“Earth Island Institute consists of many projects essentially run by the people who dreamed them up, have a proprietary interest in them, seek what complementarity they can from the people in neighboring projects, and give as much as they seek. It isn’t all as idyllic as it sounds, but it builds leaders and gets things done.” – David Brower
Earth Island serves as an incubator for environmental initiatives and provides long-term support for established projects. Some of these projects remain with Earth Island Institute for the entirety of their existence, while others spin off and become independent 501(c)(3) organizations. Currently there are more than 75 projects under Earth Island sponsorship, creating solutions to interconnected challenges and threats facing our planet and humanity. By providing an institutional home with robust systems and infrastructure, we have become a social impact platform for community groups and activist leaders who are responding to today’s urgent environmental issues.
Our core priorities are supporting groundbreaking activist projects, recognizing and mentoring a new generation of environmental leaders, and engaging the public and private sector with new and innovative ways to protect and enhance the well-being of our planet and all the species that live on it.
Our projects are leaders in their field. Earth Island is leveraging the power of our network of diverse projects, the invaluable knowledge and influence of renowned leaders in the environmental movement, and the track record of our 35-year old organization and experienced staff. We are home to projects on the forefront of the environmental movement utilizing strategies that are responsive to the social, economic, and political realities of our time. Each project brings a wealth of experience to the network and is seen as an active member of our community of practice.
See our Current Project Network
Our fiscal sponsorship has grown to cover a wide range of environmental issues, campaigns, strategies, and regions. From protecting pristine pockets of wilderness to training women in sustainable water technology, our projects are creating solutions across every sector of the environmental movement, in many cases, solving for more than one problem at once. We seek projects that align with our values and mission, and also enhance the existing network of leaders at Earth Island. We take chances on new projects that have the audacity to embrace ambitious transformational change. We welcome initiatives and leaders who are currently proving models of that change in the places where they are needed most, often against great odds.
Learn more about Becoming a Project
People have passion but let’s be honest- usually it’s for solving problems and creating change, not handling paperwork. We understand the challenges faced by grassroots leaders and have designed an enhanced suite of support services to build and scale impact. Our goals are to strengthen the capacity of each project to effectively address environmental issues, create synergy between activists working on similar topics, and allow project directors to focus their energy and effort on their campaigns and programs. In addition to institutional support, we provide training, technical assistance, and opportunities for our projects to connect with one another.
Our shared-service model allows projects of all sizes to operate within a stable infrastructure with access to the administrative, legal and financial infrastructure of an established organization, saving individual projects thousands of dollars on duplicative organizational systems. Our integrated project sponsorship model allows projects to develop campaigns and programs with a minimum of resource-intensive scaling-up. We have invested in tools and staff in order to accept and manage public and international funds, conduct grant-making, provide legal counsel, undertake sanctioned types of lobbying, and offer executive coaching.
The Borneo Project organized an exchange visit of indigenous people from Sarawak to visit the ASRI Klinik in Indonesia to learn how they are simultaneously addressing community health, global health, and deforestation. These gatherings helped to inform the Baram Peace Park Initiative, which was launched by the community to create a community-governed conservation zone in Sarawak and to campaign and raise awareness about the negative impact of large scale mega dams and infrastructure projects.Learn more
The Last Plastic Straw and Plastic Pollution Coalition are building momentum to stop the 500,000,000 plastic straws used every day in the US!. San Francisco and Seattle, just voted to join the ban. It's spreading around the world. Join the effort.Learn more
In their effort to spread the word about the dangers of rat poison to raptors this past year, Raptors Are The Solution had two million views of their Rat Poison is Wildlife Poison campaign in Sacramento, CA and six million views of the campaign in San Francisco and Alameda counties.Learn more
After a ten year battle ,the International Marine Mammal Project scored a big victory recently when the World Trade Organization ruled that the Dolphin Safe Label was a valid conservation measure and did not discriminate against the Mexican tuna fishing industry. This will keep up the project's momentum toward eliminating the practice of chasing and netting dolphins for catching tuna.Learn more
Food Shift is transforming the way people look at and utilize food, especially food that is considered unsellable due to imperfections or over-harvesting. This past year, they recovered 21,732 pounds of food from the waste stream and distributed it to those in need. In their pilot Alameda Kitchen, volunteers and formerly homeless job trainees processed 14,576 pounds of food that would otherwise go to landfills into healthy and delicious meals.Learn more