Grasslands
A three-day conference in Cheyenne, Wyoming had 270 attendees from across North America to discuss and strategize ways to protect our threatened grasslands. The sixth biennial America’s Grasslands Conference provided a forum where all voices in the grassland conservation space were heard and valued.
Photo Credit: King Ranch
Green Infrastructure Access for Women & People of Color Businesses
The Five Points Greening project increases access to green infrastructure so all can enjoy climate resilience, health, and economic benefits of nearby nature. The project priority are businesses and organizations led by women or people of color who need additional resources to conduct this work.
Photo Credit: Green Dot Coalition
Earth Tomorrow Program Returns to Houston
Relaunched in 2023, our Houston Earth Tomorrow program had 25 high school students visit sites over six days to join in service projects, program planning, and experiential learning. They gained knowledge about Houston’s Gulf Coast ecology, historic Black communities, environmental justice, and more.
Photo Credit: Marya Fowler & Michael Valdez
Delayed Transfer of Oak Flat Sacred Land to Mining Interest
Oak Flat is sacred land in the Tonto National Forest with vital water resources. After HECHO spent months of advocacy work, the Forest Service paused publication of an environmental report. This delayed transfer of Oak Flat by the federal government to Resolution Copper to develop a mining project.
Photo Credit: HECHO
2023 Campus Race to Zero Waste Results
Our Campus Race to Zero Waste program addresses environmental challenges of managing and disposing solid waste material, especially plastics. In 2023, 3.4 million college students and staff across 200 campuses participated in keeping 205 million single-use plastic containers out of landfills.
Photo Credit: Xavier University
Increasing Tribal Access to Clean Water
Nearly 50 percent of Native populations lack access to clean water. The Federation collaborated with a coalition working to increase Tribal access to clean water. We helped to secure $4.5 billion in federal funding to meet the backlog of Tribal infrastructure improvements and water management needs.
Photo Credit: Nora McDowell