The Nature Conservancy and Holdfast Collective have purchased 8,000 acres in Clarke County making up The Land Between the Rivers at the top of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta.
“This critical tract’s creeks, rivers, ponds and oxbow lakes contribute to the Delta’s recognition as the home to the greatest number of freshwater species in the U.S., making it one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet,” the groups said in an announcement of the purchase.
Funds for the purchase included $5.2 million from Holdfast Collective, which is the grant making arm of the Patagonia apparel brand; $3 million from The Nature Conservancy, and $10 million in a revolving loan deal from an undisclosed source.
The Holdfast contribution is the largest in the world from the organization that owns 98% of the Patagonia company.
“This tract represents the largest remaining block of land that we can protect in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. First and foremost, TNC is doing this work for our fellow Alabamians who rightly pride themselves on their relationship with the outdoors,” said Mitch Reid, Alabama state director for The Nature Conservancy. “Conservation lands in the Delta position it as an anchor in a corridor of protected lands stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Appalachian Mountains and has long been a priority in TNC’s ongoing efforts to establish resilient and connected landscapes across the region.”
Greg Curtis, executive director of Patagonia’s Holdfast Collective, added, “Alabama is important. The Holdfast Collective sees Alabama, and the Land Between the Rivers, as a landscape that is as critical to protect as our other priority areas around the globe,” said Holdfast Collective Executive Director Greg Curtis. “This project is the first step in a long-term strategy with our partners in Alabama to protect America’s Amazon.”
During the last 30 years, The Nature Conservancy has entered into partnerships to protect nearly half of the 200,000-acre delta.