Note from Ann Witsil: Vigilance, Resilience, and Re-Focus

Dear Friends,

If nothing else, February has reverberated with themes of Vigilance, Resilience, and Re-Focus!

From significant federal changes impacting critical clean water laws and reduced EPA protections of vital wetlands and estuaries to challenged state legislative agendas and threatened walkouts – being resilient and vigilant is and will continue to be our call to action.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration stripped away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and ground water, rolling back key portions of guaranteed protections under the 1972 Clean Water Act to certain wetlands and streams that run intermittently or temporarily underground.  This change clearly puts drinking water at risk for millions of Americans and threatens the vitality of many of Oregon’s wetland habitats. While environmental groups and several state attorneys general rally to sue to overturn this change, the jury is out and timing is critical. Vigilance!

Meanwhile, our focus is now on our state legislature as it addresses a Clean Water Law for the state, HN4069, a much anticipated and revised “cap and investment” bill and a Clean Energy jobs bill.  While none are ideal, there is hope for focused action and results with strong backing from environmental groups and a governor looking to leave a legacy. Join us, our colleagues and concerned Oregonians in letting our legislators know we value the health and protection of Oregon’s waterways and wetlands. Resilience!

Closer to home, TWC is energetically completing our search for a new executive director and new marketing/development manager. Both searches are well underway with extraordinary candidates. We intend to have each on board by spring and look forward to introducing them to you with upcoming events. Re-focus!

Meanwhile, board and staff refocus on TWC’s strategic pillars to protect Oregon’s wetlands. While more details will be shared this spring, know that we value:

  •  Being Thought-Leaders and Educators for the vitality of Oregon’s wetlands and estuaries;
  •  Brokering and Collaborating for the Conservation of critical endangered areas;
  •  Building Organizational Capacity and Resiliency; and
  •  Advocating with others on key policies, legislation, and government affairs.

Here is your Call to Action!

1) Let your state legislators know you stand for clean waterways and wetlands! Go to https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/ to find your OR senators or house representatives

2) Donate and Volunteer! TWC needs your support now more than ever to help educate, empower and ensure fragile wetlands in critical areas are protected.  Or go to www.wetlandsconservancy.org for specific  donation and volunteer opportunities, including being a candidate for our board of directors. Please call us at 503.227.0778 to learn more.

3) Become a business partner with TWC in honor of Earth Day’s 50th! For more information please visit https://earthdayor.org/ or call us at 503.227.0778 by March 6th, as we’d like to include you in all of our promotions.  Thank you!

We send a special thanks to all of you who supported Shuck 2020! What an amazing week of oysters, camaraderie and celebration of Oregon’s magnificent estuaries and enthusiasts.

As we refocus, sharpen our vigilance, and reinforce resiliency to ensure vital, endangered habitats survive and thrive, we ask for your help, your action and continued support – now more than ever!

Thank you!

Ann

Interim Executive Director

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