Addressing Immense and Interconnected Crises

Taking Action to Save Wildlife, People, and the Planet

Collin O'Mara

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.

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.

Aerial photo of the Russian River Flooding on  Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
Working with
groups and U.S. agencies to find climate solutions

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.

Longleaf pine forest in North Carolina
Photo Credit: Tiffany Woods

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. 

Hikers walks down a path in the Grand Canyon
Photo Credit: HECHO
Protecting what
we all share

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.

Students from Overton Elementary school in Austin showcase a colorful poster depicting the lifecycle of a butterfly.
Photo Credit: Alaya Keane

Impacting Communities Coast to Coast

Scroll to read more about our work across America.
Hummingbird next to purple flower

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

Securing a Legacy of Restoration Investments into the Delaware Watershed - House Del River Caucus co-chairs, Rep Fitzpatrick & Rep Blunt Rochester

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)

Aerial view of flood plain along the Missouri River at Nebraska City, Nebraska, USA. View looking south. Green levee (Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Levee System L-575) dividing farmland in Iowa from flood plain visible to left of river.

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

Planting longleaf seedlings

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

Warning sign about contaminated sites around the former Wurtsmith Air Force base near Oscoda, Michigan

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

A woman drinks water out of a clear glass

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 Community Listening Sessions

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

America's Grasslands Conference at King Ranch

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

Reimagining Nature in the City with the Green Dot Coalition

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

Students taking part in Earth Tomorrow Houston learn about solar

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

Hand painted sign, "Protect Oak Flat, Holy Land"

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

Fort Mojave Youth standing in river

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

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