National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Logo.jpg
Formation 1984
Type Non-profit organization
Purpose Conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats.
Headquarters 1133 Fifteenth St., N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Coordinates 38°54′17″N 77°02′02″W / 38.9048°N 77.0340°W / 38.9048; -77.0340Coordinates: 38°54′17″N 77°02′02″W / 38.9048°N 77.0340°W / 38.9048; -77.0340
Region served
Executive Director
Jeff Trandahl
Main organ
Board of Directors

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) was created by the U.S. Congress in 1984 to protect and restore fish and wildlife and their habitats. NFWF directs public dollars to critical environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF supports science-based, results-oriented projects across the United States and the world.

NFWF provides grants on a competitive basis to protect endangered species, promote healthy oceans and waterways, improve wildlife habitat, advance sustainable fisheries and conserve water for wildlife and people. Birds, freshwater fish, marine and coastal ecosystems, wildlife and habitat are focal areas. NFWF’s Congressional mandate is to connect government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations and individuals to combine federal funds with private donations for effective conservation projects. Since its establishment in 1984 through 2011, NFWF has awarded over 11,600 grants leveraging $576 million in federal funds into more than $2 billion for conservation.

As part of its Congressional charter, NFWF also serves as a neutral, third-party fiduciary to receive, manage and disburse funds that originate from court orders, settlements of legal cases, regulatory permits, licenses, and restoration and mitigation plans. The funds are managed under NFWF’s Impact-Directed Environmental Account (IDEA) program. NFWF works with federal agencies, regional, state and local organizations, corporations and philanthropic institutions to apply these funds to conservation projects.

NFWF has no membership and does not advocate or litigate.

NFWF is a public charity under the IRS tax code and treated as a private corporation established under Federal law. Under the terms of its enabling legislation, NFWF is required to report its proceedings and activities annually to Congress.


NFWF is governed by a 30-member board of directors approved by the Secretary of the Interior[1] and including the heads of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA. John V. Faraci Jr is currently serving as Chairman of the Board.

Jeff Trandahl has been NFWF’s CEO and Executive Director since 2005. Previously, Trandahl served as the thirty-second Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Other members of the leadership include Lila Helms (Executive Vice President, External Affairs), Holly Bamford (Chief Conservation Officer), Tokunbo Falayi (Chief Financial Officer), and Daniel Strodel (General Counsel).[2]

Team Leaders
Thomas Kelsch (Senior Vice President, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund)
Timothy DiCintio (Senior Vice President, Impact-Directed Environmental Accounts)
Anthony Chatwin, Ph.D. (Vice President, Science and Evaluation)
Greg Knadle (Vice President, Government Relations)
Eric Schwaab (Vice President, Conservation Programs)

Initiative Directors
Ian Davidson (Bird and Wildlife Conservation)
David Lawrence, Ph.D. (Aquatic Conservation)

Regional Office Directors
Amanda Bassow (Director, Northeastern Regional Office)
Jonathan Birdsong (Director, Western Regional Office)
Todd Hogrefe (Director, Central Regional Office)
Jay Jensen (Director, Southern Regional Office)
Chris West (Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office)[3]

On the Gulf Coast[edit]

NFWF has been involved in conservation issues on the Gulf Coast of the United States for more than two decades. Prior to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion at a BP drilling platform, NFWF supported approximately 450 projects in the Gulf of Mexico with an estimated total value of $128 million. Between July 2010 and February 2012, NFWF administered $22.9 million under the Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife and other funding sources to bolster the populations of Gulf species affected by the spill and develop conservation strategies to protect fish, wildlife and their habitats.

In the days immediately following the explosion, NFWF organized government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporations to identify the needs of the most imperiled wildlife and to develop effective responses. The priority focus was the species most at risk – sea turtles, shorebirds, water birds and migratory waterfowl – and the immediate actions needed to reduce losses. The explosion, which eventually released an estimated five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf waters, occurred only weeks before the sea turtle nesting season and just prior to the seasonal migration of approximately one billion birds.

Following the crisis, NFWF collaborated with government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporations to develop a series of longer-term conservation strategies designed to ensure healthy populations of fish and wildlife in the Gulf. NFWF worked with farmers and other private landowners to create quality foraging sites for waterfowl, water birds and shorebirds inland from the Gulf danger zones and to increase survival rates by providing sufficient food and resting areas. NFWF also funded efforts to protect and restore critical nesting habitat, while increasing capacity on the Gulf Coast to manage important bird conservation areas. These projects enhanced more than 500,000 acres of habitat for migratory birds.

NFWF also worked with government agencies and FedEx Corporation to rescue approximately 25,000 sea turtle eggs from contamination in oiled waters. The eggs were dug out of their nests on the western shores of Florida and FedEx trucked overland to the state’s unaffected eastern beaches. After incubation, the new hatchlings were released into the Atlantic Ocean. NFWF is working with other partners to increase nesting success on other Florida beaches, where 90 percent of all U.S. sea turtle nesting occurs. It has also funded efforts to reduce the mortality of juvenile and adult sea turtles at sea.

Other NFWF Gulf projects include promoting sustainable commercial and recreational fisheries and restoring oyster reefs to provide crucial habitat and safeguard coastal communities.

External links[edit]