Santa Catalina Island Conservancy

Long Beach, CA   |  www.catalinaconservancy.org/

Mission

Founded in 1972, the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy's mission is to serve as a responsible steward of our lands through a balance of conservation, education, and recreation. As one of the oldest and largest land trusts in California, we protect nearly 90% of Catalina Island (42,000 of 48,000 acres), which is home to 60+ plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

Ruling year info

2015

President and CEO

Mr. Tony Budrovich

Main address

320 Golden Shore, Suite 220

Long Beach, CA 90802 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7228407

NTEE code info

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Recreational and Sporting Camps (Day, Overnight, etc.) (N20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We continue to work to fulfill our mission to responsibly steward Catalina through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. We have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the majority of our public-facing operations have resumed on Catalina, we anticipate incurring a large budget deficit (up to $1.5M) as a result of suspended operations from March 20th to mid-June and current county and city social distancing and group size restrictions. Additionally, we anticipate that our operations on Catalina will continue to be dramatically altered through 2021. Correspondingly, we expect to serve fewer visitors in 2020-2021, generating significantly less revenue from many of our main earned income streams. However, we remain optimistic about our ability and agility to continue to effectively adapt to the new COVID-19 world, and are embracing the opportunities the pandemic has provided to improve our programming, refocus our mission and reach new audiences.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conservation Programs

Through partnerships with some of the most dedicated conservation managers, scientists and volunteers, the Conservancy has established our wildlife conservation programs and Catalina Habitat Improvement and Restoration Program (CHIRP), which includes native plant conservation and restoration projects and invasive plant removal. Our staff, researchers and volunteers work together to develop and implement these programs to protect Catalina’s sensitive ecosystems. Through field studies, restoration projects, the care of native and endemic plants, removal of invasive plants, management of wildlife and efforts to sustain water, geological and cultural resources, we help protect Catalina’s unique history and future health.

In our 48 year history, we have achieved the following key milestones:

1) Brought back the endangered/endemic Catalina Island Fox from the brink of extinction, an effort lauded by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as one of the fastest recoveries ever of an endangered species;
2) Helped to reintroduce bald eagles to the skies above Catalina;
3) Removed tens of thousands of invasive plants that were choking-out native plant populations;
4) Monitored plant and animal populations to proactively address signs of disease and distress; and
5) Discovered new, endemic plant species and created a seed bank at our Ackerman Native Plant Nursery.


Much like many other nonprofits, we have been greatly impacted by the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Due to Los Angeles county and state Safer/Stay at Home orders, most of our operations on Catalina and many vital earned income streams were suspended from March 20th to mid-June. During this time, we implemented immediate cost-reductions, including furloughing most staff. While we have begun reopening some of our public-facing operations in accordance with county and City of Avalon guidance, we still anticipate incurring a large budget deficit (up to $1.5M) and dramatically altered operations through 2021. We are currently implementing modifications across our conservation, education and recreation programs and public-facing operations in response to COVID-19 and resulting county/state social distance and group size guidelines and school closures.

The majority of our wildlife program operations were/will not be impacted by COVID-19, with the exception of annual seabird surveying efforts. This program was modified to ensure compliance with social distance, group size, sanitation and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines. Proper sanitation protocols (e.g., to disinfect shared equipment) have been implemented and PPE for relevant staff for most plant program operations has been purchased.

Population(s) Served

In response to the pandemic, modifications are currently being implemented across our conservation, education and recreation programs and public-facing operations to ensure the safety of our staff/visitors and program/service continuity. Our Education Programs, NatureWorks Education Program and Complementary Programs, have been particularly impacted. We are currently working to restructure these programs to allow us to continue to meet the needs of the disadvantaged populations we serve through synchronous/asynchronous virtual learning (e.g. webinars/instructional videos). Most importantly, these modifications will allow us to continue offering this programming free of charge and to a wider audience. Although the local school districts we partner with, including Long Beach Unified School District (Avalon School) and the ABC Unified School District, have not yet finalized their new operating policies or identified how their day-to-day instructional needs will change in the Fall, we are currently working to create environmental education learning resources/experiences that are in-line with a COVID-19 learning environment, best practices and national standards.

