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Holdfast Collective Grants $5.2 Million To Protect Alabama Land

Photo Courtesy The Nature Conservatory

Clothing brand Patagonia’s nonprofit, Holdfast Collective, has given $5.2 million to The Nature Conservancy to protect 8,000 acres in Clarke County, Alabama. The new funding will purchase and protect an important tract of land in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta where the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers meet.

The funding comes from the company’s annual profits, a portion of which is set aside each year to support climate-focused philanthropy efforts.

Photo Courtesy Patagonia

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has long worked to protect this vital region in the western part of Alabama. It is part of nearly 100,000 acres of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta area, stretching more than 200,000 acres total. The organization hopes to protect as much of the area as possible, describing it as a hotbed for biodiversity and freshwater species. The region is the second-largest intact delta system in North America and has the greatest number of unique freshwater species in the United States.

“This tract represents the largest remaining block of land that we can protect in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta,” Mitch Reid, TNC’s Alabama state director, said in a news release. “First and foremost, TNC is doing this work for our fellow Alabamians who rightly pride themselves on their relationship with the outdoors. Conservation lands in the Delta positions 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.”

“Protecting this unique and foundational habitat will benefit the people and wildlife who make their homes in Alabama and throughout the southeastern U.S.,” Reid added.

Photo Courtesy The Nature Conservatory

The protected area is part of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta’s interconnected floodplains, swamps, bayous, lakes, and forests. It includes more than 500 plant species, 300 different types of birds, 126 fishes, 69 reptiles, 30 amphibians, and 46 mammals. According to TNC, It’s home to two critically endangered turtle species, the Alabama red-bellied turtle and the Delta sawback, which are only found there.

“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,” Greg Curtis, Holdfast Collective Executive director, said in a news release. “This project is the first step in a long-term strategy with our partners in Alabama to protect America’s Amazon.”

Photo Courtesy The Nature Conservatory

Patagonia launched the Holdfast Collective in September 2022 with the announcement that  Earth would be the company’s only shareholder rather than reinvesting profits back in the company. With a mission to preserve wildlands, fund grassroots environmental organizations, and pursue nature-based climate solutions, the organization has already distributed $71 million of Patagonia profits, including support for projects in Alaska and California. The company estimates that the Holdfast Collective will invest up to $100 million in such organizations annually.  

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