6 West Coast Groups Working To Conserve Natural Beauty

The Western U.S. is home to many gorgeous environments, from beaches to forests, that are full of unique species of flora and fauna. If we want generations to come to be able to enjoy this natural beauty, it's important to protect it. The six organizations listed here are focused on conservation, restoration, and advocacy, ensuring the safety of lands from California to Washington. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Conservation Organizations In The Western U.S.

Organization Location Mission
Environmental Protection Information Center Arcata, CA Advocate for the protection and restoration of Northwest California’s forests, using an integrated, science-based approach, combining public education, citizen advocacy, and strategic litigation
Arboretum Foundation Seattle, WA Promote, protect, and enhance the Washington Park Arboretum for current and future generations by strengthening and building a diverse and engaged community of donors, volunteers, and advocates
Los Angeles Conservation Corps Los Angeles, CA Provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education, and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Santa Cruz, CA Ensure that all local State Parks are open and accessible by partnering with California State Parks and leveraging local community support
Confluence Vancouver, WA Connect people to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices
Golden Gate Audubon Society Berkeley, CA Engage people to experience the wonder of birds and to translate that wonder into actions which protect native bird populations and their habitats

3 Issues That Threaten West Coast Nature

  1. Pollution from corporations, locals, and tourists, especially near the coast line
  2. Climate Change Impacts ranging from rising sea levels to increased risk of wildfires
  3. Habitat Loss due to human development, which can threaten endangered species

Wildlife Species In The Western U.S.

  • American bald eagle
  • Mule deer
  • White-tailed antelope squirrel
  • Cougar
  • American badger
  • Coyote
  • Hawk
  • Grizzly bear
  • California sea otter
  • Northern elephant seal
  • Rattlesnake
  • Red fox
  • Tule elk
  • Golden trout

The Basics Of Conservation & Restoration Ecology

In Depth

Home to majestic mountains, forests, and diverse ocean habitats, the American West Coast is a region of abundant natural splendor. Such an environment requires great care and attention to upkeep, which is why it's imperative that there are groups working to preserve its health, security, and public access. The ones included on this list do just that, combining ecological advocacy and activism to safeguard the region, its cultural heritage, and its many plant and animal species. In no particular order, here are six organizations dedicated to conserving natural beauty from California to Washington.

For #1 we have the Environmental Protection Information Center. A community-driven nonprofit founded in Humboldt County in 1977, EPIC uses advocacy, litigation, and education to fight for the preservation of Northwest California's forests and the wildlife that depends on them. With core focuses on public land conservation, industrial reform, clean water, and biodiversity protection, the center works to ensure that state and federal agencies uphold crucial environmental laws, and employs strategies to improve how those laws are implemented throughout California and beyond.

To defend the region's natural resources, EPIC invests in a multitude of programs and campaigns that address threats such as industrial logging, mining, and the illegal rerouting of water. Working at all levels of political advocacy, it strives to reform the state's forest policies by monitoring timber harvest plans, crusading for legislative regulations, and combating destructive building projects. Driven by an impassioned belief in environmental democracy, the organization fights for government transparency and accountability, and seeks to involve the public in critical decision-making processes. Do your part by donating or signing petitions on EPIC's site.

Do your part by donating or signing petitions on EPIC's site.

At #2 is the Arboretum Foundation, a non-profit membership organization that operates to protect, promote, and strengthen Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum. Boasting one of the most diverse collections of plants in North America, the world-renowned park includes 230 acres of woodlands, gardens, wetlands, and trails, as well as the city's famous Japanese Garden. Through fundraising and advocacy, the foundation invests in maintenance, restoration, and education operations to help sustain the park's status as an enduring cultural resource for the community.

The foundation's numerous fundraising programs and events include garden shows, plant sales, parties, and a volunteer-run greenhouse that sells young trees and shrubs from the Arboretum's collection. Its advocacy efforts, meanwhile, are conducted at both local and state levels, and involve initiatives to secure funding for various park operations, as well as ones to minimize the effects of construction projects on the area. Support the continual conservation of the Arboretum by joining as a member at your chosen level, or by donating to its capital campaign to create new on-site resources and programs.

