News & Press

May 2024: A Message from Our Director

Wolf Mountain Howling
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Wolf River Conservancy
May 30, 2024

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May 2024: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy Friend,

May is American Wetlands Month, a fitting celebration of one our most productive and fragile ecosystems.  Wetlands provide habitat for numerous wildlife species, filter our drinking water, and reduce flood risk across the entire region. And yet, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s most recent wetlands status and trends report “net wetland loss increased by 50% over the past decade with vegetated wetlands, like marshes and swamps, being disproportionately impacted. These wetlands are disappearing so quickly that 670,000 acres were lost between 2009 and 2019, an area approximately equal to the land area of Rhode Island.”

May 11th and May 17th were also World Migratory Bird Day and Endangered Species Day, respectively. In recognition of these opportunities for awareness, it’s important to note that wetlands play a part here as well. A third of all threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands while half use wetlands at some point in their lives. Migratory birds depend on wetlands to sustain them on their arduous journey north or south.  The Wolf River and its wetlands are part of the Mississippi Flyway, a primary U.S. bird migration route.  40% of all North American waterfowl and shorebirds use the Mississippi Flyway.  

The case for the protection of wetlands here in West Tennessee is strong, this month and year-round. The heart of our mission as an accredited land trust is to protect land in the Wolf River Watershed and to that end, we tirelessly work to identify wetlands with the highest ecological value and ensure they are preserved for generations to come. If you are interested in joining us in this work, we welcome your involvement and support. Volunteer and giving opportunities can be found on our website at

2024 also marks the addition of four new members to the board of the Wolf River Conservancy! These individuals understand the important part WRC plays in addressing environmental issues, protecting wetlands and creating educational and recreational opportunities here in the watershed.  

Graham Jones, Vice President Investments at Pittco, Nathan Elser, Global Sustainability Manager for Sylvamo, Mary Kanowitz, Senior Development Manager for Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South and Katherine Terry, Environmental Manager for Georgia Pacific have all demonstrated a deep interest in our work and have committed their time and talents to stewarding our organization into a sustainable and productive future. We welcome their leadership to the Conservancy!

And finally, I want to take a moment to invite you to our upcoming Discover the Greenway 5k+ Race next Saturday on June 8th. Details can be found below in this month’s newsletter and on our website. With even more partners, vendors, participants and favorable weather, this year is shaping up to be a great time out on the Greenway. I can’t wait to see you there!  

Erik Houston
Executive Director

May is American Wetlands Month, a fitting celebration of one our most productive and fragile ecosystems. Wetlands provide


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