Over our 55 years of the Community Grants program, we’ve allocated $3.5 million to groups that align with our work to preserve and protect the Salish Sea region. We’re proud of this milestone that very few non-profits of our size have achieved.
Just last fall, we awarded more than $40,000 in grants to Killer Whale Tales, Whale Scout and South Sound Estuary Association (DBA Puget Sound Estuarium). This spring, we recommended six organizations to receive $5,000 each: American Rivers, Friends of the San Juans, Pacific Shellfish Institute, Raincoast Conservation Foundation (two awards for their Salmon Summit and Salish Sea Emerging Stewards), and Washington Association of Land Trusts. Washington Conservation Action Education Fund also received a grant for nearly $17,000.
These groups and other recipients over the years share our values of protection and preservation of the Salish Sea region. Not only that, but we have added a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion into our Community Grants program. This is critically important to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience the benefits of nature and a welcoming space for all in the outdoors.
While not part of our Community Grants program, the Foundation also provides financial assistance to help defray transportation costs for schools to bring students to the Preserve for educational tours. These tours give students an understanding of the diverse and delicate ecosystem at the Preserve and across the region.
Another benefit of our Community Grants program is building relationships. We’ve had the opportunity to work alongside partners across the state to further our goals of conservation, restoration, and protection. Of particular importance is our relationship with the Suquamish Tribe. Their work alongside us to monitor and improve the health of our creeks has created some of the healthiest salmon runs in Western Washington.
– Jeff Wirtz, President