National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Walmart Announce Funds to Help Wildlife in the Gulf Region

Washington, D.C. 6/28/10 - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced a major contribution from Walmart to immediately protect species impacted by the current situation in the Gulf region. Walmart’s $2.25 million commitment will help NFWF continue important efforts to safeguard imperiled wildlife, including birds and sea turtles.

The first project to be funded through Walmart is a grant to Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, Florida, the largest wild bird hospital in the U.S. The Sanctuary is world-renowned for its innovative rehabilitation techniques, and it has been on the frontlines recently to rescue and rehabilitate injured birds from Gulf waters. A $250,000 award will ensure the center has the critical supplies and equipment necessary to respond to injured birds and, in so doing, help bolster populations. This grant represents the first step in NFWF’s partnership with Walmart to help secure the health of species in danger throughout the Gulf.

The Walmart gift is part of the Acres for America program, a partnership between NFWF and Walmart established in 2004 to permanently protect critical wildlife habitat and simultaneously offset the footprint of Walmart’s domestic facilities. To date, the program has protected more than 624,000 acres connecting an additional 5.7 million acres of protected land. Key goals of the Acres for America program are protecting important wildlife species and habitats, and promoting public use and enjoyment of these natural areas to benefit local communities.

Many of the wildlife species and habitats that NFWF and Walmart have worked together to safeguard require immediate assistance. Both partners recognize the need to respond to the critical situation in the Gulf region and, consistent with the overall goals for Acres for America, have decided to direct funding from this year’s program to help begin recovery of the species most in need.

"Walmart's partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has always focused on protecting important wildlife species and their habitats for future generations,” said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. “The work of groups like the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary to offer protection and care for the animals most in need aligns perfectly with the Acres for America mission."

“Walmart’s extraordinary support of NFWF’s projects in the Gulf comes at a crucial time for the Sanctuary and other wildlife conservation organizations,” said NFWF Executive Director Jeff Trandahl. “We appreciate Walmart’s foresight and generosity in providing these much-needed resources, which will complement our ongoing work with public and private partners throughout the region.”

For more on NFWF’s Gulf projects, visit www.nfwf.org

CONTACT: Tom Alexander, 202.262.4284, tom@alexanderstratcomm.com

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