Thanks to a $165 million donation from two tech billionaires, over 24,000 acres of pristine California coastline will be permanently protected in the years to come.
The multi-million dollar contribution from Jack and Laura Dangermond, which was given to The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is the single largest philanthropic donation in the organization’s history.
The conservation group released a statement last week saying that the donation enabled them to buy out the Cojo/Jalama Ranch at Point Conception in Santa Barbara County.
The 8 miles of breathtaking California coastline is the home of 39 different threatened and endangered wildlife species. Described as a sanctuary of “biological richness” and “a confluence of ecological, historical, and cultural values across Native American, Spanish and American histories,” the land can even be seen from space, according to the TNC.
Mile Sweeney, Executive Director of the TNC California Chapter, said: “There’s no place like it. It’s where Northern California and Southern California meet. Standing there in the oaks, looking west across the ocean, you understand why this has been a spiritual place for millennia. This place is special for many reasons. We aim to build on that with a robust applied research agenda that delivers insights for conservationists around the world.”
This is not the first time that the Dangermonds have made conservational contributions – in 1969, they founded the Environmental Systems Research Institute, a privately held geographic information systems software company that the started with $1,100 in savings. According to Forbes, the couple now has a net worth of $4.1 billion.
Jack Dangermond said: “We want to inspire more people to give major contributions toward conservation, that’s the only reason we’ve chosen to share our involvement. We want to set an example. Conservation isn’t just being nice to animals or plants, it’s investing in the continued life support systems of humans and all other species on the planet. We need more people to step up to protect our last great places.”
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Reprint (Photo by The Nature Conservancy)