From the Director
Five years ago, we planted the seeds of new goals. The seeds of a mission that would amplify our impact in conserving the place we call home and protecting the resources we depend on. Your support and the support of many fellow stakeholders and partners provided our mission with the fertile soil it needed to flourish. Now, we witness the budding growth of our combined efforts.
As our team’s conservation work branches out through our lands, we as people are branching out, making meaningful connections throughout our state and beyond. We are all working toward a common goal: to conserve and protect Louisiana’s unique landscapes.
By connecting resources with passion, we’ve made a rippling impact that echoes from the bayous of the Atchafalaya Basin to future generations of conservation leaders. This progress was made possible because of you. Every acre protected, every milestone reached and every step taken along the way could not have been accomplished without you.
We are all a piece of the puzzle, and this report is the picture we create when we connect—one of thriving ecosystems and resilient communities. But this picture is not a still image. As we look forward, we hope for more pieces to come together, creating a brighter future fueled by the lasting connections we strive to create.
IMPACT IN ACTION
Louisiana Watershed Initiative
To support communities faced with annual flooding along the Mississippi River, TNC completed the largest floodplain restoration project in its history at Mollicy Farms, reconnecting 25 square miles of former floodplain forest back to Louisiana’s Ouachita River.
To offset the destruction and deforestation caused by Hurricane Laura, TNC planted 10,000 longleaf pine and other native trees and shrubs at Sam Houston Jones State Park, restoring the park while also providing natural ways to reduce carbon emissions.
Oyster Reef Restoration
Since 2017, TNC has restored 2.5 miles of oyster reefs to protect the shoreline of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in Calcasieu Lake, provide habitat for fish and shellfish and improve water quality along the coast.
Atchafalaya Basin Restoration
We are working to remove harmful dead zones in the Atchafalaya River Basin by shaving down man-made spoil banks and establishing drains through canal banks in the south. This improves water quality by bringing good water in and pushing bad water out.
Longleaf Pine Conservation
Through the acquisition, restoration and management of longleaf pine flatwood savanna, we work to ensure the long-term viability of this landscape. In addition to our preserves, we partner with landowners to protect over 10,000 acres of longleaf pine on private land.
Louisiana Outdoors Forever
Passed during the 2022 legislative session, the Louisiana Outdoors Forever Program helps fund local projects that protect drinking water, conserve wildlife habitat and more. As part of the Louisiana Outdoors Coalition, TNC and partners helped establish the program.
Louisiana Outdoors Forever
Passed during the 2022 legislative session, House Bill 762 created the “Louisiana Outdoors Forever Program.” Introduced by Representative Jerome “Zee” Zeringue, the program funds outdoor conservation projects that protect drinking water supplies, conserve wildlife habitat, provide recreational opportunities in urban and rural areas, sustain working farms and forests and much more.
This program not only helps increase the conservation of the state’s natural resources, but it also bolsters the state’s economy and leverages matching funds. As part of the Louisiana Outdoors Coalition, TNC and many other conservation groups and organizations work to promote the program’s benefits. Together, we are committed to strengthening our investment in protecting water, wildlife and land.
Our Conservation Fellows Program partners with participating universities to provide graduate students with on-the-ground experience for solving complex issues. As active participants on TNC’s team, fellows engage in all facets of conservation, receive science communication mentoring from TNC staff, and participate in communications workshops to learn how to share their research with different audiences. Once finished with their projects, fellows’ research results are used to impact conservation in Louisiana and beyond. Trained in the multiple facets of issues and adept at leading effective partnerships, fellows leave the program prepared to solve conservation problems on different scales. We envision the program extending beyond Louisiana and incorporating talents not often associated with conservation, like technology development, policy building and marketing.
Lauren Kong: Crawfish Research
During her time as a fellow, Lauren felt like a valued team member, and her research continues to contribute to our restoration efforts in the Basin.
TNC protects longleaf pine forests through acquisition, restoration and management on its own lands, including Talisheek Pine Wetlands Preserve, Lake Ramsay Preserve and Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve. We also partner with landowners to ensure the long-term viability of the savanna habitat with a project that encompasses over 10,000 acres of private land in the surrounding area. To make an impact over such an enormous range, TNC also fosters meaningful relationships with the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Defense. These relationships solidified within a framework known as America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative, which TNC chairs, help drive the protection, restoration and management of these unique and irreplaceable forest ecosystems.
Acres of forest that are harvested in Louisiana each year.
Total acres protected by The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana.
State-tracked Species of Greatest Conservation Need plant species protected by forests on our nature preserves.
Acres that The Nature Conservancy expects to burn in the next year.
SUCCESS FROM SUPPORT: Oyster Reefs
To improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico, the Louisiana coast and its coastal habitats, TNC has constructed 7.5 miles of oyster reefs along shorelines in Vermillion Bay, Grand Isle, St. Bernard Parish and Calcasieu Lake. What starts as boxes of rocks evolve into a living reef, giving larvae a home to grow and reproduce. Our oyster reef restoration work aims to protect coastal habitats, fuel the local economy and increase coastal resilience.
SUCCESS FROM SUPPORT: New Initiative
Resilience starts with restoration. After enduring catastrophic damages caused by hurricanes Ida and Laura, The Nature Conservancy plans to bring Treesilience to Louisiana.
Treesilience is a growing national initiative focusing on removing the barriers to a healthy canopy in community forests which currently includes removal and replacement of dead or dying trees, mature tree maintenance and site preparation to improve planting conditions for new plantings.
Your Support Matters
Thank you to our supporters. Your generosity and passion drive our ability to stand up for nature..Every acre preserved, every mile restored and every habitat saved begins with you. Protecting Louisiana’s natural resources would not be possible without your donations and dedication.
Today, we are facing the biggest, most complex environmental challenges in our lifetime as the dual crises of rapid climate change and biodiversity loss threaten our planet. Thanks to your support, we are doing our part in Louisiana to preserve biodiversity and fortify resilient landscapes that can safeguard the people and places most vulnerable to these issues we all face.