Freshwater Conservation

The Walton Family Foundation’s freshwater initiative focuses on sustaining healthy and resilient communities of both wildlife and people in two of our country’s most important river systems. Through collaborations with local stakeholders in the Colorado and Mississippi River Basins, we seek to find ways to preserve the environmental health of the rivers that benefit the communities and businesses that surround them.

To read more about our freshwater strategy, click here.

Investment Strategies

In the Colorado and Mississippi River Basins, our conservation work is focused on promoting four key components of a healthy river system:

  • Preserving healthy river flows that provide a sustainable water source for local communities and a livable habitat for wildlife;
  • Ensuring safe and healthy water quality for people and wildlife alike;
  • Restoring land along rivers that can serve as sanctuary for plants and animals and recreation areas for local residents; and
  • Designing structures such as dams and levees in a manner that both serves communities of people and minimizes impacts to rivers and wildlife.

Our Grantees

Some of our freshwater conservation grantees include:

A full list of our freshwater conservation grantees can be found here: 2014 Walton Family Foundation Environment Grants


The foundation measures grantee progress by utilizing a number of ecological, social and economic indicators. We track on-the-ground progress using a variety of qualitative and quantitative metrics including:

  • River flow improvements in Colorado River tributaries;
  • Reduced runoff from farmland in the Upper Mississippi watershed; and
  • Riverside habitat protected or undergoing restoration in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.