For #3 we get the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. With an environmental focus, this youth development organization seeks to enhance the lives of disadvantaged kids and young adults by giving them opportunities to take part in community conservation projects. Offering job training and service programs, as well as high school education, personal development, and case management, the organization aims to help its participants overcome the social and economic obstacles standing in their way to success. As a result, it improves both their lives and strengthens the communities to which they belong.

As a result, it improves both their lives and strengthens the communities to which they belong.

Young Adult Corps, the primary workforce development program, provides low-income youth with opportunities to gain experience in environmentally-based career fields. It offers pathways in five areas, which include land management, zero waste, construction, energy, and manufacturing, with projects ranging from habitat restoration to solar panel installation. Created in 1988, the Clean and Green program engages teenage students in revitalization projects across LA, while an after school initiative offers enriching activities for elementary and middle school students. To support the organization, consider hiring one of its corps to provide service to your community.

Arriving at #4 is Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, which was established in 1976 with the goal of preserving the region's ravishing natural environment and vibrant cultural heritage. Through a variety of community partnerships, most significantly with California State Parks, it strives to ensure that local public parks and beaches remain healthy, thriving, and accessible to everyone. It also funds numerous visitor services, educational programs, and capital projects, and operates a handful of stores that sell nature-themed merchandise to benefit local recreational areas.

In addition to major fundraising and restoration projects, Friends offers many programs designed to foster environmental appreciation. Among these are guided backpacking trips, which involve hikes that explore the mountains, redwood forests, and shores of Santa Cruz. School programs include Kids2Parks, an equity initiative that breaks down socioeconomic barriers so more students are able to visit state parks and beaches. The organization also provides online resources for students and teachers, most notably a free distance learning curriculum that utilizes interactive video conferencing. Give back by donating to a specific project on the Friends website.

School programs include Kids2Parks, an equity initiative that breaks down socioeconomic barriers so more students are able to visit state parks and beaches.

For #5 we come to Confluence. Through educational programs, public gatherings, and six art-filled parks, this community-based nonprofit connects people to the history, ecology, and enduring cultural legacy of the Columbia River. Collaborating with various northwest tribes, as well as with renowned, innovative visual artist Maya Lin, it works to promote and deepen public understanding of the region through the Indigenous voices that are central to its history and culture. To advance this mission, the group hosts panels, workshops, road trips, and other community events that bring together various civic and environmental organizations.

Integrating art and nature, Confluence's six sites along the Columbia River offer visitors immersive, tactile, and enlightening ways to experience the region's rich ecology and culture. Features of the sites include boardwalks, amphitheaters, bridges, and art installations, many of which were designed by Maya Lin and Native American creators such as Lillian Pitt. An additional valuable resource is Confluence's online library, which contains podcasts, videos, and essays that cover topics such as Indigenous languages, treaty protections, generational trauma, and more. Assist the group's efforts by volunteering to host a gathering in your area.

Finally, landing at #6 is Golden Gate Audubon Society, which dedicates itself to protecting the Bay Area's native birds and their natural habitats. It does this by spurring environmental activism through education and civic engagement, urging people to experience the wonders of nature so that they become inspired to take action to sustain it. Working alongside volunteer conservation committees, the society restores habitats, advocates for wildlife preservation, and disseminates information and birding resources to get as many people involved in the cause as possible.

Working alongside volunteer conservation committees, the society restores habitats, advocates for wildlife preservation, and disseminates information and birding resources to get as many people involved in the cause as possible.

Golden Gate Audubon's myriad programs encourage people of all ages to learn about and care for the environment. Its monthly speaker series involves presentations by experts in fields such as ornithology and ecology, while its classes cover subjects ranging from bird identification to gardening. There are also year-round programs made specifically for federally-funded elementary schools. G.G.A.S. offers over 200 free field trips annually to explore areas such as the East Bay hills and the Bay shoreline. To help out, volunteer on a habitat restoration work day or with the youth education program, or make a tax-deductible donation.