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Walton Family Foundation Lays out Vision for Addressing Water and Climate Change

Philanthropist, Chef José Andres points to water and climate change as cause of natural disasters

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WASHINGTON, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Through water, many Americans experience the reality of climate change almost daily.  Flooding, drought, record-breaking storms, and even wildfires — each in their own way makes the presence of climate change and its impact on both water and everyday life inescapable. Today, the Walton Family Foundation released a new paper outlining how the organization and its partners will address these challenges by supporting sustainable products and practices in the marketplace; delivering effective, lasting policies; spurring smart innovations, and connecting communities.

“In the coming years, the effects of climate change on water will continue to impact both the natural world and people’s daily lives in profound ways. These changes will affect our agriculture, making it more risky and difficult to grow crops. They will influence our oceans and waterways, changing the composition and movements of aquatic life. They will impact our ability to feed and sustain our communities,” said Moira Mcdonald, Environment Program Director for the Walton Family Foundation. “As a solutions-oriented philanthropic organization, we have the ability, the opportunity, and the obligation to lay out a workable agenda and fund projects, people, and partners that can serve as a guide for the public and private sectors.”

The Walton Family Foundation works with nonprofit organizations, community partners, industry leaders, governments, and scientists to develop and scale actionable solutions that allow for nature and people to thrive together.

“When my non-profit World Central Kitchen shows up to feed communities after a disaster, more often than not, water is at the heart of the suffering and the solution,” said José Andrés, Founder of World Central Kitchen and Walton Family Foundation partner. “We have to stop damaging what we have, conserve what is left, and learn to live differently. We need to farm on land and at sea in new ways. We need to eat in ways that our world can sustain. And we need to invest in one another – in communities that care for each other before and after disasters.”

Recent polling revealed almost universal agreement among Americans that the nation needs to take immediate action on protecting water and addressing climate change, regardless of political affiliation. The poll findings also made it clear that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are more concerned about the state of the environment and hold a more pessimistic outlook on the future of the environment compared to the rest of the population. The poll results showed most Americans agree (84%) that protecting the health of our water is essential to address climate change.

“As we advance our strategy over the next five years, we will be working to correct the false narrative that suggests a strong economy and a sustainable environment are competing concepts – but the reality is that these ideas go hand in hand,” said Moira Mcdonald, Environment Program Director at the Walton Family Foundation. “Using resources in a way that is sustainable isn’t just good for our environment; it offers long-term benefits and ongoing security for our businesses.”

In addition to community-driven solutions, the Foundation and its partners will work to adjust federal fishing and agriculture policies accordingly so that they encourage farmers, ranchers, and fishers to reduce their risks through conservation practices – presenting benefits to producers, to the environment, and to taxpayers all at the same time.