Enviva, a global renewable energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy, established the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (EFCF) to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests in select geographies across the southeast. Administered by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, EFCF has invested more than $300,000 to support Ducks Unlimited’s conservation work across Virginia and North Carolina.
“Partnering with Ducks Unlimited through the fund enables us to protect and conserve precious forests, which are not meant to be touched,” says Craig Lorraine, senior vice president of Enviva’s commercial and sustainability operations. “The results of our work through the fund and with Ducks Unlimited are unique in our industry, and we are proud to help preserve these ecosystems and improve forest health, water quality, and wildlife habitats for the future.”
Enviva’s partnership with DU began with support for the purchase of the 6,310-acre Hubbard-Pinkerton tract in North Carolina, which was added to the adjacent North River Game Land to expand public land access and protect forested wetlands along the river. The purchase was also supported by funds from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, US Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, and Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.
The partnership with DU expanded when Enviva supported the recent acquisition of Cross Swamp in the tidewater region of Virginia. Situated between the Great Dismal Swamp and Nansemond River, the 504-acre forested property is part of the homeland of the Nansemond Indian Nation. DU and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation worked with landowners to return ownership to the
Nansemond Tribe and permanently protect the sacred land as a cultural resource. This was a tremendous opportunity to benefit those underserved by traditional conservation efforts while providing climate adaptation and other ecosystem services to the City of Suffolk. Additional funding for this project came from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and Dominion Energy.