Home section

2016 Annual Report


Uniting for Golden State water solutions


Water unites life on Earth. Humans, wildlife, plants – we all need it, from a clean source and in sufficient supply.

This biological requirement connects California’s myriad environmental problems. As daunting challenges face our most precious resource, Sustainable Conservation gathers strength and inspiration from our commonalities to steer water solutions for our Golden State.

With your support, we work through confluence – recognizing that conservation momentum quickens when multiple currents of change flow together as one. By listening closely to one another and joining forces to maximize our impact, we’re better able to meet the water needs of our Golden State’s environment, economy, and communities.

Thank you for everything you made possible in 2016. All of us at Sustainable Conservation are deeply grateful for your partnership.

Ashley Boren

Sustainable Conservation’s donors and partners buoy us. From drought to deluge in 2016, your generosity enabled us to take swift action in conserving and protecting California’s water. Thank you for uniting with us in all kinds of weather, and being part of our collaborative, transparent blueprint for environmental change.

- Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation -

What You Made Possible

Our Programs

Todd Reeve

At BEF, we have the privilege of identifying and supporting environmental water stewardship projects that meet the sustainability needs of our diverse corporate partners. Sustainable Conservation represents the gold standard of NGOs, developing cutting-edge projects that solve pressing environmental issues and lead the way to a water-secure future.

- Todd Reeve, CEO, Bonneville Environmental Foundation -


Financial Highlights

Support and Revenue

2016 Financial Charts


2016 Financial Charts

Statement of Activities

Foundation Grants $ 2,651,568
Individual Contributions $ 1,190,181
Government Grants $ 319,875
Other $ 79,101
Total Support and Revenue $ 4,240,725
Programs $ 3,698,602
Fundraising $ 932,612
General and Administrative $ 515,284
Total Expenses $ 5,146,498
Investment Income $ 89,293
Change in Net Assets ($ 816,293)
Net Assets Beginning of Year $ 6,271,587
Net Assets End of Year $ 5,455,294

At the end of 2012, Sustainable Conservation launched the Making Big Ideas Work (MBIW) campaign in order to increase revenue and deepen programmatic impacts. Beginning in 2013, Sustainable Conservation has been supporting new initiatives using assets accumulated during the MBIW campaign. The spend down of campaign funds was the main driver of the decrease in net assets of $816,293 in 2016. The spend down will continue through 2017 as Sustainable Conservation spends MBIW campaign funds as planned.

Review the complete financial report audited by DZH Phillips LLP, Certified Public Accountants & Advisors.

Charity Navigator LogoSustainable Conservation consistently receives top honors from the country’s premier charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, for our financial strength, excellent governance, and ability to maximize the impact of donations.

Cynthia Hunter Lang

For nearly 20 years, through my close involvement as a donor, Board member, and now Advisory Board member, I have seen first-hand how Sustainable Conservation continually sets the bar high in areas of leadership, collaboration, and – most important – impact. They drive environmental and economic wins for California by bringing the right people to the table and building sincere relationships among unlikely partners. As a result, their conservation solutions stick.

- Cynthia Hunter Lang, Donor, Sustainable Conservation Advisory Board Member -


Our People

Our donors make our work go, helping to steward California’s natural resources for current and future generations. Sustainable Conservation extends gratitude to our individual and institutional supporters who contributed generously between January – December 2016 to catalyze solutions that benefit our Golden State’s environment, economy, and people.

Donor list available to our supporters upon request.
Sustainable Conservation’s partnerships are key to forging a better path forward for our Golden State. California thrives when we all work together – and we are grateful for the myriad individuals and organizations who unite with us to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water.

7 Day Nursery

Alameda County Resource Conservation District

Almond Board of California

Alnus Ecological, Inc.

Altman Plants


American Public Gardens Association

American Society of Landscape Architects - Northern California Chapter

Association of California Water Agencies

Association of Professional Landscape Designers, California Chapter

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Audubon California

Bachand & Associates

Back to Natives Nursery

Randy Baldwin, San Marcos Growers

Ball Horticultural

Bar 20 Dairy

Joe & Renee Barroso Dairy

Belmont Nursery

Bidart Dairy

Big Oak Nursery

Biofiltro USA Inc.

Nick Blom

Frank S. Brown Company

Cachuma Operations Maintenance Board

Cachuma Resource Conservation District




California Ag Solutions

California Air Resources Board

California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers

California Association of Resource Conservation Districts

California Coastal Commission

California Council of Land Trusts

California Dairy Campaign

California Dairy Quality Assurance Program

California Department of Conservation

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Department of Food and Agriculture

