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How We Work

Rhode Island

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.  We work in every U.S. state and in 35 countries, from the Bahamas to Tanzania to China.  We address the most urgent conservation challenges at the largest scale by pursuing non-confrontational, pragmatic, market-based solutions.  Our vision is to leave a sustainable world for future generations.

The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island began its work more than 40 years ago in, primarily, land conservation.  It started by helping the Audubon Society of Rhode Island create the Davis Memorial Wildlife Refuge in North Kingstown in the 1960s.  The Conservancy’s first land purchase in 1968 protected Fogland Marsh in Tiverton.  Since then, the Conservancy has opened 19 nature preserves in Rhode Island, with more than 60 miles of trails for hiking, nature photography, and environmental education.  With the support of The Champlin Foundations, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and our 4,000 members, we have protected more than 32,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Rhode Island, from our beaches to our forests.  

The Ocean and Coastal Conservation program was added by the Conservancy in 2007, bringing together experts from around the state and across the country to protect and restore the health of Rhode Island's marine environment.  As a leader in ocean and coastal use planning, the Conservancy helped steer off-shore energy development proposals away from seabird habitat and fishing grounds.  With federal and state support, we are pioneering new techniques for returning native oysters to Ninigret Pond and other coastal estuaries.  And we are working with engineers, scientists, and fishermen to improve boat ramps and piers for recreational fishing and to protect and enhance nursery areas for river herring and other migratory fish.

For more information about the work and programs of the Rhode Island chapter, please send us an e-mail at, or call (401) 331-7110 to speak with one of the Conservancy's staff.

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