Faces of Conservation: Marie Chandoha

Marie Chandoha, a member of the California Board of Trustees, takes an active approach to conservation.

A member of the California Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, Marie Chandoha is the president and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management. Embracing the Conservancy’s mission, Marie and her husband have taken a hands-on approach to a reforestation project on their property in Sonoma County, including a native grass and streamside restoration effort.

Marie took a few minutes to talk to us about the importance of conservation today and why she is partnering with The Nature Conservancy.

I’ve had a passion for nature since childhood, when I would wander through the forests surrounding our house in upstate New York. Today I feel an urgency about preserving our environment. The footprint of our wild places is decreasing, there are clearly limits on our natural resources and our current fiscal situation in Washington is causing many conservation projects to be curtailed.

The Conservancy speaks to this need. They’ve made a leap beyond traditional conservation and take people into consideration, simultaneously seeking sustainable livelihoods and a healthier world. Their work with fishermen along California’s Central Coast is a huge step forward: creating thriving fisheries and jobs. It’s a win for people and the planet

Closer to home, my husband and I have protected half of our Sonoma County property as a conservation trust, ensuring it will be there for future generations. Restoring it has become my passion. We’ve worked with riparian restorationists, foresters and even native grass experts.

This has been an intensely hands-on project. It’s deeply increased my appreciation for nature and the evolution of a specific ecology. Witnessing this land return to its natural state has been profound. 

“The time has come when the preservation of nature must include the livelihoods of the people who rely on it.”

Marie Chandoha



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