The Land Trust Accreditation Commission affirmed the Coalition’s strong commitment to the public trust and conservation excellence by renewing its land trust accreditation, culminating a yearlong review of the organization’s practices. Of the more than 1,300 land trusts in the U.S., only 400 have received accreditation.
“We are very proud to be recognized again by the Land Trust Alliance for the care and quality of the work that we do,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen. “Land conservation and restoration is an essential part of our ongoing mission of protecting the health of our local coastal waters and the watershed lands that surrounds them.”
The accreditation process involves a rigorous review of the Coalition’s policies and processes to ensure that conservation land remains forever protected, as well as an in-depth third-party evaluation of practices.
“It requires extra effort and attention to meet the highest professional standards required to maintain our national accreditation,” said Brendan Annett, the Coalition’s Vice President for Watershed Protection.
“It is no easy task as we work to increase the pace of protecting the most important places around the Bay. But our commitment to accreditation has clearly improved the quality of our work and made our organization stronger by holding us accountable to those high standards.”
Since its formation in 1986, the Coalition has protected more than 8,500 acres of upland forests and wetlands from Westport to Woods Hole and restored damaged habitats, such as The Sawmill property in Acushnet, which now welcomes thousands of visitors for explorations of the natural world. At present, the organization is in the final stages of a multi-year effort to purchase and protect forever the critically important barrier beaches and upland landscape of Cuttyhunk Island.
Beyond land conservation, the Coalition works to protect the Bay, Vineyard Sound and its watershed through focused research that informs efforts to safeguard the environment and through advocacy work with municipal, state and federal governments; local businesses and civic organizations.
“It is exciting to recognize the Coalition’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, Executive Director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
The Coalition is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.