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Stories in California

The Determining Decade

With 10 years to save the planet, the solution will take all of us.

Photo collage showing a healthy river versus a dry river bed.
Our Climate Can’t Wait Over the last decade, California has experienced some of the most extreme climate-exacerbated events in history. © TNC

The fate of our planet is in our hands. Science shows that we have less than a decade to head off a climate catastrophe. If we succeed, California could catalyze global action on climate. If we fail, our state will be among the first to feel the devastating effects of climate change. 

It’s time to act.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is launching the Determining Decade Campaign to rally Californians to meet the moment that will define our future. We’ve already protected over 1 million acres in California and brought species back from the brink of extinction using scientifically proven strategies. But we need your help to go bigger and move faster. Combine our work with your action, and we can meet the climate crisis head on. 

Let’s tackle the Determining Decade.

The Determining Decade We’re living in our planet’s Determining Decade, the short window of time when the future is still up to us, but not for long. The way we treat nature determines how nature treats us, for better or for worse.

Your Journey to Climate Action

  • Pledge to make fighting climate change a priority in your life


    to make fighting climate change a priority in your life.

  • Educate yourself with monthly conservation learnings and the TNC webinar series.


    yourself with monthly conservation learnings and the TNC webinar series.

  • Commit to simple carbon-reducing lifestyle changes.


    to simple carbon-reducing lifestyle changes.

  • Ignite environmental solutions in your community and beyond.


    environmental solutions in your community and beyond.

Step 1: The Pledge

Are you ready to join forces with TNC to meet the challenge of the Determining Decade? Sign the pledge!

Not only will you be taking environmental action in your own life, you’ll learn about our work in California and how you can plug into landscape scale conservation, from the largest restoration project in Sierra Nevada history to the science of restoring endangered species. 

Baby Turtle
Sign the Pledge to become part of a larger conservation community and a worldwide movement. © Bridget Besaw

Sign the Determining Decade Pledge

By signing the pledge, you’ll gain access to our Determining Decade Webinar Series and Action Newsletter. It’s a rewarding process. We’ll be here to guide you through, and it all starts with a pledge.

People standing on a rocky shore in the distance at sunset as waves crash on the rocks.
THE DETERMINING DECADE Our last window to turn the tide on climate change. © Stephen Shellesky

Step 2: The Map

From April to September 2021, each month will focus on a different aspect of our work in the fight against climate change. 

April is climate month, focusing on the scale of the problem and how the climate crisis touches down in California. Then we’ll move on to Land, Oceans, Cities, and Water to give you an insider’s view into the science of fighting Climate Change.


This monthly series features environmental luminaries, policymakers, business leaders and TNC scientists working in the field to protect and restore critical ecosystems across our state.

Register Here!
Jane Goodall
Alexandra Cousteau
Dolores Huerta
Jerry Brown
May Martin


Each newsletter will give you something to learn and something to do to fight climate change. We’ll send you videos and articles that dive into our science and work on the ground. Every learning will be paired with an action you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and make a broader impact on your community and the ecosystems we all depend on.

Sign Up!
Research being conducted into the effects of cattle grazing on California's delicate vernal pool habitats.
TNC biologist, Mike Beck, performs rockfish survey in upper canopy of mixed giant kelp and bull kelp off  California.
  Staff Research Associate for UC Davis Center for watershed Sciences conducting research in the Shasta River.
 TNC staff monitoring salmon in a river.
Clean up on Ormond Beach, California.

Share Your Climate Journey

  1. Post your experience with #DeterminingDecade
  2. Find and share posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  3. Check out our videos on Youtube

Step 3: The Journey

We'll post all monthly webinars, learnings and actions below. Join us from April through September and make a difference in the Determining Decade. 

Let’s do this! 

Water Month | August 2021

  • A satellite view of California and the Sierra Nevadas in 2014 during its multiyear drought.

    Seeking Citizen Scientists: Eyes on the Drought!

    For nature to stand a chance in California’s current drought, we need to know where the effects are touching down. That’s where you come in. Contribute to science and document the places you see the effects of drought using our new web tool. Become a drought sleuth!

  • Conservancy staff pause to bird watch while hiking the Green Gulch trail above the Pacific coastline in California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

    See for Yourself

    Get out in nature and experience a landscape adapting to drought where you live. Check out TNC's Mount Hamilton project in San Jose and if you want to take a trip north, explore the Marin Headlands, which we helped protect in 1972. Check out the Places We Protect in California.


Cities Month | July 2021

  • Downtown Los Angeles skyline with snow capped mountains behind at sunset

    Webinar | State of Cities | July 28th

    Join TNC’s CA Cities Director, Laura Crane on a virtual walk through the natural infrastructure that runs through our cities. Learn how her team is working to integrate nature into development, and help our state transition to a zero-carbon economy. Register Now!

  • Bike riders on a city path.

    What You Can Do | One Week Car Free

    One of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to go car free. That's not easy for a lot of people but trying it for a week can show you the spaces in your routine when driving really isn't necessary. Explore other transit options.

Ocean Month | June 2021

  • Choices of a future ocean. Plastics on the left, healthy whale on the right.

    Webinar | State of the Ocean | June 30th

    Discover our ocean through the eyes of TNC’s scientists and policy makers working right here in California to restore vital kelp forests, reduce ocean plastic and build a sustainable future for our fisheries. Register Now!

  • An overflowing trash dumpster.

    What You Can Do | Trash Audit

    The first step to eliminating plastic in your life is knowing what you’re using. Dig into your plastic use with a trash audit! (It’s not as gross as it sounds!) Empty your trash can onto a tarp and assess the contents. What can you replace with reusable items?

  • A fisherman holds up a fish.

    What We're Doing | Ocean Recovery

    From recovering California's kelp forests to bringing our fisheries back from the brink of collapse, we’re showing that it’s possible and practical to restore ocean ecosystems. We work the people closest to the water to make a difference. Check out our ocean recovery efforts.

Land Month | May 2021

  • A ring of flame is created around a young hazel plant, burning away competitors during an indigenous prescribed burn near Weitchpec, CA.

    What We're Doing | Prescribed Fire

    Prescribed fire is a critical tool for maintaining healthy forests and reducing the risk of catastrophic megafires. Right now, TNC is conducting prescribed burns in the Northern Sierra to help protect our forests. Experience a prescribed burn.

Earth Month | April 2021

  • April 21, 2021 - Jane Goodall. Alexandra Cousteau. Dolores Huerta. It’s about you. It’s about us. It’s about the future of our species.


    Join us on April 21st for the Determining Decade Summit with Jane Goodall. Discussions will range from climate policy with former gov. Jerry Brown and legendary organizer Dolores Huerta to conservation science with TNC experts. Register Now!

  • A TNC scientist measures a tree to help assess the forest's carbon storage capacity.

    What You Can Do | Calculate Your Carbon Emissions

    The first step to reducing your carbon emissions is knowing how much you're actually producing. What's your carbon footprint? Use our interactive calculator to find out—and take action. Find Out Your Carbon Footprint!

  • Two people in yellow reflective vests walk beneath large flat metal structures.

    What We're Doing | Natural Climate Solutions

    At TNC we know that nature is the solution to humanity's biggest problems. We protect and restore the ecosystems that nature has adapted to store carbon over millions of years, and advance climate policies that tackle the problem at scale. See the big picture.