Connected with LBUSD, Common Core Standards, STEM curricula, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) https://bitly.im/0t83j, our K-12 NatureWorks Education Program emphasizes hands-on investigation/experiences aligned with the work of science researchers/naturalists to increase environmental knowledge. NatureWorks programming typically includes NatureWorks in the Classroom (K-12), Island Scholars (4th), Course Catalina, the Course Catalina Field School (7th Grade) and Paths to Career Readiness/Job-Shadow Week (11-12th). Combined, our K-12 programming is focused on preparing Avalon’s disadvantaged student population for entry into Catalina’s largest industry (eco-tourism) and/or higher education off Catalina in STEM, conservation or similar fields, as Avalon students typically receive less exposure to traditional workforce development opportunities due to many factors inherent to Island life. Building upon one another as students advance through grade levels, these programs start with basic exposure to Catalina’s natural history and progress towards exploration of careers in ecotourism, conservation and related fields. Participating Avalon (LBUSD) and mainland youth also have limited access to open space/natural environments and opportunities to participate in experiential environmental programs. Our programming previously addressed these issues by providing immersive opportunities to explore/learn about Catalina through formal/informal classroom and field-based lessons/trips. As indicated, we are currently transitioning our K-12 programs to virtual learning platforms in response to COVID-19. Many learners of all ages also typically participate in our Complementary Programs during weekends, evenings and the summer months. These programs include: our Summer Naturalist Program; Interpretation Stations; Community Interpretation Events; Naturalist 1 Training; and Last Friday Lecture Series. With the exception of our Summer Naturalist program, which is offered as a paid internship, each of these programs is offered at no cost. While COVID-19 guidelines currently prevent delivery of these programs in their traditional formats, we are developing virtual learning opportunities and educational resources that will allow us to continue serving our target audiences.

NatureWorks in the Classroom (K-12): While Avalon School works to establish their fall priorities, field trip/guest instructor policies, we are developing virtual synchronous/asynchronous learning opportunities to allow for continued provision of environmental education content aligned with best practices/national standards. We are developing the following: remote, self-paced, mini-courses, followed by video conferencing opportunities with our Education staff; K-12 environmental activities that can be completed in 15 minutes or less, without the need for special equipment; and read-aloud videos featuring science-based children’s literature and at-home science activities.

Field-Based Programs (K-12/Adults): Social distance/group size guidelines have impacted traditional field-based program models (e.g., Course Catalina, which provide field-learning/camping experiences). We’re exploring virtual alternatives to enable continued achievement of program goals relating to development of appreciation of the natural world. For example, a summer Jr. Naturalist Course is under development for grades 2-8, including stories about Catalina’s ecology/nature-based activities, encouraging learners to develop stewardship behaviors to help protect the natural resources in their communities.

Hands-on Engagement (K-12/Adults): As we focus on mitigating COVID-19 transmission through shared resources, many of our hands-on opportunities (e.g., Interpretation Stations) are transitioning to virtual opportunities with nature through oral discourse. For example, Nature Journal Kits for grades 2-12 were developed/distributed through the local food bank, including all supplies necessary for learners to start their own nature journals/explore the natural environments in their communities.

Training and Lecture (Adults): To comply with social distance/group size guidelines, our Last Friday Lecture Series and Naturalist Trainings transitioned to virtual platforms. For example, our monthly Lecture Series is now being offered as a live web broadcast, including monitored chat.

Population(s) Served

The Conservancy’s commitment to accessibility allows active recreation on Catalina, making it the most accessible of the Channel Islands. We are unique in that we believe in and promote the concept of a lived-landscape. Nearly all of the 42,000 acres of land that we manage is open for recreation. Popular activities include hiking and biking on our 165+ miles of recreational trails and roads, camping and Naturalist-led Eco and Wildlands Express Shuttle tours that allow expanded opportunities to explore Catalina’s interior.

In compliance with county and state Safer/Stay at Home orders, Catalina's trails, beaches, campgrounds and piers were closed to the public from March 20th to mid-May or June. While they have since reopened, LA County safety guidelines must be followed by all users. Many of our other recreation programs are also being modified to comply with social distance guidelines and appropriate sanitation/cleaning protocols. These modifications are reflected in our public-facing operational buildings, Eco Tour/Wildlands Express Shuttle vehicles, gathering spaces and more. For example, Eco Tours are now being offered again, and will continue to accommodate families at full capacity. However, capacity is reduced for unrelated parties and all participants must adhere to facial covering guidelines.

Population(s) Served

In addition to ongoing programming, the Conservancy maintains Catalina’s vast infrastructure, acting as a municipality without a tax base. We operate the Trailhead Visitor Center, Airport in the Sky, Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, Native Plant Nursery and Avalon Canyon Nature Center. We also maintain 200+ miles of roads, hiking and biking trails, a vehicle and heavy equipment fleet of 140 and various commercial and residential properties across the Island.

