Alaska Conservation Foundation
Some of the world’s most urgent climate and conservation crises are being played out right now in Alaska: melting polar ice and permafrost that endangers human and wildlife habitats, under regulated resource extraction that threatens many of the area’s native species, and the warming and acidifying of the oceans are disrupting the marine food chain. The Alaska Conservation Foundation supports and funds initiatives that aim to mitigate these worsening situations, while working to build a consensus from some of Alaska’s more disparate groups: native tribes, conservationists, sportsmen, consumers and community organizations.
Photographer Sebastian Copeland’s grandly beautiful and sometimes terrifying portraits of melting landscapes in Antarctica are on display in this professionally-produced slide show and coffee-table book.
Like its namesake, Audubon is committed to the birds of America, and in these days of shrinking habitats, this venerable organization has become a leading voice for the preservation of natural ecosystems and the birds who live in them. One of the National Audubon Society’s oldest and best loved conservation/education initiatives has been the network of Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries that preserve avian habitats and offer an “up close” education to the public. The organization’s site posts news of Audubon’s many ongoing initiatives and their successes.
Part of a historic and influential society named for the French-American ornithologist, naturalist and painter, Audubon California gets out into the field with programs that protect bird habitat and to save endangered Califonia species. Education and helping connect to Californians to their beautiful natural surroundings are also priorities of century old organization.
Business Council on Climate Change
San Francisco's Business Council on Climate Change is a innovative business-to-government collaboration, promoting projects that help the city meet its climate goals. More specifically, the Council is a platform for public-private initiatives for sustainable transportation options, green building management solutions for tenants and landlords, and affordable solar power solutions offered through employers. An inspiring example of dialogue and leadership in the face of climate change.
The Climate Institute
As early as 1986, this non-profit was working to bring international attention to the idea of “climate protection.” Beginning with a climate conference that brought together scientists, policy makers and environmentalists and put the issue on the international agenda, the Climate Institute has been working to make climate change a priority for all nations. This is an organization that takes the long view of a complex and contentious issue; addressing current problems such as insuring that people living in the areas most affected by rising sea levels and extreme weather have a voice, while also preparing for future scenarios by proposing regulations for climate geo–engineering, for example.
The state of human and ecosystem health are the focus the California-based nonprofit research institute Commonweal. Working with a program of classes, workshops, and retreats as well as national and international initiatives, Commonweal addresses broad issues of health and the environment through targeted programs such as the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, the Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Health Care Without Harm, the Safe Cosmetics Campaign, the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center, and the Commonweal Ocean Policy Program.
Conservation Corps North Bay
In training youth to manage and conserve the San Francisco North Bay's natural resources, Conservation Corps aims for the most positive outcome; aged and employed youth building sustainable communities. This project emphasizes education and employment skills for youth based on career training and fieldwork in creek and trail maintenance, ecosystem monitoring, fire fuel reduction, and habitat restoration.
The legacy of famed French undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau is continued in the Cousteau Society’s mission to educate people in the understanding and conservation of the planet’s marine and fresh water systems. The Society’s concerns are wide-ranging and their impressive site tracks recent developments in marine, land, air, and even space environments. See the spectacular film clips and pictures from Cousteau’s long career of undersea exploration.
“Because the earth needs a good lawyer” is exactly why a group of committed environmental lawyers have banded together to form Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law firm that takes on the work of protecting natural places, resources and wildlife through the courts. Earthjustice provides legal council to those that seek to protect the environment, be they grassroots citizens’ movements or national organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council. Calls to action and inventive initiatives abound on the website, including a “public photo petition” to help stop mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia that will be sent to the EPA.
Developing the potential of workplace giving in the interest of preserving the environment, Earth Share has perfected an effective employer-backed system that allows employees to opt for a small donation to be made from each paycheck. Earth Share’s annual giving campaigns collect funds for 71 national organizations and hundreds of local groups in 19 states. The non-profit has earned top ratings for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator, and the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charity ranking.
Personal involvement seems to be the core of Earthwatch Institute’s mission. The institute actually sends people around the world to do field research and education in aid of international environmental programs. Prospective environmentalists can select their mode of service by location or type of project.