VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced today the recipients of the company’s 2011 Environmental Grant Program awards. A total of 35 projects throughout American Water’s service areas in eight states will be supported by grants totaling more than $155,600.
Established in 2005, American Water’s Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the communities it serves.
'Water resources are unique to each community, as are the local groups of concerned citizens that seek to restore and protect them. Our state environmental grant programs have become an important resource for organizations seeking funding for projects that support stewardship of water resources in their local communities, and we value the opportunity to engage with and support them,' said Debra Vernon, Manager of Corporate Responsibility.
The 2011 grant recipients, which are located throughout American Water’s service areas, include the following:
California American Water is issuing two grants totaling $10,000 to the following organizations:
- KVIE Public Television is being awarded $5,000 to fund its 60-minute television program “Debating the Delta” that will educate regional viewers on the choices we face in saving the state’s water supply. This program will examine the region’s water issues and their impact on California’s future, presenting a wider range of informed opinions so Californians can gain a deeper understanding of the critical Delta issues.
- The Energy Coalition, located within the company’s San Diego service district, is receiving $5,000 for its “Hydrating San Diegans” program. The grant will be used to bring their award-winning environmental education program to various schools throughout San Diego. The program seeks to raise awareness about the critical need to conserve both water and energy, and will help reduce the student’s domestic water and energy use, with the goal of lowering their family’s water and electric bills by 5 to 10 percent.
Illinois American Water is issuing seven grants totaling $28,427 to the following organizations:
- Spring Lake Nature Park will receive their requested grant amount of $1,427 in full for the West Trail Bridge Project. This project will provide a pedestrian bridge over Egg Bagg Creek and will reduce stream bank erosion of the creek.
- Lisle Park District will receive a grant of $4,500 for the Woodglenn Park Renovation and Wetland Detention Interpretation Project. This project will incorporate environmental and educational signage and activities at the park’s already established wetland area. By using the available landscape, the Lisle Park District will increase awareness in regards to a wetland’s far-reaching benefits.
- Bradley University’s grant of $5,500 will be used to create the River Action League. The River Action League will mobilize citizens for watershed health by providing sample collection kits and training volunteers to collect samples from the Illinois River. The samples will be analyzed for the determination of water resource needs locally.
- St. Clair County Health Department’s will receive their requested grant amount of $2,000 in full for the Water Resource Management and Sustainable Development Project. This project will strive to develop an environmentally sustainable community which includes the expansion of the ground water protection program by providing educational presentations to employees, residents and students.
- McHenry County Government Water Resources Division will receive a grant of $6,200 for their Rain Garden and Xeriscaping Educational Project. The project will educate residents and landscapers in McHenry County on the benefits of native landscaping through the use of model gardens. Educational materials will also be created and provided through this project.
- Tazewell County Health Department was awarded a $3,800 grant for the Winter Snow and Ice Conference. This event will address the need for increasing awareness in the community on the rise in chlorides in ground water and educate the region’s snow and ice operators on more sustainable application techniques of road salt.
- Great Rivers Land Trust will utilize a grant of $5,000 to construct a filter pond on the grounds of The Nature Institute in Godfrey, Illinois. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a two tiered filtration system to prevent sediment and impurities form reaching our streams and rivers.
Kentucky American Water is issuing three grants totaling $20,000 to the following organizations:
- The Friends of McConnell Springs received a $ 2,730 grant to fund a watershed and water quality resource education program for participants ranging from school-aged children to adults. The program will provide real-life, hands-on experience for participants so that they can learn more about watersheds and how to protect them.
- The Living Arts and Science Center received a $6,890 grant for the East End Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Project. The project will assist neighborhood residents with learning about and installing 30 rain gardens and 30 rain barrels in the Martin Luther King and William Wells Brown neighborhoods. The project will help raise awareness about watershed protection and water conservation, help residents reduce the amount of contaminated runoff and assist them in a special photography exhibit to document their rain gardens.
- The North Limestone Neighborhood Association received a $9,970 grant for the North Limestone Community Garden.. The garden will produce a healthy food source for North Limestone community residents and improve the environmental quality of the Cane Run Watershed by addressing a storm water flooding issue on the proposed garden site.
Pennsylvania American Water issued seven grants totaling approximately $35,000 to the following organizations:
- Pittsburgh Botanic Garden will use the funding to clean up a 40-acre site in the Chartiers Creek watershed in Collier Township by removing debris and invasive species and by planting trees, shrubs and other native plants to restore the habitat and foster animal/plant biodiversity. The project also includes restoring aquatic native species to help with the bioremediation of acid mine drainage in wetlands areas, which will enhance water quality in Pinkerton Run.
- Marywood University will develop and facilitate an instructional workshop this summer for middle and high school teachers in northeast Pennsylvania. The “Watershed Workshop” will consist of classroom instruction, laboratory exercises, video programs, field work and peer teaching in the Lackawanna River watershed to improve the educators’ understanding about the ecology and value of natural watersheds.
