New projects continue mission to restore and conserve sensitive forest ecosystems and wetlands
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 grants in the total amount of $500,000. The projects funded will help protect a total of 3,322 forested acres and conserve ecologically sensitive bottomland forests in the coastal regions of Virginia and North Carolina.
Including those announced today, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund has awarded 20 projects totaling almost $2,500,000 in grants over the past five years. An estimated 27,850 acres will be protected when these projects reach completion. The forests conserved as a part of the Fund help clean drinking water, purify the air, buffer structures from storms, and provide habitat for many species of wildlife, while at the same time, providing jobs and economic opportunity for rural families and private landowners.
"As we have continued to grow across the U.S. Southeast, our commitment to the sustainability of the natural resources and communities that have made that possible has never been more important," said Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler. "As such, we are dedicated to the health, growth, and future of the forests from which we source, the communities within which we operate, and to preserving the rich biodiverse ecosystems found here. The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is an important way to support on-the-ground conservation organizations to help us do just that."
The 2020 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant recipients include:
Three Creeks – Virginia Outdoor Foundation (VOF)
This project will support two separate contiguous tracts in Southampton County, Virginia totaling 1,139 acres and more than 43,000 feet of stream corridor. The properties, which will be held in conservation easement by VOF, are adjacent to "Three Creeks," a tributary of the Nottoway River in southeastern Virginia.
Cape Fear Bottomlands – North Carolina Coastal Land Trust (NCCLT)
This project involves the purchase of two contiguous wetland tracts totaling 1,679 acres in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, North Carolina. Once purchased, NCCLT will offer them to the state of North Carolina to be managed by the Wildlife Resource Commission as game lands, open to the public.
Cross Swamp – Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU)
The purchase of 504 acres which lie in the ancestral territory of the indigenous Nansemond people of the Nansemond River, a 20-mile long tributary of the James River, will support multiple conservation plans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Nansemond plan to own and manage the property as a cultural resource.
"While we know that strong forest markets are critical to keeping forests healthy, we also recognize there are places of high conservation value that need to be preserved and protected," said Endowment CEO Carlton Owen. "We continue to be impressed by the quality of projects put forth by these organizations, and know that they will support long-term conservation, enhancement of biological diversity, and ecosystem sustainability within the coastal communities of North Carolina and Virginia."
About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Holdings, LP, in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests permanently. Administered by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia. The next grant cycle will begin in late 2020. To learn more about the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, please visit envivaforestfund.org.
About the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation's working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.
Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities