2020 Annual Report


As you know, the ethos of Sustainable Conservation is collaboration – with our partners, and with you, our community of donors. Your generosity and solidarity make Sustainable Conservation’s work possible! With the hurdles that we all continue to face, it means so much to have you in our corner.

2020 was a challenging but successful year for our programs. Because of you, we have much to be thankful for. A look back on a complicated yet connected, and fruitful, year:


TOGETHER, we kicked off our Check in & Connect webinar series to fuel dialogue and action while safely gathering online. We’re so grateful to be able to continue our work to solve California’s water problems – and offer resilience strategies for our environment and economy in a world full of uncertainty.

California Water 101

In Conversation re: Lagunitas Creek Restoration: Sustainable Conservation CEO Ashley Boren and Turtle Island Restoration Network Director of Watershed Conservation Preston Brown

Ensuring Safe and Affordable Drinking Water for All Californians

Cutting Green Tape to Boost Critical Habitat Restoration



TOGETHER, we made it easier for water managers to replenish our parched underground bank accounts. Sustainable Conservation and Earth Genome’s Groundwater Recharge Assessment Tool (GRAT™) guides not only how to put water back into the ground, but when and where to do it, and how much water can realistically be replenished.

And, in addition to providing farmers and water agencies with information about when they can flood working fields to recharge groundwater without risking crop yields, Sustainable Conservation is offering science-based guidance on how to implement recharge to protect, and ultimately improve, water quality.

Balancing California’s Water Future

Groundwater: The charge to recharge water needs to be data driven

Protecting Groundwater Quality While Practicing On-Farm Recharge



TOGETHER, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Sustainable Conservation-sponsored Habitat Restoration and Enhancement (HRE) Act, highlighting restoration projects that have used this permitting pathway to revitalize critical habitat for fish and wildlife.

Thanks to you, we have been providing technical assistance to the State Water Board to develop a programmatic permit for commonly implemented restoration projects. This tool will create a more efficient permitting process for restoration. Simplified permit use has experienced an annualized growth of nearly 30%. We are proud of the triple win of public funds supporting regulatory agencies’ permit review time, increased habitat acreage for our State’s imperiled biodiversity, and improved waterway health for people and nature.

A Faster Track for Ecosystem Restoration

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act

Speeding Up Salmon Recovery in Marin County

French Creek Coho Habitat Revitalized



TOGETHER, we scaled innovation and environmental wins through our work to protect water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on California dairies.

Our first-of-its-kind irrigation system helps dairy producers use the manure their cows produce to hydrate their feed crops in ways that care for groundwater and help the industry move the needle on environmental gains. Sustainable Conservation and our partner Netafim USA ramped up outreach to the California dairy industry, with eight additional dairies now in the works to install the system.

Sustainable Conservation Partnership Receives 2020 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award

Dairy’s shrinking water footprint: a key piece of the SGMA puzzle



THANK YOU to our donors, project partners, Board, Advisory Board, and San Joaquin Valley Regional Committee. We would not be able to do this work without you.

You can view our 2020 audited financials here.