The Community Foundation's

After decades of working to improve the water quality of the Indian River Lagoon, two friends, Bud Jordan and Tom Buhr, were driven to fund research, education and, ultimately, action to address this urgent issue.


A Stuart resident since 1971, Bud was one of the founders of the Rivers Coalition in 1991. The group’s mission is to stop discharges into the St. Lucie River from Lake Okeechobee and to fight for a safe, healthy and ecologically balanced St. Lucie River Estuary and Indian River Lagoon, and the natural resources that are vital to the economy and quality of life of Martin County and the Treasure Coast.

Bud told Stuart magazine in 2019, “The intent was to identify the problem and proceed to clean up the waterway. We naively thought it would be easy to do.”


Michigan native and long-time conservationist, Tom Buhr, moved to Florida as a child and undertook his first conservation campaign in 1994. His efforts lead to a constitutional amendment banning 500-foot gill nets. Bud enlisted him as a partner to launch the Environmental Action Fund at The Community Foundation.

Both men have invested considerable time and, as Tom says, “blood, sweat and tears” to stop the destruction of the Indian River Lagoon estuary. Their goal for the fund is to support research that provides actionable data and projects that ensure ongoing education for residents and generations of Floridians about their role in affecting real change.

The Environmental Action Fund has awarded grants to a variety of projects including, ORCA (Ocean Research Conversation Association) for their extensive pollution mapping research, The Everglades Foundation for their Literacy Programs, Loxa-Lucie Headwaters Initiative for land conservation and a Smithsonian water quality education event in Fort Pierce.

As the efforts funded today come to fruition and water quality improves over time, the fund will turn its focus to work that furthers the protection and preservation of our waterways and the environment into the future.

The Fund is open to receiving contributions large and small. Individuals, families and businesses may contribute to the Fund. All contributions receive a charitable tax receipt. Only qualified non-profits and projects will be funded.

Click on one of the following to learn how to support the TCFMSL Environmental Action Fund

Questions, please call 772.288.3795 or email Elizabeth Barbella at [email protected].