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Year-in-Review 2020: Protecting Watersheds and Drinking Water

By targeting key forests for conservation, OSI kept its focus on protecting drinking water, the lifeblood of countless habitats and communities. 

Our efforts were memorialized with the debut of Woods to Water, a compelling short film featuring the marriage of hunt clubs and conservationists. The OSI-produced effort joins another, Saving Cherry Valley — about expansion of the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge — which aired to critical acclaim at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

On the ground, OSI secured critical lands that filter water for Charleston, SC; protected the drinking water supply of Amsterdam, NY; and finalized several projects in the Delaware River Watershed, source of water for millions living in Trenton, Wilmington, and Philadelphia.

Along the Delaware, conservation of the Love Farm combined permanent protection with restoration of a forested buffer to filter agricultural runoff. And, a grant from OSI helped Sullivan County, NY embed water quality protection into local planning efforts.

With funding in ever-short supply, OSI partnered in successful efforts to secure $10 million in federal support for water quality protection in Maine, Pennsylvania, and New York. The grants will provide $8 million to conserve forests for the OSI-supported Sebago Clean Waters initiative, and $2 million for carbon credits in the upper Delaware Watershed.

Finally, in a groundbreaking report, OSI also detailed how land trusts can contribute by protecting vulnerable floodplains. Putting this research into action, OSI supported an innovative program to help boost New Jersey’s enrollment in a federal program that rewards local floodplain protection.

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Year-in-Review 2020: Addressing Climate Change & Protecting Habitat

In 2020, OSI-protected lands removed and estimated 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 1.2 million cars.