$1 Billion for Nature & Climate: An Overview

Mass Audubon staff & city officials at the groundbreaking event for BNC's new solar array

In the 2021-2022 legislative session, unprecedented levels of federal and state funds for COVID relief and infrastructure were on the table, along with significant state surplus funds. We had a once-in-generation chance to meaningfully address chronic underinvestment of nature and climate, clean up our air and water and landscapes, and build communities that are more resilient to a changing climate.  

Out of this opportunity, Mass Audubon launched the $1 Billion for Nature & Climate advocacy campaign in order to drive investments in nature by using our collective power and voice.

The Problem

Nature and nature-based climate solutions have historically been undervalued and under-resourced by local, state, and federal governments. The pandemic and extreme weather events have shined a light on not only the intrinsic value of nature but its incomparable contributions to our economy and human health as well.

The Solution

Policymakers, the private sector, and philanthropists should direct at least $1 billion in funds toward the protection and restoration of nature in critical places; climate resilience projects, access to parks, open spaces, and trails; and strengthening our water infrastructure by 2026. Federal funds for COVID-19 relief (via the American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are our best chance to drive new funds to nature—it's a once-in-a-generation opportunity. 

Funding for nature and climate does double duty. Investments in nature help our communities by reducing the impacts of extreme climate-induced weather (flooding, heat waves, and drought) while also enhancing our carbon sink to mitigate against climate change. Benefits of nature-based climate solutions also include clean water and air, biodiversity, wildlife protection, and the outdoor recreation economy. And never has the importance of nature to our physical and mental health been more evident than during the pandemic.

How Did We do?

We are close to meeting our goal four years early! In 2021-2022, the State Legislature passed two state budgets, and two large COVID-relief/Economic Development packages, in which it appropriated a majority of available ARPA funds. Those packages contained $983 million in new investments in nature and climate, bringing us to the precipice of victory for the $1 Billion for Nature & Climate campaign. 

What Now?

Mass Audubon members, supporters, visitors, advisors, and staff across the Commonwealth have been our best advocates for the investments we know we all need in nature and climate. With out more than 125 years of experience advocating for birds and nature, protecting land and natural resources, and providing opportunities for Bay Staters to get outside, we can push for even more.

  • We have 160,000 members, supporters, and advocates just like you across the state.
  • We have over 100 wildlife sanctuaries and protect 40,000 acres.
  • We have expertise in policy, conservation science, land management, and nature education.
  • We have an extraordinary network of partners to build from and expand this work.

Over the coming two-year session, state leaders will make decisions about new funding sources.

These include more Federal COVID funds (the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA); the state’s annual budget, and potential tax proposals and borrowing authorization. In addition, the state will be allocating billions for clean energy through the Inflation Reduction Act. We believe that we can meaningfully build upon this initial investment and make sure that $1.25 billion in federal and state funds flow to nature and climate, including some of Mass Audubon’s highest priority nature and climate resiliency projects as envisioned in our Action Agenda.


Become a Mass Audubon Climate Champion

By signing up, you'll be the first to know about opportunities to advocate for nature-based climate solutions such as habitat restoration and protection. Together we can win the investments and change needed to protect against the effects of the climate crisis. 

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send us an email.

Press Coverage

→ Boston Business Journal | Amid ARPA debates, Mass Audubon chief urges $1B investment in climate measures
→ Berkshire Eagle | Mass Audubon gets $200,000 in ARPA money to help repair damage to Pleasant Valley after microburst windstorm
→ Boston Business Journal (subscription required) | Race to space: Mass Audubon CEO discusses the rush to spend time outdoors 
→ Commonwealth Magazine | ARPA money needed for nature, open 
→ Boston Globe | Mass Audubon president prods Legislature for more parks funding
→ Boston Globe | Mass Audubon wants more state spending on open space
→ Commonwealth Magazine Nature-based climate solutions are crucial