The majority of our public-facing operations were suspended from March 20th to mid-June, and it is anticipated that some level of social distancing will be in effect through 2021, continuing to dramatically alter our operations. While some of our operations remain suspended (e.g., the Avalon Canyon Nature Center), we have begun reopening some public-facing facilities, including the Trailhead, Airport in the Sky and WMBG; remaining facilities will be re-opened in accordance with LA County/Avalon guidelines. Enhanced cleaning protocols and traffic monitoring to ensure appropriate social distancing have been implemented and additional signage to guide visitors on safe methods of recreating on Catalina has been installed. For example, touch screens linked to educational interpretives within the Trailhead have been disabled (e.g., map table). Occupant capacity on the first floor of the building is also limited to 20 people, and foot traffic is being monitored to ensure adherence to social distancing/facial covering guidelines.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Acres of land managed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

As one of the oldest and largest land trusts in California, we protect nearly 90% of Catalina Island (42,000 of 48,000 acres), which is home to 60+ plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

Number of people served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2019, we reached 423,784 youth, adults and members through our ongoing recreational opportunities and public-facing operations.

Number of native plants grown/maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Conservation Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

18,502 native plants were grown and maintained (which is a 280% increase over last year), and annual census and monitoring of Catalina’s endangered plant species continued.

Number of contact hours with Education Department (through educational programming)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our Education Department made 1,700 interactions with Avalon students,/residents/ABCUSD students through our Education Programs, equating to over 4,500 hours of contact (not unduplicated totals).

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As outlined in IMAGINE CATALINA, our long-range strategic vision and master plan, major organizational goals include:

1) Protecting and restoring Catalina Island by modeling science-based conservation in a lived landscape.
2) Training today’s and tomorrow’s stewards of the natural world through life-long learning experiences.
3) Connecting people to the land and sea through nature-based recreational opportunities.
4) Modeling sustainability in facilities, operations and finances so that the long-term protection and enjoyment of Catalina is ensured.
The goals of our conservation and education programs are briefly summarized below:

Conservation:
Fox Recovery Program:
•Ensure long-term survival of Catalina Island Fox population through weekly telemetry studies, annual trapping, health checks and Canine Distemper Virus vaccinations

Bison Contraceptive Program:
•Maintain the size/impact of Catalina’s Bison population at or below 150 to minimize impact to the Island (e.g., overgrazing).

Endangered Birds:
•Increase our knowledge base regarding Catalina’s avifauna (birds).
•Contribute to national long-term data collection efforts through the US Geological Survey of Breeding Bird routes, regional efforts to document/report on Channel Islands birds, and local efforts to monitor Catalina’s Storm Petrels/Scripps’ Murrelets populations annually.

Bat monitoring:
•Protect/conserve current Catalina bat populations by working to detect current and new bat species (e.g., Townsend’s big-eared bat, a candidate for state listing as Threatened/Endangered); installing bat gates to protect current/future bat roosting sites; and evaluating data collected from solar-powered acoustic monitors on Catalina.

Native Plant Projects:
•Conduct annual census/monitoring of all Federally Threatened/Endangered species and State Rare/Threatened/Endangered plants
•Maintain ex‐situ seed collections for target rare species in partnership with regional/international conservation agencies
•Carry-out restoration projects, including: developing habitat models for poorly understood species to assist in detection, conservation planning/habitat enhancement, augmentation of populations of threatened species following comprehensive research, and review of internal/external projects for regulatory compliance related to biological resources.
•Plant 10,000 trees across the Island.
Catalina Habitat Improvement/Restoration Program (CHIRP):
•Protect Catalina’s natural resources from the impacts of invasive plants

Education:
1)Providing multiple, free access points for learners of all ages to experience hands-on science instruction /first-hand exposure to the natural world.
2)Improving student understanding of scientific tools, processes, research methods.
3)Increasing learner awareness of the unique natural history of Catalina.
4)Providing learners with opportunities to increase skills related to career awareness/workplace readiness.
5)Inspiring appreciation for the natural world.

Goal 1: We work to protect/restore Catalina by carrying-out our wildlife/plant conservation programs/projects, which were established through partnerships with some of the most dedicated conservation managers/scientists/volunteers. Our staff/researchers/volunteers work together to implement these programs to protect Catalina’s sensitive ecosystems. Through field studies, restoration projects, the care of native/endemic plants, removal of invasive plants, management of wildlife and efforts to sustain water/geological/cultural resources, we help protect Catalina’s future health. We currently offer the following wildlife/plant conservation programs/projects: Fox Recovery Program, Bison Contraceptive Program, Endangered Bird Programs for Catalina’s Storm Petrels/Scripps’ Murrelets populations, Bat Monitoring Projects, and Native Plant Restoration/Conservation Projects, including CHIRP.

