From shark and community funding out West, to clean water and cancer prevention collaboration: a week in review from Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation

The Moore Charitable Foundation (MCF) and founder Louis Bacon are focused on driving conservation impact more than ever this year in our priority areas and regions. During the month of February, on our social channels and through MCF’s website we will focus on grantees in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, sharing news of their initiatives and conservation concerns/opportunities, and will publish “white papers” about land, water and wildlife habitat restoration in the West. As well, as always, we will continue to follow the progress of all our partners from across the country and in The Bahamas and Panama.

Here are just a few of the highlights of the past ten days:

Conejos Clean Water (Trinchera Blanca Foundation grantee) 2016 rafting trip on the Rio Grande.

Conejos Clean Water (Trinchera Blanca Foundation grantee) 2016 rafting trip on the Rio Grande. Photo (c) Conejos Clean Water

1. Two pieces of news from Colorado demonstrated how, in 2016, MCF supported local conservation and communities efforts to provide critical services, enact meaningful conservation projects and protect important natural resources. Trinidad’s Chronicle-News published that MCF local affiliate Tercio Foundation contributed almost $90,000 to non-profit organizations in the greater Stonewall and Trinidad communities; and from Fort Garland came news that affiliate The Trinchera Blanca Foundation provided more than $300,000 to local conservation and community groups, the majority of which was allocated to groups in the San Luis Valley.

The giving strategy was critically informed by staff and leadership at Tercio Ranch and Trinchera Blanca Ranch respectively. We thank our trusted leadership there for their thoughtful insights.

2. Florida International University released news that scientists have discovered what is probably a new species of hammerhead shark, prompting concerns about the species’ vulnerability and whether conservation practices in place today are widespread enough to protect them. The data that led to this definitive finding was obtained in part during a 2016 shark tagging expedition, funded by a grant from Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation.

Demian Chapman examines a specimen of what is believed to be an unidentified species of hammerhead shark. Credit: Florida International University

Demian Chapman examines a specimen of what is believed to be an unidentified species of hammerhead shark. Credit: Florida International University. Photo (c) FIU

We commend the entire research team from Stony Brook University, Florida International University, University of North Florida and the Field Museum of Chicago, and especially FIU lead marine research scientist Damien Chapman on their important work that is forwarding shark conservation globally.

3. We traveled to Washington D.C. for National Cancer Prevention Day on February 2nd, and participated in discussions, lectures and a town hall meeting in support of our partner Less Cancer. We were thrilled that Mae Wu, JD, Senior Attorney, Health Program of Natural Resources Defense Council was able to speak. National Cancer Prevention Day is a resolution introduced by Representative Steve Israel that highlights Less Cancer’s efforts to bring attention to cancer prevention, educating citizens about behavioral and environmental risks linked to cancer.

4. We attended this year’s first in-person meeting of the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative in support of advancing the critical clean water mandate on the East End. Clean water, both to drink and in ponds and bays, is high on the 2017 agenda for local and state lawmakers, and we’ll look forward to exciting initiatives coming soon.

5. The Taos Ski Valley has its Grand Opening of the Blake Hotel. A major congratulations to the entire Ski Taos team on their fabulous and Herculean effort. As the Taos News eloquently published this week, the hotel is “truly a celebration of the Taos melting pot and adheres to our common environmentally friendly mindset and that of conservationist owner Louis Bacon, who bought the resort in 2013.” Bravo!

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Waterkeeper Alliance and North Carolina Riverkeepers Launch “The True Cost of Industrial Meat Production” Environmental Justice Video Campaign

Waterkeeper Alliance and thirteen North Carolina Riverkeeper organizations have launched a new environmental justice video campaign that captures the struggle of community members living with the impacts of industrial farm pollution. Titled The True Cost of Industrial Meat Production, the campaign aims to raise awareness of environmental injustices being perpetrated against North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations and features powerful, first-hand accounts of community members, esteemed scientific experts, and local people on the ground. This campaign shows the devastating impacts to public health, quality of life, and local waterways caused by industrial animal agriculture.

The campaign is comprised of nine short videos, designed specifically for viewing on social media:

“The True Cost of Industrial Meat Production” — An overview of what is happening in North Carolina, where industrial animal production has taken the place of family farms.

