by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, Executive Director

Last year, The Wetlands Institute celebrated its 50th Anniversary. We looked back and honored all those that came before us and acknowledged their wisdom and leadership to protect these wildlands and lay a foundation for research, conservation, and education that transcends us all.

In celebration, The Wetlands Institute launched the 50th Anniversary Endowment Campaign with a goal of raising $3.5 million. It was time to embark on executing our vision for the future – a vision that addresses current issues while remaining true to our core values. It was time to secure our future for the next fifty years.

Thus far, we have raised more than $3.35 million towards the $3.5 million goal. Gifts have been split nearly evenly between general endowment support for operations and special projects. Funds returned from investments support our core mission by allowing us to steward coastal resources, train tomorrow’s environmental professionals, and inspire a new generation to fill our shoes one day.
Endowments are incredibly important tools to build strength and resiliency. The real power of endowment is in its continuity. Gifts to the Endowment are preserved in perpetuity, with the funds pooled for maximum benefit and invested to achieve long-term growth while returning funds to support operations. The strength of the Endowment has been incredible and the timing has been simply amazing. Over the past two years, income generated by the Endowment has returned more than $200,000 to support Institute operations, while still growing the Endowment by more than $350,000. We have felt the power and the impact of this generosity across the organization. The power of the endowment to support operations was instrumental in providing strength to navigate the challenges imposed by COVID.

We are very close to reaching our Endowment Campaign goal and a generous donor has made a challenge to help put us over the finish line. They will give an additional $50,000 to the campaign if we can match the challenge. Now is the perfect time to join us to secure our future.

As you know, we MAKE NO SMALL PLANS. We have undertaken crucial programs to address the significant stresses that rising seas are putting on our marshes and the wildlife that depend on them. We are working to build resiliency into the marsh, and also into our facilities that support our research, conservation, education, and outreach work. The importance and impact of our efforts are growing at a remarkable rate. This focus on resilience will be at the core of our research and conservation programs for the foreseeable future, and the outcomes will greatly affect all that we hold dear.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It’s a measure of toughness. Endowed funds, whether directed to a core program or to the general endowment, are the surest way for The Wetlands Institute to build resilience. We do so much with limited resources. Your gift to the endowment can ensure that we remain strong. Your gift can ensure that our work to conserve wildlife continues and the wildlands that help bring all of us peace and tranquility remain protected and flourishing. Your gift can help us secure this future.

We have accomplished so much, but there is more to do. If you would like to learn more, please contact me (; 609-368-1211). Every gift matters.