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February Grants Awarded!

Overbrook Grantee Featured by NatGeo

Pronatura Noroeste AC, an Overbrook grantee since 2008, received some well-deserved coverage last week when its conservation work was featured in the online version of National Geographic Magazine. The article highlighted a recent trip to Cabo Pulmo National Park in Baja California Sur by renowned marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue, an initiative working to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas to protect 20% of the world’s oceans by 2020.

While in Cabo Pulmo, Dr. Earle and her team visited the Pronatura Noroeste team and learned about their recent work building a new park nature center, which will help educate visitors on the area’s ecological value. The region holds the only coral reef system in the Sea of Cortes, and has become one of the most successful conservation sites in the Gulf of California, in large part due to Pronatura Noroeste’s work fending off destructive development proposals and fostering community conservation efforts. The new nature center will increase awareness of the park’s unique ecosystems and of the ongoing threats they face, helping to ensure the region’s continued conservation. The center is funded in part by the Foundation, and is due to open to the public later this year.

Overbrook Grantees take on Science Museums

Two of Overbrook’s grantees have teamed up and are making waves in the world of science and natural history education. The Natural History Museum (a new grantee of the Foundation in 2015) and 350.org launched a joint “Keep It in the Museum” campaign last week which singles out five influential science and natural history museums for their connections to fossil fuels industry through investments, endowments, or board members and donors from the fossil fuel industry. The campaign comes on the heels of an open letter written in March by the Natural History Museum and signed by nearly 150 of the world’s top scientists, which decried the link between museums and the fossil fuel industry. The letter made major news headlines around the world and helped spark a campaign to remove David Koch, one of the nation’s most avid climate change deniers, from the board of two of the country’s biggest national history museums.

The joint effort between The Natural History Museum and 350.org has already made an impact. One of its five target institutions, The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, has since announced a new plan to phase out all of its funding tied to the fossil fuel industry. Executive Director Jonathan Foley wrote in a statement released last Friday, “It seems difficult to reconcile the mission of a public science museum focused on ecology, evolution, and sustainability and the practice of investing in fossil fuels.” As of this summer, the Academy has cut all direct investments in fossil fuel companies and has begun to phase out any oil, gas, and mineral leases on lands with historic mineral rights given by donors. Additionally, the Academy has adopted a new institutional gift policy that ensures contributions are consistent with this pledge, and will begin working to untie its endowment completely from fossil fuels.

We can't wait to see what comes next from this exciting collaborative efforts. Congratulations to The Natural History Museum and 350.org on the victory!

 

Catalog Choice Acquired by Story of Stuff

We’re excited to announce that Catalog Choice, an organization developed and co-founded by Senior Environment Program Director Daniel Katz, is returning to its nonprofit roots. Catalog Choice’s free online service has helped millions of users reduce paper waste by helping them connect to direct-mail companies and opt out of receiving unwanted mail. After two years of operating under Equifax, Catalog Choice has been acquired by Overbrook grantee Story of Stuff, a nonprofit working to change the way we make, use, and throw away “stuff.” We are thrilled about this transition, and we know that at its new home under Story of Stuff, Catalog Choice will continue to grow and serve consumers looking for effective zero-waste solutions.