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America's Wetland Foundation

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Americaswetland.jpg

America's Wetland Foundation (AWF) has been called a front group created in 2002 by Shell, and funded by the American Petroleum Institute, BP and a host of other oil industry companies.[1] The group has been described by the Huffington Post as the "oil industry using a perfectly-named front group to solicit taxpayer assistance for BP's cleanup bill" for coastal damage resulting from the Deepwater Horizon spill, although the organization disputes that characterization[2]

Oil Industry Funding

AWF accepts funding from Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Citgo, British Gas, Spectra, Hornbeck, the American Petroleum Institute, Marathon Oil, Entergy and BP, which AWF claims are "for purely scientific or ecological functions." [3] [4] AWF says that no oil industry representatives sit on its board. [5] [6]

Sandra Bullock Withdraws From Campaign Over Greenwashing Allegations

The Foundation came to prominence in 2010 when actress Sandra Bullock withdrew from the Restore the Gulf campaign after America's Wetland's oil industry ties were revealed. [7] The campaign, run by Women of the Storm and sponsored by America’s Wetland Foundation, called for Congress to fund the cleanup of the Gulf coast after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill -- rather than BP.

Federal Funds for Gulf Coast Cleanup

America’s Wetland has claimed that “At no time has the AWF asked that taxpayers foot the bill” for the cleanup and instead only wants a “Federal commitment to environmental restoration.” [5] However, as author Rowan Jacobsen notes in his book “Shadows on the Gulf,” “’a Federal commitment to environmental restoration’ sure makes it sound like the money is coming from the taxpayer.” [8]

Cooperating organizations

A few of the many include:[9]

Use of Marmillion & Company PR firm

Marmillion did PR work for America's Wetland Foundation and has a case study on their website. The PR firm said that it "created outreach events and opportunities, while utilizing comprehensive print and electronic media strategies. In order to support the dissemination of the campaign's messages and materials to key audiences, a strong network of cooperating organizations was developed, an educational infrastructure for children and adults was built, and private campaign funding was secured."

The results according to the Marmillion PR website:

  • Since 2002 earned media placements that have reached billions through the world, through coverage of the issue and the campaign by Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NOW with Bill Moyers, Boston Globe, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Newsday, Seattle Times, Houston Chronicle, and many others
  • Over 3.5 million hits a year on campaign website americaswetland.com
  • Establishment of the America's WETLAND Conservation Corps an AmeriCorps program
  • Won more than 40 awards for campaign partnership, print, broadcast, and electronic advertising
  • Cooperating Organization network of close to 150 organizations representing varied interests like the The National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the National Audubon Society

Services provided:

  • Ad development/placement
  • Coalition building
  • Design and branding
  • Focus groups and surveys
  • Grassroots organizing
  • Media relations
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Publications/Newsletters[10]

Staff

Contact details

365 Canal Place, Suite 1475
New Orleans, LA 70130
Email: americaswetland AT mcopr.com
Web: http://www.americaswetland.com

Their website also contains contact info for their PR firm Marmillion & Company.

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. ClimateProgress.org EXCLUSIVE: Sandra Bullock disowns BP-backed greenwashing campaign July 29, 2010
  2. Sam Stein, Gulf Coast Restoration Group With Oil Industry Ties Defends Itself from Critics, Huffington Post, July 29, 2010
  3. Brad Johnson Sandra Bullock Disowns BP-Backed Greenwashing Campaign, ThinkProgress.org, July 29, 2010
  4. America's Wetland Foundation Sponsors, Organizational web site, accessed August 3, 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 America's Wetland Foundation, July 30, 2010 [http://www.americaswetland.com/files/073010-AWF-FactCheckVM2.pdf A Convenient Truth Response to Blog and News Entry about the America’s WETLAND Foundation The Huffington Post], July 30, 2010.
  6. America's Wetland Foundation "Who We Are", accessed August 11, 2014.
  7. Brad Johnson Sandra Bullock Disowns BP-Backed Greenwashing Campaign, ThinkProgress.org, July 29, 2010
  8. Rowan Jacobsen, Shadows on the Gulf: A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Apr. 2011.
  9. Cooperating organizations, America's Wetland Foundation, accessed October 2010.
  10. Case Study: America's WETLAND, Marmillion & Company, accessed October 2010.

External articles

  • Melissa Landry, America's WETLAND Foundation and Ashley Berthelot, LSU Media Relations, [1] "America's Wetland Foundation Announces $300,000 Donation to Forever LSU to Establish New Coastal Sustainability Studio", LSU News, July 14, 2009.
  • Darwin Bond-Graham, "Women of the Spill - and the Oil Men Who Love Them", Truthout, August 10, 2010.