The Nature Conservancy is a US charitable environmental organization that works to preserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Indiana Dunes of Northwest Indiana played a role in the formation of the Nature Conservancy. Volo Bog in northern Illinois was the first purchase of the Illinois Nature Conservancy thanks to the fundraising efforts of Cyrus Mark, the first president of the Illinois Nature Conservancy. Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy works in more than 30 countries, including all 50 states of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. The Nature Conservancy also operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.