Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are living in transformative era for environmental action. The important steps taken from elected officials, policymakers, environmentalists, members of the public, and private corporations to prioritize and preserve nature and the outdoors following three years of COVID has been nothing short of tremendous. These commitments and actions come at a critical point in time where we are realizing the impacts of a warming climate and continue to experience losses to our plants and wildlife.
One extraordinary example of the commitment we see in the protection of nature is MathWorks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MathWorks contributed a $25 million gift for the protection and restoration of our most ecologically significant lands across the Commonwealth. A gift of this magnitude—the largest programmatic gift in our 127-year history--is nothing short of transformative in our quest to protect the nature of Massachusetts.
This wonderful development presents us with a unique opportunity to leverage and match the gift for our new $75 million land protection fund, to purchase, protect, and restore land that’s critical to the Commonwealth. We must all work together to accelerate the pace of land protection as we aim to protect 30% of the land in Massachusetts by 2030, and the MathWorks donation and the land fund will ensure that we get there.
As we look to mitigate emissions using natural processes, we must also work hard to adapt to a changing climate. That’s why the $4.3 million grant we received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to restore former cranberry bogs is so vital. As the cranberry industry ceases to be the force it once was in Massachusetts, we’re looking at the once-in-a-lifetime possibility of protecting and restoring some of the 10,000 acres of bogs, which will soon be retired. By restoring these lands to healthy coastal wetlands and marshes, they will buffer communities against rising sea levels and provide habitats that increase biodiversity. Our hope is to replicate the success we’ve had at Tidmarsh in Plymouth in other coastal areas of the Commonwealth.
Elsewhere, we have made tremendous strides in meeting the goals of our Action Agenda. From working with the City of Boston to plant more trees in neighborhoods that lack adequate tree canopy to opening more All Persons Trails and subsidizing nature camp for families who might otherwise not be able to afford it, we're working hard to ensure that all have access to nature. Record numbers of Piping Plover were protected this past year and we’re thrilled to see our wildlife sanctuaries across the state buzzing with activity, where people are out enjoying the wonders of nature.
Mass Audubon has a lot to be proud of in 2023 and we are already laser-focused on next year and beyond. Simply put, this is our time and we’re all in. The eyes of the world are upon organizations like ours, and the only thing greater than the work in front of us is our unyielding resolve to meet all challenges head on.
We will succeed only because you are by our side. Thank you for all you do to drive this important work forward. It’s been a tremendous year, and we’re more excited than ever about what we can accomplish if we all work together.
Beth Kressley Goldstein
Chair, Board of Directors
David J. O'Neill