We’ve Bagged the Big One Four Years in a Row
We’re pretty proud of our 4×4—that’s four stars from the largest charity evaluator for each of the last four years—and the track record that means you can trust us to reach conservation goals with your donations
As sportsmen and women across the country celebrate an abundant fall hunting and fishing season, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is celebrating its fourth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator—that’s the highest possible rating awarded by the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator.
This four-time recognition for our financial health, accountability, and transparency puts the TRCP in the top 10 percent of American charities rated.
In a letter, Charity Navigator president and CEO Michael Thatcher says this designation indicates that the TRCP not only “executes its mission in a financially efficient way,” but also “exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities” in our area of work. Learn more about our rating here and see our financials here.
“We’re very proud to lay all our cards on the table, remain transparent about how we use donations and grants in service of our conservation mission, and be deemed trustworthy and effective by American hunters and anglers,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which details its accomplishments for fiscal year 2015 in its latest Annual Report. “There is no higher honor than being entrusted with your hard-earned money or confidence in our ability to bring the voices of sportsmen and women to Washington, D.C., where we will continue to strive for conservation success.”
Main Call To Action Form
There’s More Than One Way to Build a Marsh (and We Need Both)
To combat the world’s worst bout of wetland loss, we can’t afford to use just some of the tools available—especially when you look at where marsh projects will be in 50 years
To dredge or to divert?
That is the question many South Louisianans have asked over the last decade when considering the best approach to restoring and sustaining the imperiled wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta. Some residents, whose livelihoods depend on marine fisheries or a certain way of life, call for one solution over the other, but this has never been an either/or scenario for most coastal engineers and wetland ecologists trying to solve the world’s greatest wetland-loss problem. Here’s why.
Scaling Up Sediment Success
To give this world-class fish and wildlife habitat a fighting chance, it has always been recommended to combine approaches. Water containing floating sediment needs to be diverted from the Mississippi River into adjacent wetlands through gates built in the levees that protect New Orleans and communities north and south from floodwaters. At the same time, marshes, ridges, and barrier islands need to be rebuilt with sediment dredged from the Mississippi and other waterways.
However, some coastal residents have argued strongly against the diversions. Many of them are commercial fishermen, who are worried that redirecting freshwater into coastal estuaries will displace the shrimp and oysters they depend on for their livelihoods. They contend diversions are too expensive to construct and they don’t build land as fast as dredging. The toll that freshwater could have on their businesses means dredge pipes—and only dredge pipes—are the way to go.
Those arguing against diversions often look past the fact that in the handful of areas where the river is currently spilling into estuaries—the shallow lakes, bays, and marshes home to redfish, bass, speckled trout, countless forage fish, and wintering waterfowl—it is already building new land by dropping essential sediment into existing wetlands. In some places, that land-building process has been aided by the construction of small islands or a series of terraces, piles of sediment built to break wave action and encourage vegetation growth, placed in the diversion outfall areas to slow water flow and help the sediment drop out quicker.
Now, the engineers and wetlands experts preparing to build Louisiana’s largest controlled diversions are using these small-scale successes as a model for large-scale success upriver.
Borrowed Building Materials
Diversion designers and planners with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) have identified a dozen areas in the Mississippi River channel where sediment can be dredged and used to build land. A dredge in the river picks up sediment from “borrow areas,” then pipes and booster pumps move the material as far as 20 miles or more to build new marsh. The holes created by dredging the material are filled in again in as little as five years with additional sediment coming down river.
Many of the borrow areas are close enough to where diversions will be flowing into degraded marshes to allow for terrace construction in advance of diversion operation. The terraces can then help slow the river water coming from the diversion, causing the sediment to drop out quicker. Advanced modeling and historical analysis of river conditions has also helped planners determine the times of the year and flow rates when peak sediment loads are in the river, giving them a better idea of when the river’s land-building capacity is at its best. In general, those peak sediment events occur in the winter when the basins adjacent to the river have their lowest water levels.
Opening diversions at these peak conditions, combined with the construction of wave-breaking terraces, would maximize land building, while minimizing freshwater inundation and the impact to many saltwater species of fish and crustaceans.