“Wasting Away” — Highlights the problem of industrial animal waste and how the pork industry is not being held accountable to dispose of it correctly.

“Belly Up” — How waste generated by industrial meat production is decimating North Carolina’s waterways and in turn, killing its fish and ecosystems.

“Birthright” — Community members whose families have lived on their properties for generations talk about the heritage of their land and how it has been overtaken by industrial agriculture and animal waste.

“Prisoners” — Residents discuss how they have become prisoners in their own homes due to the impacts of pollution from industrial animal production, which make it nearly impossible for them to enjoy their property.

“Mislabeled” — How the pork industry deceives consumers with its marketing tactics and labeling of its products.

“Bullied” — Duplin County resident Elsie Herring talks about how she has been intimidated and threatened by the pork industry to remain silent about the injustices she and her family faces.

“Silenced” — The pork industry intimidates by bullying and seeking to silence the people most affected by the impacts of its pollution.

“The Value of Land” — The pork industry’s refusal to dispose of its waste in a regulated and more sustainable manner has decimated people’s property values, making them unable to move.

This video campaign also expands on the recent landmark report and GIS initiative by Waterkeeper Alliance, North Carolina Riverkeeper organizations and Environmental Working Group that shows the location and waste outputs of more than 6,500 swine, cattle and poultry operations throughout North Carolina.

Louis Bacon and The Moore Charitable Foundation are proud to partner with Waterkeeper Alliance in the fight for clean air and water, for all people. 

Amplifying conservation efforts through Colorado Gives Day 2015

The emphasis on charitable giving this holiday season will gain further momentum with Colorado Gives Day, which celebrates its sixth year on December 8. The 24-hour online fundraising movement applauds philanthropy and encourages donations in support of over 1,800 non-profit organizations in Colorado. Last year, the campaign received donations from 45,000 people, generating an impressive $26.3 million. To gear up for this marathon day of giving, nonprofits will gather at the State Capitol on December 7 for a special rally to collectively celebrate the year’s achievements.

The Moore Charitable Foundation and founder Louis Bacon proudly supports the distinguished work of its Trinchera Blanca Foundation partners in Colorado. Their dedication to preserving open spaces and upholding policy to protect conservation easements is particularly admirable. Each year, Colorado Gives Day serves to commemorate all that they have accomplished. Below, we highlight the work of five of our partners as they form an integral part of this regional community.

  • Colorado Open Lands acts to carry out its long-term conservation plan for Colorado, concentrating on land, water, and heritage. Through strategic partners, leadership, and innovative conservation techniques, they help to ensure that Colorado retains its natural beauty. Their work, primarily with private landowners has facilitated the protection of more than 400,000 acres to date. Currently, COL is focused on using conservation easements and other tools to protect acequia water rights, a system that treats water as a critical community resource.
  • Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CCLT) also promotes land conservation, focusing particularly on public policy and education. Their protection covers almost 2 million acres of habitat, farms, ranches, and other landscapes, and they work to foster positive relations and cooperation between land trusts and governmental organizations.
  • Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) conserves working rural landscapes, heritage, and local families, thereby encouraging the intergenerational transfer of ranches and farms. Its broad focus on family allows it to take on many roles, with programs to help farmers perform estate planning, pay debt, save for retirement, and pay for education, among other activities.
  • Conservation Colorado, a grassroots organization with a strong culture of collaboration, envisions a sustainable future for its home state. Focusing on the people side of operations, it works to mobilize the community and elect environmentally-conscious policy makers. Some of their successes include protection of more than 3 million acres of wilderness, passing 130 distinct conservation bills at the state legislature, and increasing the statewide renewable energy standard by 30%.
  • Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) advocates sustainability in agriculture throughout the entire San Luis Valley. Their conservation techniques serve to sustain the vitality of Colorado’s agricultural heritage and economy. They hope to inspire a culture of conservation in the area, and they do so by supporting ranches and farms, water sources, and wildlife habitat and have succeeded in protecting more than 21,000 of these acres.

