Orvis Announces Winners of 2016 Grants to Protect Nature

Jan 20, 2016, 11:05 ET from Orvis Company, Inc.

MANCHESTER, Vt., Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orvis Company, Inc. of Manchester, VT announced the three recipients of its annual Customer Matching Grant program.  Targeted to raise more than a third of a million dollars, these grants are the cornerstone of Orvis's annual commitment of 5% of its pre-tax profits to protecting nature.

Orvis has awarded cash grants to the following organizations:

  • The Clark Fork Coalition, to support its Eight Gr8 Trout Streams campaign to re-water, rehabilitate and reconnect critical trout streams in Montana's Upper Clark River Basin.
  • The Petfinder Foundation, for its programs benefitting shelters and providing homes for rescued dogs across America, ensuring that no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a loving home.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to benefit its Oyster Restoration Program, which works to restore native oyster reefs in Maryland and Virginia, thereby improving water quality and fish habitat in Chesapeake Bay. 

"If you love the outdoors, you are compelled to protect and restore its lands and waters," says CEO Perk Perkins. "For Orvis, it is not only a moral obligation but an investment in our future. We know many of our customers feel the same way, but how do you choose what projects to support? Each year we review dozens of worthwhile projects, selecting several that we feel best address these concerns.  We invite customers to participate with their own donations, and we match their contributions dollar for dollar."

Throughout 2016 Orvis will feature each of the grant programs in its catalogs, website and retail stores, as well as in other print and online promotions.  "The in-kind value of this type of exposure exceeds $600,000 on top of the cash grants," says George Schmidt, Vice President of Multi-Channel Marketing.  "These promotional efforts, coupled with the matching funds from Orvis, provide a remarkable opportunity for customers, organizational members and the general public to amplify their contribution to the protection of nature through these programs."

Learn more about this year's award winners and the projects that earned Orvis endorsement and matching grant status for its 1 million+ customer base:

The Upper Clark Fork River is the headwaters of a 14 million acre watershed which flows between the three largest wilderness complexes in the Northern Rockies.  Nearly 150 years of mining, logging and grazing have damaged this vital ecological corridor.  Thanks to decades of advocacy, the mainstem river is coming back to life.  To fully restore this outstanding fishery, the Clark Fork Coalition's Eight Gr8 Trout Streams project will partner with ranchers and others to restore the tributaries native trout need for spawning and rearing. Orvis will match customers' donations, dollar of dollar, up to $60,000.  As a bonus, another generous funder has agreed to match the first $20,000, for a 2:1 match for customer donations, for a total 2016 goal of $140,000.

To further enable the healing of this iconic watershed, funds from the Orvis/Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign will be designated to remove barrier culverts in upper Warm Springs Creek, thereby reconnecting vital headwater spawning habitat to the rest of the Clark Fork River.

Each year, five out of every ten dogs in shelters across the United States are euthanized simply because there is no one to adopt them.  The Petfinder Foundation's mission is to ensure that no pet is euthanized for lack of a home. Founded in 2003, the foundation helps homeless pets get adopted, helps shelters prepare for, and recover from disaster, and works to make shelters across the country more sustainable. In 2014 alone, funds from the Orvis Customer Matching Grant helped 5,390 dogs to find forever homes.  In 2016, Orvis will match customers' donations up to $30,000 for a goal of $60,000 to support and protect these vulnerable pets.

Saving the Chesapeake Bay is uniquely tied to restoring the native oyster. Oysters in the Chesapeake were once so plentiful they could filter a volume of water equal to that of the entire Bay in three days. Today it would take the current oyster population more than a year to perform the same task. In 2016 Orvis will once again match customer donations up to $30,000 for a goal of $60,000 to enable Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) to restore native oysters throughout Chesapeake Bay.  This year CBF will plant 5 million oysters and reef balls to re-establish a network of self-sustaining oyster reefs in the Lafayette River, in Virginia.  Oyster reefs like this one not only improve water quality and increase fish habitat, but also benefit the entire Chesapeake ecosystem.

In addition to its Customer Matching Grants, Orvis donates smaller, non-matching grants to organizations that preserve and restore fish and wildlife habitat, support communities, and advance canine health and well-being. Key 2016 projects include a variety of initiatives with partners such as Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Casting for Recovery, Project Healing Waters, and the Morris Animal Foundation.  For more information on applying for these grants, go to How We Give.

Over the past 20 years, Orvis has raised and donated in excess of $19 million for a wide variety of conservation programs, from Bristol Bay, AK to the Florida Everglades; from the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda to London's Battersea Dogs & Cats Home; and in dozens of vital fisheries through America and the world. Details of this and past year's Orvis Customer Matching Grant projects can be seen at www.orvis.com/commitment.

More about the Orvis Company:

Since 1856 Orvis has been the premier outfitter for the outdoor lifestyle with a mission to inspire a deep connection to adventure and wonder in the outdoor world.  The brand's passion originated with the sports of fly fishing and wing shooting. Today Orvis has grown to include a wide range of outdoor products and activities that are backed by the company's outdoor knowledge and credibility, sourced from many decades of personal experience on the water and in the field.  Headquartered in Manchester, Vermont, Orvis operates multiple catalog titles, three website, more than 80 retail stores in the U.S and U.K., and serves a network of over 400 authorized dealers worldwide.  To learn more, visit www.orvis.com.

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SOURCE Orvis Company, Inc.