Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

On the Road: OSI Presents... 

2016 OSI Presents Abby Peter Mark Ruffalo


OSI Conservation Expertise Recognized across the East Coast


May 19, 2016 - OSI's expertise and leadership on a range of issues facing the conservation community was on display as staff fanned out across the eastern US this spring. In addition to an event featuring Academy Award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo, OSI staffers shared insights from climate change to community forests in presentations and panels from North Carolina, Alabama and New York.

At the 2016 New York Land Conservation Summit (May 4-6), hosted by OSI along with the Land Trust Alliance and other conservation partners, OSI staffers served as panelists and presenters. Joe Martens, OSI Senior Fellow and former DEC Commissioner for the State of New York, spoke about how land trusts can engage in a clean energy future, while OSI’s Director of Research Abby Weinberg spoke about integrating climate science into land protection priorities. Jennifer Melville, OSI Vice President of Conservation Grants & Loans, shared lessons learned from OSI’s Community Forest Fund. This year’s Summit, held every second year, welcomed approximately 350 people representing more than 100 land trusts and conservation organizations from across the state. 

Watershed Moments Delaware FilmOn May 9, in Philadelphia, at a screening of A Watershed Moment—a film produced by the William Penn Foundation and OSI—OSI’s President and CEO Kim Elliman introduced Academy Award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo, a passionate supporter of clean water and the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

Through its Delaware Watershed Protection Fund, OSI is helping to protect 14,000 acres of important watershed lands in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, protecting drinking water downstream for lives and livelihoods.

Mark spent the day in Philadelphia in discussion with the Watershed non-profit groups, helped monitor a stream, and participated in a panel discussion for the film in the evening. Peter Howell was there and gives the details of the day here.

Peter at Forest Legacy Meeting 2016

At the federal Forest Legacy Program’s annual meeting in Asheville, North Carolina (May 2-6), Peter Howell spoke about OSI’s support for forest conservation. Since 1992, OSI has been involved in conserving a third of the 3 million acres protected nationwide with funding from Forest Legacy, including three community projects in northern New England, through OSI’s Community Forest Fund.

In Birmingham, Alabama, Jennifer Melville teamed up with Joel Hauser of the Land Trust for Tennessee (LTTN), in a session on the ecosystem climate resilience at the Land Trust Alliance’s Southeastern Conference (May 11-13). She described the essential role that land trusts play in helping wildlife, plants and people cope with the stresses of an unpredictable and changing climate. OSI is working in the Southeast to support conservation of ecologically resilient land in four focus areas and to help land trusts, such as LTTN, incorporate climate science in their land protection efforts.

Meanwhile, Abby Weinberg traveled Pennsylvania and northern New England on May 16, Abby at Summit 2016 2participating on a National Park Service-run panel on climate change in the Delaware Water Gap. While climate change threatens several species of birds, as well as hemlocks and native trout in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the 69,000-acre park contains highly “resilient” characteristics, including slopes, valleys and cliffs, with varying temperature and moisture, that should enable many species of plants and animals to adapt and find refuge, according to Weinberg. 

OSI, which found that almost 60% of the park was resilient, has helped to facilitate the addition of more than 700 acres of “resilient” lands to the park in the past year.

After, Weinberg also presented on resilience and watershed protection in State College at the Pennsylvania Association of Land Trusts (May 19-21), discussing a new map-based tool for evaluating water quality in the Delaware River Basin and leading a session on climate change and resilience.

Looking forward, Weinberg will wrap up the month with two day-long workshops on climate resilience that will be offered in Wiscasset, ME, and New London, NH, in partnership with Jane’s Trust Foundation, the Land Trust Alliance and others.  


Sign up for upcoming workshops with Abby Weinberg on how land trusts can take the lead on climate change in New Hampshire on May 25 and in Maine on May 24.












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