This Colorado Gives Day, the amplified attention surrounding our partners’ work will raise awareness about the importance of sustainability in Colorado and bring new supporters to the community. Visit https://www.coloradogives.org/COGIVESDAY to learn how you can contribute to preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat in Colorado, and use #COGivesDay on social media to spread the word.

COP21: US Environmental Groups Stand to Benefit from International Commitments

This past week, leaders from across the globe convened in Paris at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to discuss issues critical to the future of our planet. While issues such as reducing emissions and supporting clean energy technology research may seem out of reach, these are intrinsically connected to the very issues Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation and its grantees support.

The primary goal of the summit is a global agreement on limiting emissions which would thwart the effects of climate change and global warming. With the United States and China, two of the world’s largest carbon polluters, now in lockstep on a pledge to enact emissions reductions policies, this goal seems more feasible than ever before.

In addition to the remarkable emissions goal, the presidents of the United States and France announced “Mission Innovation” – a commitment from 20 countries to double their clean energy research and development investment over five years. Together, these 20 nations represent 75 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions from electricity, and more than 80 percent of the world’s clean energy research and development investment.

Here in North America, the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign stands to benefit from these substantial commitments, and Oceana’s efforts to stop offshore drilling could experience an additional tailwind. MCF is proud to support both of these important initiatives as they successfully educate and mobilize communities, affect policy, and produce
tangible results – all for the demand of a clean energy future.

Waterkeepers from around the world, who are among the first to see the severe and often devastating effects of climate change on their waterways and in the communities, are in place to demand action and influence the legally binding universal agreement on climate. 121 Waterkeepers from over 20 countries have submitted specific calls to action to their government leaders in preparation for these weeks. Read their full list of demands, as well as the most pressing threats to their watersheds.

At last week’s end, food figured high on the agenda, with three important announcement: the release of a new tool to chart food insecurity; the launch of 4/100 was launched, an initiative to help keep carbon in soil through better farming techniques; and, in particular interest to MCF, the announcement a new food waste forum was to encourage G20 countries, private sector and NGOs to fight food waste together. This relates to a major Waterkeeper priority: fighting the environmental destruction and injustice of industrial farming or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) through their Pure Farms, Pure Waters campaign.

The talks continue tomorrow. If last week is any meter, we can look forward to more announcements and, if the force be with us, some binding agreements. We encourage all organizations and individuals to pay attention to the conversations, and join us in the fight against global warming, whether it’s through supporting our grantees or simply being an advocate in your own sphere.

 

 

 

 

Giving Tuesday: Encouraging Support of Leaders in Conservation

The Moore Charitable Foundation (MCF) was founded in 1992 by lifelong conservationist Louis Bacon to preserve and protect natural resources for future generations. MCF is proud to support visionary non-profits that truly champion land, wildlife, habitat, and water. We are honored to partner with passionate individuals and teams – scientists, explorers, activists, educators, thought-leaders, patrons, artists, litigators, lobbyists, politicians, students, historians – who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.

In the spirit of the holiday season, and as we approach #GivingTuesday, we take this opportunity to highlight a few of our many incredible partners, all of which are worthy of attention and support.

Bahamas National Trust
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) champions conservation and the sustainable use of the Bahamas’ natural resources through initiatives that range from fishing regulations to marine litter education. Conchservation, their national effort to ensure a sustainable Queen Conch population, raises awareness about the dangers of harvesting juvenile conchs from the water before they have had the opportunities to reproduce. The campaign has been broadly disseminated through Public Service Announcements (PSA) and children’s education. Learn more about BNT’s Conchservation.

Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF)
A partner for more than 15 years, BREEF works to conserve the Bahamas marine environment through research, environmental education and advocacy. BREEF is currently focused on protecting the endangered Nassau grouper population from overfishing around the Caribbean. BREEF’s body of research and ongoing advocacy directly contributed to a game-changing win: the legislature of a closed fishing season. This is a major milestone in marine conservation. Learn more about BREEF.

