NWF Recognizes Gulf Restoration Efforts with Conservation Achievement Award
Walton Family Foundation's Gulf work highlighted at reception in New Orleans.
Emily Guidry Schatzel
National Wildlife Federation honored the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) with a National Conservation Achievement Award or "Connie" award for its work on restoring the Gulf ecosystem and economy.
The WFF’s work in the Gulf began in 2005, focusing on ending overfishing to preserve fisheries that are economic drivers for local communities. The foundation and its grantees work to establish science-based fishery management programs across the Gulf that aim to preserve threatened fish species and the livelihoods of the fishermen who depend on them.
Since the 2010 oil disaster, the foundation has also been working toward a common-sense restoration plan for the Gulf Coast. The foundation created coalitions of economic and environmental partners in each of the five Gulf states to identify and promote restoration projects that hit the triple bottom line: bringing environmental, economic and community benefits to the region. Working together, these partners were able to ensure the passage of the RESTORE Act, a law that directs fines from the 2010 oil spill back to the Gulf to be used for economic recovery through environmental restoration.
"National Wildlife Federation is delighted to honor the Walton Family Foundation, a fundamental partner in coastal restoration, for its efforts in the Mississippi River Delta and the Gulf," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "For years, the Walton Family Foundation has made significant contributions to the on-the-ground work of NWF and many of our allied organizations as we work to protect our delta, wetlands and Gulf and help the entire region recover from the 2010 oil disaster. We look forward to a continued relationship with Walton as we move forward to our ultimate shared goal of achieving comprehensive environmental and economic vitality in the Gulf."
The foundation’s aim in the Gulf of Mexico is to bring together unlikely allies who can unite around a common goal: a healthy, thriving Gulf. Through the work of the foundation and its grantees, local businesses, industry leaders, policymakers and conservationists have come together to support restoration and fishery management efforts to ensure the Gulf continues to serve as a backbone of the American economy.
"The Walton Family Foundation is honored to receive this very special award from National Wildlife Federation, an organization on the front lines of coastal restoration efforts across the Gulf of Mexico,” said Scott Burns, director of the environment program at WFF. "A thriving economy depends on restoring the environmental health of the Gulf Coast. The foundation’s investments in this critical region highlight our long-term commitment to finding conservation solutions that make economic sense and benefit local communities."
Since 1966, the National Conservation Awards have honored individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy and on-the-ground conservation.
Conservation Achievements Awards- A History
Watch NWF's Conservation Achievement Awards video on the history of the awards and past honorees.