Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been working in partnership with local communities, government agencies and private businesses to protect the natural landscapes that harbor the diversity of plant and animal life on Earth.
Our mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy works in all 50 United States and in more than 30 countries around the world.
We have developed a strategic, science-based planning process, called Conservation by Design, which helps us identify the highest-priority places—landscapes and seascapes that, if conserved, promise to ensure biodiversity over the long term.
For more than a decade, The Nature Conservancy’s work has been guided by a framework we call Conservation by Design — a systematic approach that determines where to work, what to conserve, what strategies we should use and how effective we have been.
Conservation by Design marries a collaborative, science-based approach with key analytical methods that we use to assess and plan our actions. In the more than 30 countries in which we work, Conservation by Design enables the Conservancy to preserve healthy ecosystems that support people and host the diversity of life on Earth.
A New Vision to Meet Increasing Threats
But despite all our progress, climate change, a rapidly expanding human population, damaging industrial and agricultural practices and other dynamics continue to threaten our natural world and quality of life.
Plant and animal species are disappearing at rates estimated to be 100 to 1,000 times greater than normal. And the benefits that nature provides people — from fresh water to food to flood control — are also under siege.
How is the Conservancy responding? By setting a new goal: to conserve “enough of everything,” not just the rarest or most imperiled species or places. This means at least doubling the rate of effective conservation around the globe with the next 10 years.
The aim is to create a world in which the ecosystems that sustain all life — people as well as plants and animals — are valued and endure for generations.
In other words, Conservation by Design allows us to achieve meaningful, lasting conservation results.
Worldwide, there will be thousands of these precious places. Taken together, they form something extraordinary: a vision of conservation success and a roadmap for getting there—the Conservation Blueprint. Simply put, by protecting and managing these Last Great Places over the long term, we can secure the future of the natural world.
Indian River Lagoon
The Indian River Lagoon is the most diverse estuary in North America, harboring 50 imperiled plant and animal species. Stretching 156 miles along Florida’s east coast from Ponce Inlet in Volusia County to Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach. The lagoon supports a multi-million dollar commercial fishing industry as well as recreation and tourism.
The Nature Conservancy is working at multiple levels to address the varied and complex threats to the Indian River Lagoon.
- The Conservancy works with the state of Florida, local governments, water management districts, and local organizations and citizens to protect and manage critical natural areas along the lagoon and within the lagoon watershed.
- The Conservancy coordinates the Indian River Lagoon Blueway Project—a state effort to acquire more than 22,000 acres of buffer lands along the lagoon.
- In Mosquito Lagoon, the Conservancy is coordinating an oyster restoration project developed by the University of Central Florida. The goal is to restore about 40 acres of oyster reef habitat within the Canaveral National Seashore. Download a fact sheet about the oyster reef restoration project.
- Conservancy scientists are addressing the problems of invasive species in the region.
How You Can Help
The success of The Nature Conservancy relies on the support of communities, businesses and people like you. In its annual survey of the largest U.S. charities, Forbes calculated The Nature Conservancy’s fundraising efficiency at 88%, which is among the highest ratings for charities.