Colorado Open Lands
Colorado Open Lands​ works to preserve the unparalleled natural beauty and open spaces of Colorado through private and public partnerships, innovative land conservation techniques and strategic leaderships. COL primarily partners with private landowners to place conservation easements on their property, protecting their land in perpetuity. COL has permanently protected more than 378,000 acres throughout the state, defending landscapes, wildlife, farmers, ranchers, and sportsmen from the threats of development and the loss of open spaces. Currently, COL is employing an innovative technique by using conservation easements and other tools to protect acequia water rights, a system that treats water as a community resource that irrigators have a shared right to use, manage, and protect. Learn more about COL here.

Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. More than 3 million mayors, moms, cops, teachers, survivors, gun owners, and everyday Americans have come together to fight for the changes that will save lives. Researching a range of vital issues surrounding gun violence, Everytown develops data-driven solutions, and works with lawmakers and civilians to pass common-sense laws and policies that save lives. Read more about Everytown For Gun Safety here.

Group for the East End (GFEE)
GFEE acts as a watchdog and community advocate dedicated to protecting the natural beauty and tranquility of Eastern Long Island. GFEE pushes local governments to rethink development proposals, overhaul local zoning codes, and adopt new open space preservation laws. Of recent concern is the imminent sale and development of Plum Island, which houses an Animal Disease Center that Homeland Security is set to close by 2023. GFEE is working strategically with all layers of government to turn a majority of the island into a National Wildlife Refuge, and thus protect osprey, bank swallow and painted turtle habitat and populations. Learn more about GFEE’s vision here.

Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance advocates for the policies and incentives we need to permanently protect millions of acres of land across the country every year. At once the go-to source for conservation training, the trusted advisor for land trusts; and a networking body for connecting people to the land, LTA addresses the pace, quality and permanence of conservation. LTA is focsed on making making the Enhanced Easement Incentive Act permanent in order to ensure that landowners who donate a conservation easement on their land can claim a valuable federal income tax deduction. Across the country, land trusts have been building strong bipartisan support for this powerful and cost-effective incentive. Learn more about LTA’s work here.

MARVIVA
MarViva focuses on protecting coastal and marine ecosystems in Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama. A project that is of particular importance to MCF, MarViva is currently focused on a three-year plan to promote marine conservation in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama, a timely project that will contribute to the preservation of marine resources and poverty reduction in eight relevant communities. Read more about MarViva’s Panamanian initiatives here.

North Carolina Coastal Federation
Through education, advocacy and habitat restoration, N.C. Coastal Federation helps coastal residents and visitors to protect the water quality and critically important natural habitats of the Atlantic seaboard. The Orton Foundation, The Moore Charitable Foundation’s regional affiliate supports NCCF’s efforts to preventing the proposed Titan Cement, a heavy-polluting coal-fired cement manufacturing plant that would threaten the air and water of southeastern NC, from being built on the banks of the Cape Fear River. Learn more about NCCF.

Oceana
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, largely through science-based and policy-focused campaigns . Since 2001, Oceana has protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean as well as innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other marine creatures. MCF supports Oceana’s campaign to prevent offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting along the East coast, including the sensitive coastal regions of North Carolina. Read more about Oceana’s Stop the Drill campaign here.

Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)
A powerful and mobilized litigating body, SELC  focuses on many of our top priority issues concerns in the Cape Fear River Area: fighting Titan’s plans for a cement plant; coal ash clean up, the environmental and social devastation caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation waste; and the threat of offshore drilling and seismic blasting off the coast of North Carolina. Learn more about the fearless work of the SELC here.

Waterkeeper Alliance
As champions for clean water worldwide, Waterkeeper Alliance unites more than 250 local Waterkeepers on critical issues impacting the basic right to clean water. In North Carolina WKA has been fighting for more than 16 years to regulate waste pollution from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) – swine, poultry, and dairy facilities, that are devastating communities, rivers, lakes and estuaries across the state. The Pure Farms Pure Waters campaign aims to raise awareness about CAFOs; encourage the public to question the provenance of their meat; and urge communities to defend their rights to swimmable, fishable, drinkable water. Learn more about Pure Farms Pure Waters here.

The organizations here listed are not exhaustive of The Moore Charitable Foundation portfolio of partnerships; but as a whole they do span the breath of our focus. We encourage you to learn more about each of these incredible organizations, and hope you will consider one that resonates personally for your charitable giving this year.