A stream slowly meanders through wetlands.
Coastal Stream A coastal stream meanders through marshlands in Mississippi. © Erika Nortemann


Mississippi Native Receives Presidential Appointment

U.S. Secretary of the Interior appoints TNC Mississippi state director, Alex Littlejohn, to conservation posts.

Alex Littlejohn stands next to a sign that says 'The Nature Conservancy.'
Alex Littlejohn. Alex Littlejohn is The Nature Conservancy's state director in Mississippi. © The Nature Conservancy

Alex Littlejohn is The Nature Conservancy's state director in Mississippi.

The United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, has appointed The Nature Conservancy's Mississippi state director, Alex Littlejohn, to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Group. As a member of these groups, Littlejohn will support the President’s commitment to the stewardship of America’s natural resources. Internationally, these advisory bodies have an important role in leading and encouraging public-private partnerships to conserve North America’s wetland ecosystems and other habitats for migrating birds and other fish and wildlife.

The Council and Advisory Group oversee grant programs awarded through the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) and Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. These programs aim to increase bird populations and wetland habitat, while supporting local economies and American traditions such as hunting, fishing, bird watching, family farming, and cattle ranching. They are also designed to promote long-term conservation through a competitive grants program by promoting partnerships and local conservation efforts and achieving habitat protection in 36 countries.

Since 1989 these programs have funded over $2 billion in grants, leveraged an additional $4 billion in funding from 6,600 partnering groups, and implemented 3,200 projects that have impacted over 31 million acres of habitat. In Mississippi, 19 NAWCA projects are either completed or underway. These projects have conserved 74,481 acres of wildlife habitat with NAWCA funding totaling more than $13.5 million and stimulated partner contributions of over $41.3 million.

“It’s truly an honor to receive this appointment from Secretary Haaland. Many of the areas I enjoyed hunting with my dad as a kid, and continue to enjoy now, have been impacted or made possible through investments made in wetland conservation by these very programs," says Littlejohn. "It was those experiences years ago that led to my career in conservation and it’s humbling to know that I’ll now be able to take these experiences and use them to represent The Nature Conservancy in this new capacity.”

“We are so proud that Alex has been appointed to represent TNC on the NAWCA Council composed of many valued partners in conservation. He is well qualified to contribute to conserving North America’s migratory waterfowl and wetland habitats that are important to people and nature,” adds Michael Lipford, TNC's Southern U.S. Division Director.

Alex Littlejohn currently serves as TNC's state director in Mississippi. He is a former graduate of Mississippi State University, where he received both a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife & Forest Management and a master’s degree in Wetland Ecology. He also serves on TNC's Southern Division Leadership Team and is an integral member of the organization’s cross-border teams for the Mississippi River Basin, Gulf of Mexico, and Longleaf Pine whole systems. 

Several ducks fly through a gray sky.
Flock of Ducks A flock of ducks moves through a gray sky. © Jim Williams

Since 1965, The Nature Conservancy has been working to conserve lands and waters in Mississippi that has provided a sense of place and connection to our natural heritage for many generations. TNC has played a key role in protecting and restoring some of our most iconic landscapes, totaling over 150,000 acres across the state. Together, we are making a measurable, lasting difference in Mississippi.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.