By Kristen Peterson, Hatcher Senior Director
For those living on the East Coast, October marks a welcome change for many of us — from the hot, humid days of summer to cooler weather, crisp air, fall foliage, and all things pumpkin. October also commemorates several important environmental awareness days and events: October 4 celebrated World Animal Day and COP26, the 26th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, begins October 31.
At a time when our environment faces many challenges — climate change, pollution, more frequent and intense wildfires, deforestation and, most recently, a devastating oil spill off the coast of California — global events like these are important reminders for us to spread awareness and support activities to improve the health of the planet.
Confirming the urgency, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report identifies climate change as “the single biggest health threat facing humanity.” To combat this overwhelming threat, we need local community-driven conservation efforts every day.
The Hatcher Group is fortunate to support organizations that help get “boots on the ground” for conservation efforts across the country. One of those clients is the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which seems a timely partnership to highlight given this month’s awareness themes. NFWF does not engage in advocacy or litigation, but rather is dedicated to protecting and restoring our nation’s wildlife, plants and habitats. Their work also helps to improve nature’s resilience to climate change.
Since 1984, NFWF has funded more than 19,700 projects to drive conservation efforts across the country. In cities, NFWF’s grantee organization created rain gardens to reduce stormwater runoff. In rural communities, they reduced pollution to improve water quality and create better habitat for native fish. Along the nation’s coasts, they worked to reduce flooding to benefit habitat for fish and wildlife. With conservation efforts in all 50 states and U.S. territories, it’s no wonder NFWF is the largest private conservation grant-maker in the nation.
Hatcher has worked closely with NFWF since 2016, providing communications support on several national and regional programs to help restore natural resources after devastating environmental events. We understand how the impacts of these events, which may last for mere days, can take years, often decades, to mitigate. Most recently, we provided media outreach and events support for the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and the Delaware River Program, both of which work to restore fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River watersheds.
Working with NFWF partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, William Penn Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Chesapeake Bay Program, we developed two virtual press events to announce 2021 grant projects under both programs, including:
Someone once said, “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” With so many environmental challenges, grit is critical. We’re proud to partner with clients like NFWF who persevere, doing the hard work — day in and day out — so future generations can enjoy our amazing planet and its natural wonders.