Goal 2: We work to train today/tomorrow’s stewards of the natural world through our NatureWorks Education Program/Complementary Programs, including: NatureWorks in the Classroom (K-12), Island Scholars (4-6th), Course Catalina/Course Catalina Field School (7th Grade), Paths to Career Readiness/Job-Shadow Week (11-12th). Many learners of all ages also participate in our other Complementary Programs during weekends/ evenings/summer, including our Summer Naturalist Program (Post High School‐College), Families in Nature (local families) and Naturalist Training (18+). As indicated, our Education programs are currently being restructure to allow for virtual learning.

Goal 3: We work to connect visitors to Catalina (land and sea) through the recreational opportunities we provide. Popular activities include hiking and biking on our 165+ miles of recreational trails and roads, camping and Naturalist-led Eco/Wildlands Express Shuttle tours that allow expanded opportunities to explore Catalina’s interior. In compliance with county/state guidelines, we have implemented modifications across our recreational programs to allow for appropriate social distancing and sanitation/cleaning protocols.

Goal 4: We work to model sustainability in our facilities, operations and finances. We celebrated the opening of our new visitor center, the Trailhead in April 2019. The Trailhead was approved as a "LEED Certified Gold Status Project,” and is the only LEED Gold certified building on Catalina.

The Conservancy has been working to carryout its mission for 48 years, and will continue to work to maintain the ecological health of the Island and fulfill its goals through ongoing conservation, education and recreation programs (as described). We are a leader in conservation and education programs that protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of natural resources for present and future generations. Implementation of these programs/projects is executed by experienced conservation and education staff, in conjunction with many community partners, such as the Institute for Wildlife Studies and the Long Beach Unified School District.

In 2019, we reached 423,784 youth, adults and members through our ongoing recreational opportunities (e.g., camping, hiking, biking, Eco and commercial interior tours and Wildlands Express Shuttle services) and the Trailhead, WMBG and Avalon Canyon Nature Center (please note: this is not an unduplicated total). As a result of COVID-19 and corresponding social distancing and group size guidelines, we anticipate serving fewer locals and mainland visitors in 2020-2021. Programmatic accomplishments from 2019-2020 are summarized below:

Conservation
Wildlife Programs
•Fox Program: 243 Islands Foxes were trapped, vaccinated and examined for overall health. To date, the population has reached a total of 2,372 foxes.
•Bison Contraceptive Program: 106 Bison are on Catalina; we act to maintain the size and impact of the herd.
•Eradication of the Invasive American Bullfrog Project: Began studying diet and disease-related impacts and to work to control established populations, received a customized bullfrog management plan for the Island and discovered presence of chytrid fungus in bullfrogs and Tree Fogs on the Island.
•Seabirds: Completed eighth year of Scripps’s Murrelet monitoring on Catalina in conjunction with the California Institute of Environmental Studies (CIES).
•Bat monitoring: Continued bat monitoring efforts, installing permanent, solar-powered acoustic recorders. Discovered two new bat species on the Island for the first time in 20 years.

Plant Programs
•Native Plant Conservation/Restoration Projects: 18,502 native plants were grown and maintained (which is a 280% increase over last year), and annual census and monitoring of Catalina’s endangered plant species in partnership with regional and international conservation agencies continued.
•CHIRP: 9,782 acres were surveyed by our CHIRP invasive plant team. A total of approximately 93,000 plants were controlled within 196 treatment acres (representing over 46 invasive plant species) and 97 of Catalina’s 105 watersheds.

Education
During the 2019-2020 school year, our Education Department made 1,700 interactions with Avalon students, residents and ABCUSD students, equating to over 4,500 hours of contact. Prior to implementation of county and state Safer/Stay at Home orders and the cancelation of in-person classes for the remainder of the school year, we served 85% of grade levels at Avalon School (K-12).

Additionally, we implemented Course Catalina, providing four sessions of the program during the Fall/Spring to Avalon School and the following ABCUSD middle schools: Haskell, Ross, Tetzlaff. 3 sessions of Course Catalina Field School were also provided.

Recreation
In 2019, 12,032 hikers hiked Catalina’s trails, and 65,306 campers camped at our coves/camps (e.g., Cherry Cove, Camp Fox), representing 197,370 camper days. Additionally, 65,916 passengers took interior tours of Catalina’s wildlands, including 9,244 who participated in Naturalist-led Eco Tours.

Financials

Santa Catalina Island Conservancy
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Santa Catalina Island Conservancy

Board of directors
as of 8/19/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Patrick McAlister

President of Harold J. McAlister Foundation

Victoria Seaver Dean

Blanny Avalon Hagenah

Kellie Johnson

Calen Offield

Geoff Rusack

Scott Stuart

Mike Sullivan

Shaun Tucker

Alison Wrigley Rusack

Anthony Michaels

Maria Pellegrini

Trevor Fetter

Roger Chrisman

John Cotton

Hank Hilty

Terry Grill

Will Hagenah