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The Freshwater Trust

New Success Stories

Title: Northwest Environmental Markets Initiative: Applying Proven Market Tools to Benefit Rural Communities and Farmers

Grantee: The Freshwater Trust

Year: 2011

Amount: $966,722

Project: The Freshwater Trust worked with Willamette Partnership and a number of other organizations, agencies and regulators to develop the standards, calculation methodologies, verification and validation procedures, and state policies necessary to allow for the trading of ecosystem services credits for water temperature in Oregon.

Results: TFT and its partners were successful in developing a trading program for water temperature credits. Through the project, the city of Medford, OR worked with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners to shade the Rogue River in order to meet its regulatory compliance requirements for salmon habitat under a Total Maximum Daily Load. Incentivizing landowners to take action on a voluntary basis cost approximately half of what it would have cost to build and operate chillers to cool the effluent from Medford’s wastewater treatment plant.

President Obama, in remarks at a White House Summit on Conservation, mentioned this project as an example of a progressive, forward thinking conservation effort.  It was the first time a standing President addressed the issue of emerging markets for ecosystem services, and the first time a President mentioned a CIG project.