The Nature Conservancy of Texas Annual Luncheon Featuring The Photo Ark: A World Worth Saving

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark

A federally threatened koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, with her babies at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital as seen in the National Geographic Photo Ark

AUSTIN, TX  --  The Nature Conservancy of Texas’ annual Austin luncheon will be held on Tuesday, March 20, from 11:30 – 1:00 pm CST, at the JW Marriot. The event, The Photo Ark: A World Worth Saving, will feature speaker National Geographic photographer and avid conservationist, Joel Sartore, as he takes the audience into his ambitious National Geographic Photo Ark project that was started 11 years ago in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska.

 “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity,” says Sartore. “When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”

Since beginning this project, he’s visited more than 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, Sartore has captured more than 7,500 images of wildlife, putting him over half way to reaching his goal of documenting 12,000 unique species.  

“Sartore’s commitment to saving species is a fascinating tale that relates closely to The Nature Conservancy’s work here on the ground in Texas,” said Texas State Director for The Nature Conservancy, Laura Huffman. “This includes protecting at-risk species—we’re restoring grasslands to preserve and improve monarch butterfly habitat, acquiring land to conserve one of the last remaining wintering grounds for the endangered whooping crane and protecting vital wildlife corridors for ocelots in South Texas. Like Sartore, the Conservancy is dedicated to connecting people and nature throughout the Lone Star State.”

The event will also highlight the Conservancy’s most recent efforts to protect Texas’ iconic lands and waters. Since its founding in 1964, The Nature Conservancy in Texas has established 38 nature preserves and conservation properties, more than 130 easements and has helped expand more than a dozen state and federal parks. In total, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 900,000 acres in Texas.”

Individual tickets are $150 and include lunch with all ticket proceeds going to The Nature Conservancy of Texas. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Brittany Benz at or 512-623-7251.

About The Nature Conservancy of Texas:

The Conversancy maintains 38 ecologically important preserves and conservation projects statewide and, with partners, has conserved nearly 1 million acres of land and water in Texas. The organization has also led significant marine habitat restoration efforts along the Gulf of Mexico that benefit terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and help protect Texas communities from hurricanes and tropical storms. In addition to a dozen initiatives benefiting Texas rivers and streams, the Conservancy also works with private landowners and municipalities, such as the cities of San Antonio, Austin and San Marcos, to protect critical freshwater resources like the Edwards and Trinity aquifers. Over the past 45 years, the Conservancy has worked with state and federal agencies to create and expand beloved public areas, including Enchanted Rock State Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. For more information on the event, visit:

About Joel Sartore:

Joel Sartore is an award-winning photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic fellow, and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. Joel specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes around the world. He is the founder of the Photo Ark, a 25-year documentary project to save species and habitat. For more information, visit


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