ANNOUNCEMENT | The Tula Foundation receives $92 Million Donation to Supercharge Coastal Science

publication date: Mar 20, 2024

Last week, The Tula Foundation founders Eric Peterson and Christina Munck 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 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.”

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.

Want to get involved? Learn more about this BC-based organization that has been quietly spearheading research and innovation for over two decades by subscribing to its free newsletter, the Tula Quarterly!

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