California Farm Bureau Federation

California Invasive Plant Council

California Landscape Contractors Association

California Native Plant Society

California Natural Resources Agency

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment

California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply

California State Coastal Conservancy

California State Parks Department

California State Water Resources Control Board

California Trout

California Urban Water Conservation Council

California Water Action Collaborative

California Water Foundation


Carbon Cycle Institute

Central Coast Wetlands Group

Central Coast Salmon Enhancement


Chicago Botanic Garden

City Farmers Nursery

Clover Prairie Farms

Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District

Council for Watershed Health

Dairy Cares

Defenders of Wildlife

De Jager Dairy


Earth Genome

East Bay Municipal Utility District

Eastern Kern County Resource Conservation District

EcoLandscape California

Efird Ag Enterprises

EMIGH Ace Hardware

Environmental Defense Center

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Science Associates

Fanelli Dairy


Fort Botanic Garden

Foster Farms Dairy

Craig Frear, PhD

Joseph Gallo Farms

General Mills

Giacomazzi Dairy Farms

Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

Green Acres Nursery & Supply

Green Gardens Group

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

Grower-Shipper Association

Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery

Heal the Bay

Heritage Oak Winery

High Country Nursery

Holland & Knight LLP

Horticultural Research Institute

Humboldt County Resource Conservation District

Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office

Inland Empire Resource Conservation District

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

Johann Dairy

Kings River Conservation District

Kings River Water Association

Laguna Irrigation District

Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County


Land Trust for Santa Barbara County

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Lockeford Plant Materials Center (Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Lodi Winegrape Commission

Los Angeles County Arboretum

Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Lowe’s, California

Madera Irrigation District

Marin Carbon Project

Marin Municipal Water District

Marin Resource Conservation District

Michael McRee Dairy

McShane’s Nursery and Landscape Supply

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District

Merced County Ag Commissioner’s Office

Milk Producers Council

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Mission Blue Nursery

Frank Mitloehner, PhD

Monrovia Growers

Joan Morris, Bay Area Garden Writers

Mountains Restoration Trust

National Marine Fisheries Service

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Restoration Center

Netafim, USA

North Park Nursery

Nursery Growers Association

Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

Orchard Supply Hardware, California

Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency

Papenhausen Hardware & Nursery

Point Blue Conservation Science

Prunuske-Chatham, Inc.

Public Policy Institute of California

Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region

Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region

ReScape California

Resource Conservation District, East Stanislaus County

Resource Conservation District, Merced County

Resource Conservation District of Monterey County

Resource Conservation District of San Mateo County

Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County

Resource Conservation District of Santa Monica Mountains

RMC Water and Environment

Roger’s Gardens

Andy Rollins Dairy

Rutgers Gardens

Salmonid Restoration Federation

San Diego Coastkeeper

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

San Mateo County Weed Management Area

Sanctuary Forest

Sand County Foundation

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Santa Clara County Open Space Authority

Save Our Water

Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Siskiyou Resource Conservation District

Sloat Garden Center

Solana Succulents

Sonoma Resource Conservation District

South Coast Habitat Restoration

Stanford Center for Groundwater Evaluation and Management

Nan Sterman, A Growing Passion

Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops

SummerWinds Nursery (California)

Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Talini’s Nursery

Terranova Ranch

The Garden Company

The Home Depot Garden Centers, California

The Nature Conservancy

The Plant Foundry

Tri-County Fish Team

Trout Unlimited

Tulare Irrigation District

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

UC Cooperative Extension, Davis

UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey

UC Davis

UC Davis, Arboretum

UC Davis, California Center for Urban Horticulture

UC Davis, Department of Plant Sciences

UC Davis, Information Center for the Environment

UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

UC Master Gardener Program

UC Santa Cruz

Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District

US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

US Fish and Wildlife Service

US Forest Service

Valsigna Farms

Wegis and Young

Wegman’s Nursery

West Star Dairy

Western Growers Association

Western Shasta Resource Conservation District

Western United Dairymen

Assemblymember Das Williams

Yamagami’s Nursery

Yurok Tribe

Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum

DESIGN: Vicki Valentine

WRITING AND ART DIRECTION: Robyn Carliss, Director of Creative Services

Photo below Welcome section, of Terranova Ranch General Manager/Vice President Don Cameron and Sustainable Conservation Project Manager Danielle Duncan: Paolo Vescia.

WATER FOR THE FUTURE (in slide show order): 1: Paolo Vescia. 2: Paolo Vescia. 3: Robyn Carliss. 4, main: Scott Sills. 4, inset: Alex Karolyi. 5, photo of panel discussion: Alex Karolyi.

ACCELERATING RESTORATION (in slide show order): 1: NMFS/Southwest Fisheries Science Center. 2, left: Courtesy of South Coast Habitat Restoration. 2, middle: Chuck Gardner. 2, right: Chuck Gardner. 3, left: Paolo Vescia. 3, right: Robyn Carliss. 4, insets: Robyn Carliss.

WASTE NOT (in slide show order): 1: Alex Karolyi. 2, left: Paolo Vescia. 2, right: John Cardoza. 3: Paolo Vescia. 5: Teresa Parker.

PLANTRIGHT (in slide show order): 1: Saxon Holt. 2: Stephanie Falzone. 3: Jo Bardsley.

Richard Waycott

Sustainable Conservation has been an integral partner in exploring the potential for groundwater recharge efforts in almond orchards. Since we began working together in 2015, Sustainable Conservation has engaged multiple almond farmers across the Central Valley who volunteered their orchards for this important research. We look forward to continuing this work to address the water supply concerns of today while preparing California for future droughts and the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

- Richard Waycott, President and CEO, Almond Board of California -