Moore Charitable Foundation: Grants for Marine Conservation

OVERVIEW:  Louis Moore Bacon, hedge-fund billionaire, oversees the Moore Charitable Foundation, which invests in save guarding various aspects of water conservation and wildlife habitats. 

IP TAKE: Moore does not accept uninvited proposals. Rather than fund a handful of groups through large grants, it prefers to invest in a variety of grants across the U.S. Moore tends to invest in many land trusts.

PROFILE: Not to be confused with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Moore Foundation gets its name from Louis Moore Bacon, and his grandfather Louis T. Moore. Bacon is a hedge-fund billionaire, land baron, and conservationist. Since he first purchased a 435-acre island near Long Island for $11 million in 1993, Bacon has made news by investing to protect beloved tracts of land. Bacon also bought a large track of  the wild Southwest, and then donated 90,000 acres of it to the Department of the Interior. The Moore Charitable Foundation was established in 1992 and is committed to "tangible results in environmental conservation, through the protection of our precious land, water and wildlife, for the benefit of future generations." It invests in four areas: LandWater & AirWildlife Habitat, and Marine Research and Conservation

Moore facilitates its marine conservation grantmaking through two programs, Safeguarding Marine Areas and Ensuring Clean Air and Water. The first program addresses the "health and future of local marine ecosystems, threatened marine species, and global ocean health." The foundation believes that "coastal development, overfishing, illegal fishing practices, marine pollution, and climate change severely endanger marine wildlife, habitats and the communities that rely on these resources." MCF supports projects that "establish lasting protection for the world’s oceans and inspires public investment in marine conservation. Past grantees through its Safeguarding program include the Nature Conservancy Bahamas and Oceana among others.

In contrast, while much of the Ensuring Clean Air and Water program's grantmaking overlaps with the first, this program supported efforts to "fight the degradation and of important waterways through advocacy, research and education." In other words, it also funds education and research initiatives that address water conservation in our oceans, bays, rivers, and wetlands. 

The Moore foundation prioritizes specific geographic areas, among which are Colorado, Long Island, North Carolina, Panama, Taos, and the Bahamas. However, Moore does not limit its grantmaking to these areas. It has also supported water conservation grants to projects in the Everglades, the Hudson River, South Carolina, and Wyoming, among many others.

Beyond supporting a few established and well-known organizations, Moore provides a plethora of small grants to about 200 groups each year. Past grantees include the Alamosa Riverkeeper, a Colorado nonprofit; to the New York-based Blue Ocean Institute; and to the North Carolina Coastal Federation. In other words, Moore likes good old-fashioned conservation—purchase and preservation of treasured places—but it tries to spread the wealth.

Unfortunately, the Moore Charitable Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

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