The Emerald Edge is the largest intact coastal rainforest remaining in the world. It is a 100-million-acre band of living forest and ocean stretching northward from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, through Canada’s coastal British Columbia and the Great Bear Rainforest, to the panhandle of remote southeast Alaska.
More than 35 First Nations and tribes have depended on these forests and the ocean for millennia and are an integral part of this iconic region. The area is also home to rich biodiversity — providing habitat for wildlife like grizzlies, spirit bears, wolves, elk, orca whales, humpback whales and salmon.
In the last century, unsustainable logging, fishing and other extractive industries have eroded old-growth forests, diminished wild salmon runs and frayed the close-knit web of life on which people and nature depend.
Boom-and-bust cycles have created widespread unemployment and lack of economic opportunity that threaten the landscape and local communities. Unreconciled issues around resource decision-making authority and a scarcity of upcoming local leadership have created uncertainty about how to move forward. At the same time, population growth and the increasing demand for resources place escalating pressures on the region.
Without a clear path to a sustainable future for people, nature and economies, we stand to lose one of the world’s last great coastal rainforests.
how we work in the emerald edge
Supporting Emerging Leaders: New indigenous leaders are on the rise across the Emerald Edge. We support them and help strengthen their capacity to assert their authority on the land in the interests of their communities. We also invest in young people, tomorrow’s leaders.
Community-Led Conservation: We support the transfer and strengthening of resource rights among indigenous and local communities. Our support takes many forms—providing advanced mapping tools, access to capital, and teams with deep expertise in resource rights. Since 2014, we've facilitated 13 community exchanges among First Nations in the Emerald Edge, who used the opportunity to share ideas and lessons for their greatest challenges.
Economic Development: We help local entrepreneurs grow sustainable businesses. We develop job opportunities for people to steward their own lands and natural resources. Through mentoring, coaching and economic resources, we equip people to strengthen their communities for the long term. We also partner with local industries as they transition to sustainable practices that lead to stability and lasting success.
Science and Indigenous Knowledge: Science is a powerful tool to serve the Indigenous communities that are the original and rightful stewards of these lands. Our science integrates indigenous knowledge and principles to create a new generation of land and water management tools. These tools equip communities to make informed decisions, garner support, shape sustainable economic development, and measure their progress toward sustainability.
You can support our critical work in the Emerald Edge when you make a secure, online donation.