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The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations

July 27, 2014

Environmental institutions have been working on diversity efforts for the better part of five decades. This report discusses the findings of a study of three types of environmental institutions: 191 conservation and preservation organizations, 74 government environmental agencies, and 28 environmental grantmaking foundations. It also reports the findings of interviews conducted with 21 environmental professionals who were asked to reflect on the state of diversity in environmental institutions. The study focuses primarily on gender, racial, and class diversity in these institutions as it pertains to the demographic characteristics of their boards and staff. It examines the recruitment and hiring of new workers as well as the types of diversity initiatives undertaken by the organizations. The report also discusses other kinds of diversities such as cultural, sexual orientation, intergenerational, and rural-urban.

An Evaluation of Sustain Our Great Lakes: A Report Prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

June 1, 2013

The Headwaters Group Philanthropic Services, in partnership with Edward W. Wilson Consulting and Coastal Restoration Consultants, Inc., conducted an evaluation of Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) covering the period 2006 through 2011. The research included site visits to 20 selected project sites, a survey of grantees, and interviews with SOGL's partners and informed observers of the program. The evaluation concluded that SOGL's strategic decisions have been sound and strategic and that its grantmaking program has been well executed. Among the grants that are likely to yield the greatest long-term environmental benefits are those supporting the conversion of uplands to wetlands and hydrological modifications to existing wetlands. Of the many weed control projects supported by SOGL, the ones that are most likely to be effective are those that detect and eradicate early stage invasions before they become established. SOGL has also funded a range of connectivity projects that are likely to confer important environmental benefits as long as they are properly maintained and as long as sufficient care is taken to assure that non-native invasive species are not allowed to extend their ranges. By funding relatively labor-intensive habitat restoration projects, SOGL is helping to create jobs and in the longer term is making economic contributions by strengthening sport fisheries, enhancing opportunities for outdoor recreation, and lowering water treatment costs. In some cases, SOGL investments are playing important roles in larger community and economic development efforts. The evaluation offered a series of recommendations aimed at: improving project planning and design, ensuring adequate post-project maintenance, removing barriers to funding complex projects, building knowledge about effective restoration approaches in the Great Lakes region, and helping grantees prepare for the effects of climate change.

People and Oceans: Managing Marine Areas for Human Well-Being

March 1, 2011

This booklet demonstrates an awakening within the conservation community that the human relationship with coastal and ocean environments must be evaluated in cultural, social, and economic -- as well as ecological -- dimensions. The major insights from this booklet include:People depend on oceans for food security, recreational opportunities, shoreline protection, climate regulation, and other ecosystem services.Marine resources have tremendous economic value that far exceeds current investments in marine governance, and visitors often are willing to pay far more than existing user fees.MMAs improve human well-being by diversifying livelihoods, enhancing incomes, and improving environmental awareness. They also pose challenges, including loss of access to fishing grounds, inequitable distribution of benefits, dependence on project assistance, and unmet expectations.MMAs are influenced by socioeconomic and governance conditions, including benefits exceeding costs, shared benefits, improved livelihood options, strong community participation, accountable management style, supportive local government, enabling legislation, enforced rules, empowerment and capacity building, strong persistent leadership, and involved external agents.Effective MMAs require strong enforcement, including both soft measures (i.e., education, partnerships) and hard measures (i.e., detection, interception, prosecution, and sanctions).Approaches such as buyouts, conservation agreements, and alternative livelihoods provide positive incentives for altering human behavior.

Reefs at Risk Revisited

February 1, 2011

Updates estimated threats to coral reefs from human activities, such as overfishing and coastal development, as well as global climate change by type of threat and region. Outlines social and economic implications and approaches to sustainable management.