Furthermore, when vegetation and marshes build on the terraces, those diversions will help them survive longer. Models show that subsidence—the natural sinking of land—and sea-level rise will work together to submerge those marshes built with no diversion near to supply sediment within 30 years. However, projects built in conjunction with diversion to feed sediment into the system are able to stay above the water line beyond 50 years, which is the furthest into the future that models can predict, according to CPRA officials.
Using diversions to deliver sediment into adjacent wetlands will always be part of any realistic approach to sustaining the Mississippi River Delta. It’s a reality that even the staunchest diversion opponents can’t change or escape. By using dredged sediment to build land in combination with sediment carried by water, diversion proponents and opponents can reach an outcome they both agree upon – the creation of essential fish and wildlife habitat as quickly and efficiently as possible.
That’s why the TRCP is working with Louisiana coastal restoration officials and other conservation groups to advance coastal restoration efforts like this. We’re supportive of developing a new plan for coastal restoration and hurricane protection that could see legislative approval in 2017. For more information about that plan, please visit coastal.louisiana.gov.
Next Administration Could Usher in New Era of Fisheries Management
News for Immediate Release
Oct. 19, 2016
Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading marine conservation groups deliver recommendations to improve public access and enhance fisheries that support American jobs and spending
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Center for Coastal Conservation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and seven other leading marine conservation and trade associationsreleased a series of recommendations for the incoming presidential administration and new Congress, calling on leaders to improve access to public waters, create economic growth, and enhance the conservation of marine fish stocks.
The guidance for federal policy makers is now available to the public in a new report, A Vision for Marine Fisheries Management in the 21st Century: Priorities for a New Administration, which calls for an end to antiquated federal policies that have inhibited a vital source of economic growth and the proud American tradition of recreational fishing.
“We are deeply committed to ensuring a bright future for marine recreational fishing,” says Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “It’s a critical component of our economy, and it’s a proud part of America’s heritage of conservation. The recommendations in this report will ensure that we as a nation do all we can to continue this legacy.”
The Vision report highlights the economic value of recreational fishing in coastal waters. Today, 11 million American anglers fish recreationally in saltwater. From license sales to retail sales, the recreational saltwater fishing industry contributes more than $70 billion annually in economic activity and generates 455,000 jobs. However, outdated federal management policies threaten to stem this positive economic trend.
“We want better fisheries management for economic reasons, but we need better management for conservation reasons,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Healthy habitat and fisheries provide benefits that can be measured—like tourism spending in coastal towns—and the intangible benefits of more American families on the water, more memories made, more connections forged with our natural resources, and more voices willing to speak up for conservation.”
The report recommends a shift away from using the same tools at the federal level to manage commercial fishing and recreational fishing. New approaches should reflect the reality of demand for recreational access to our marine fisheries, the current economic activity associated with that access, and the scientific data of the light footprint recreational access has on our marine resources.
“It’s important that lawmakers and policymakers understand that commercial and recreational fishing need to be managed differently,” says Ted Venker, conservation director of the Coastal Conservation Association and chairman of the Center for Coastal Conservation’s Government Relations Committee. “The Vision report’s recommendations suggest taking a clear-eyed look at our nation’s fisheries, using modern science and technology to guide decision-making.”
“Fishing is a treasured pastime and tradition for millions of Americans and needs to be treated as such,” adds Angers. “The new administration and Congress should take steps to keep this tradition alive—for the benefit of all those who enjoy fishing, for the hundreds of thousands employed in the recreational fishing industry, and for future generations of anglers who will fall in love with the sea.”
Additional contributors to the report include the American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, and The Billfish Foundation.
Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
CHEERS TO CONSERVATION
Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences hunting and fishing certainly fueled his passion for conservation, but it seems that a passion for coffee may have powered his mornings. In fact, Roosevelt’s son once said that his father’s coffee cup was “more in the nature of a bathtub.” TRCP has partnered with Afuera Coffee Co. to bring together his two loves: a strong morning brew and a dedication to conservation. With your purchase, you’ll not only enjoy waking up to the rich aroma of this bolder roast—you’ll be supporting the important work of preserving hunting and fishing opportunities for all.Learn More