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The Tula Foundation receives $92 million donation to

VICTORIA, British Columbia, March 13, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, The Tula Foundation founders Eric Peterson and Christina Munck have announced that they have made a final donation of approximately $92 million to the organization, which since 2001 has harnessed science and technology to tackle urgent issues in the public interest. The funds will help Tula continue catalyzing scientific-based innovation while beginning its transition to independent sustainability.

Tula has also announced that it is transferring two of the three land parcels it has been stewarding on Calvert Island—which total 55 acres, and include the majestic North Beach frontage—to the BC Parks Foundation. The land will ultimately be incorporated into the Hakai Lúxvbálís Conservancy, which is collaboratively managed by the provincial government and the Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv First Nations.

These dual donations are legacy gifts from Eric Peterson and Christina Munck designed to sustain both conservation in British Columbia and catalyze scientific innovation across borders for generations to come.

When explaining the significance of the land donation, Eric Peterson, Co-founder and Director of Tula, said: “Calvert Island, halfway to Alaska, is the most iconic place on British Columbia’s coast. It has acres of breathtaking beaches and incredible biodiversity, but it is also a sacred place for many First Nations with an intricate history. We have never viewed ourselves as the ‘owners’ of this land. We have always tried to do justice to this place, to continue to serve the interests of the public, and to leave it better than we found it. We are turning to our partners to carry this legacy forward.”

Calvert Island is rich with both historical and ecological significance. The region has had extensive human settlement for at least 13,000 years and is a historic gathering place for many coastal First Nations. It has never been commercially logged and its extensive and varied nearshore marine habitats make it one of the most biodiverse sites on the Pacific Coast of North America. It is home to many impressive terrestrial species, including coastal wolves and sandhill cranes.

“We are tremendously grateful for our ongoing partnership with the Tula Foundation and for Eric and Christina’s steadfast commitment to making our world a better place,” said Dr. Andy Day, Chief Executive Officer of BC Parks Foundation. “We are honoured to accept their generous donation of these beautiful and ecologically significant lands, and will work with our partners to steward and protect them, forever.”

Tula’s journey toward independent sustainability will be marked with another milestone: expanding into the iconic and historic Customs House at 1002 Wharf Street in Victoria. The new space at the Customs House will boost Tula’s capacity to serve as a physical venue for coastal science, meetings, events and collaboration.

Nancy Turner, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, has seen the ripple effect of Tula firsthand over the two decades since it was founded. “The financial support Eric and Christina have provided for so many of us has been amazing and almost unfathomable, but it has been the spirit they have brought with them to the coast that is both heart-warming and stunning. As a botanist, I immediately took to the idea of planting seeds, and realized what a perfect metaphor it was, both for the original seeds they planted in establishing the Foundation and the Hakai Institute, and for the new seeds they are now nurturing. The world is a better place, and our understanding of it has improved markedly because of their foresight, generosity and brilliance.”

“Collaboration is integral to Tula and to accelerating the research and solutions we need to tackle pressing issues. We don’t need talk, we need action, and we are grateful to our partners for taking that action for people and our planet,” said Eric Peterson, co-founder and director of Tula.

Do you want to get involved? Learn more about Tula’s work and stay in touch by subscribing to its free newsletter, the Tula Quarterly!

About:

The Tula Foundation
The Tula Foundation is a British Columbia-based organization that harnesses science and technology to tackle urgent global issues. Tula takes a comprehensive approach to these challenges, from coastal biodiversity and public health to data management and mobilization. Founded in 2001 by Eric Peterson and Christina Munck, Tula has expanded to encompass five divisions: the Hakai Institute, Hakai Media, the Ocean Decade Collaborative Center, the Quadra Centre, and TulaSalud. Along with rural healthcare in Guatemala, Tula’s work drives pivotal action for coastal conservation and ocean research in British Columbia and beyond. Since its launch, Tula has continued to expand its impact, achieving global recognition as an organization driving solutions for critical issues in the public interest. Learn more here: www.tula.org.

Connect with us on LinkedIn: Tula Foundation

Hakai Institute
The Hakai Institute, part of the Tula Foundation, is a British Columbia-based scientific institution dedicated to advancing science on the coastal margin. Hakai pursues its mission from ice fields to oceans, leveraging its ecological observatories and other strategic locations on the province’s coast. Launched in 2002, it has grown from its first ecological observatory on Calvert Island to encompass offices and facilities in Quadra Island, Campbell River, Victoria, and Vancouver. The Hakai Institute partners with universities, NGOs, First Nations, government agencies, businesses, and local communities to move the needle on advancing long-term coastal research. Learn more here: www.hakai.org

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The Tula Foundation receives $92 million donation to