As world population approaches 9 billion people, our planet faces unprecedented demands for resources compounded by impacts from our unstable climate. Here in Virginia, we face some particular challenges, including energy development in our Appalachian Mountains and pollution in our Chesapeake Bay.
The Nature Conservancy’s long-term investments in Virginia’s critical lands and waters are paying off in unprecedented new opportunities. To capitalize on these opportunities—and confront the challenges of our time head on—our conservation strategies continue to evolve and expand. This is in large part due to the sophisticated array of new science, data, and tools that we employ to help us innovate solutions.
Our work embraces the complexity and scale of nature as it functions on our planet, focusing on four key areas:
- FORESTS AND WOODLANDS. We work to ensure that Virginia’s forests continue to harbor wildlife, support recreation and forestry, and clean the air we breathe and the water we drink.
- RIVERS AND BAYS. From the Chesapeake Bay to the Clinch River, we seek to secure clean water, abundant wildlife and sustainable fisheries for the benefit of people and nature.
- OCEANS AND COASTS. We work with partners to revolutionize ocean management and to protect and sustain marine life, coastal communities and a bountiful ocean for generations to come.
- CLIMATE. Protecting and restoring healthy natural systems can enable habitats, wildlife and human communities to withstand climate change and rising seas.
At the heart of our efforts is at least one core conservation area where we’ve been deeply engaged for years—places like Warm Springs Mountain and Clinch Valley in the Appalachians, Dragon Run and Piankatank River in the Chesapeake watershed, Piney Grove and Great Dismal Swamp in the Albemarle watershed, and Virginia Coast Reserve
on the Atlantic.
It's in these special places that we're working with nature to forge practical, cost-effective solutions to Virginia's environmental challenges.
Our work with partners in each area, whether it’s conducting controlled burns that rejuvenate forests or constructing oyster reefs, is designed and measured with a view toward improving the surrounding system. By demonstrating success locally, we influence public policy and galvanize broader action and support. That support includes public-private investments that dramatically expand conservation initiatives—catalyzing a high return on conservation investments.