Press Release

Morrison Institute Poll Reveals Hoosiers Want Immediate Action on the Environment

Voters rank environment among top three priorities for governor and legislature

INDIANAPOLIS – (Oct. 8, 2020) The Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust released findings from a poll that shows Hoosiers think Indiana’s environmental issues are serious and they want state leaders and policy makers to take immediate action on climate change, water and air quality and wildlife protection.

The poll, conducted in early 2020, is an update to a similar poll the Trust commissioned Morrison Institute to administer in 2017 to gain an understanding of Indiana voters’ opinions and perceptions about environmental topics.

Some of the key findings in the 2020 poll include:

  • Hoosiers rank the environment among their top three priorities for the governor and legislature to address, with improving the public education system top priority and making health care more accessible and affordable the second. Environment tied with jobs for third priority.
  • 78% of respondents said protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of slowing economic growth.
  • Indiana voters believe that more should be done to combat climate change: 72% agree or strongly agree the federal government needs to do more and 70% agree or strongly agree state government should do more.
  • 80% feel environmental issues in the state, such as water and air quality, land and water use and wildlife protections, are serious or very serious and need to be addressed immediately.
  • 63% of Hoosiers believe the White River is polluted and needs to be cleaned up.

“It is evident Hoosiers have growing concerns about the environment and want elected leaders to act,” said Trustee Kent E. Agness. “As advocates for an informed and engaged public, we hope Hoosiers will initiate focused conversations about their environmental priorities with policy makers and within their communities.”

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established in 1997 to support the causes about which Nina Mason Pulliam, an Indiana newspaperwoman and humanitarian, cared deeply; one of those was nature. In recent years, the Trust refined its focus on the environment and in early 2020, announced a nearly $10.5 million, five-year environmental roadmap for Indiana to protect and restore the White River and its watershed, and increase awareness of environmental issues. The roadmap brings the Trust’s total investment in Indiana’s environment to $30.3 million.

“In addition to investing in nonprofit organizations and initiatives dedicated to protecting nature, we are also focused on raising awareness and understanding about environmental issues,” said Trust President and CEO Gene D’Adamo. “The words of Baba Dioum, a Senegalese forester, resonate, ‘In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.’

“We are encouraged to see Hoosiers expressing not only concern about the environment, but a desire to act,” continued D’Adamo. “We hope state and local leaders, businesses, conservationists and citizens will come together on behalf of nature in Indiana.”

For both the 2017 and 2020 surveys, the Morrison Institute polled a representative sample of 800 registered voters. The sample was designed to match the political and demographic characteristics of Indiana according to the most recent voter data. The polls have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

To read the full survey report, visit

About the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life, primarily in Phoenix and Indianapolis. The Trust has awarded more than $334 million in grants and student scholarships since its inception in 1997. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Teri Walker
Manager of Communications and External Relations
Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
AZ: 480-887-0083 | IN: 317-231-9207