- Brandywine Valley Association plans to develop an environmental education program for students (ages 5-12) at BVA’s Saalbach Farm to serve East Fallowfield, Valley and Caln townships among other communities in the Coatesville Area School District. The hands-on educational activities will focus on the importance of watershed protection, including wetland and stream studies, examination of the water cycle, ecosystems and exploration of the area’s rich natural resources.
- Dauphin County Conservation District will support the restoration of approximately 4,400 feet of riparian buffer to increase stream bed protection and enhance water quality along a tributary of the Swatara Creek in Derry Township. The project also entails developing an outside classroom and additional educational resources to benefit the community and local school groups for years to come.
- Clarks Summit Shade Tree Commission will use the grant to positively impact the community’s water resources and watershed by reforesting the junction of Summit Lake Creek and Leggett’s Creek. In addition to planting trees and shrubs, the group plans to conduct stream bed cleanup to prevent flash-flooding a along Summit Lane Creek, as well as host an educational forum with other project partners, including the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry, Penn State Cooperative Extension’s Urban Forestry, and Clarks Summit Borough officials.
- Buffalo Creek Watershed Association will support the organization’s efforts to enhance its water-monitoring program for selected streams within the Buffalo Creek Watershed to promote early identification of adverse water quality trends and deviations. To improve the program’s ongoing surveillance and sampling practices, the group will purchase and install permanent in-stream data loggers to continuously generate real-time, reliable data, which will download into an automated software system.
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Resource Conservation and Development Council will establish a rainwater harvesting system at the Spring-Ford Intermediate School in Royersford to provide students with hands-on environmental lessons in water conservation. The proposed system will capture rainwater to operate the schoolyard pond and stream, as well as irrigate the plants in the school’s garden. The project will also serve as a focal point for fifth- and sixth-grade lessons on watersheds, wetlands, sustainability, conservation and water management.
Iowa American Water is issuing four grants totaling $6,200 to the following organizations:
- Eastern Iowa Community College District intends to use the $2,000 grant to make a high definition film about the importance of wetlands, their role in protecting and enhancing water quality, and the history and restoration of Nahant Marsh. The film will be shown on WQPT-TV and DVD copies will be distributed to local educations to be used as a classroom teaching tool for teaching about water quality issues. Goal is to real 100,000 WQPT viewers as well as 6,000 area students.
- City of Davenport Public Works received $1,700 to provide resources (workshops, kits and a tour) to landscape contractors in order to decrease the negative impact and increase the positive impact they have on local waterways and water quality.
- Living Lands & Waters and approximately 1000-1500 volunteers between St. Paul MN and St. Louis MO will use the $1,500 to clean up an estimated 75 tons of debris from the Upper Mississippi River as part of the 2nd Annual Great Mississippi River Clean Up. This will occur through a series of four regional events with a Clinton, Iowa Cleanup taking place July 9, 2011.
- River Action, Inc. received $1,000 to improve 16,000 acres of conservation for habitat, outdoor recreation and public education, market it to the general public, and through a unique partnership, ensure sustainability.
Indiana American Water is issuing two grants totaling $10,040 to the following organizations:
- Clark County Soil & Water Conservation District received $5,000 to heighten community awareness of water quality concerns in the Silver Creek watershed through educational opportunities and visual and printed resources. Reading Rain Gardens will be established at a number of schools, libraries and other public places within the watershed. Instructional materials, including books, brochures and brochures will be used to educate the public on various water quality issues and to encourage them to create and report their own rain gardens at a special Web site.
- Kosciusko Lakes and Streams received $5,040 to incorporate water conservation education into existing programming and events already in place in Kosciusko County. Kosciusko Lakes and Streams (KLAS) is a community water quality program centered at Grace College which is focused on its mission of protecting and enhancing local water quality by fostering grassroots ownership among the general population. KLAS will use the grant funding to expand its existing field days for a K-12 education program and to incorporate hands-on interactive water conservation activities into the annual Northern Indiana Lakes Festival.
New Jersey American Water is issuing six grants totaling $30,000 to the following organizations:
- The Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore will expand water education programs in Monmouth and Ocean Counties to provide information on nutrient pollution and to teach girls and their families how to reduce such pollution.
- Sustainable Haddon Heights will educate the public on the importance of source water protection and encourage home owners to create rain gardens to reduce storm water runoff.
- The Maplewood Garden Club will use the grant to establish “The Hilton Branch Library Rain Garden,” which will protect the water table from rain runoff and serve as a model for use on private property by residents.
- Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge will transform a parking lot into a wetland meadow and to create water conservation projects with students from Taunton Forge Elementary School.
- Mount Holly Environmental Advisory Committee will create two rain gardens to improve the water quality of rain runoff from a parking lot into a nearby creek.
- Kiva High School students will create a rain garden and wildlife habitat along with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County.
Missouri American Water is issuing four grants totaling $16,000 to the following organizations:
- Missouri Western State University received $5,000 for efforts to cleanup of the Otoe Creek Watershed.
- Missouri River Relief received $3,000 for the week-long “Big Muddy Clean Sweep” effort to clean-up the Missouri River in Jefferson City.
- Johnson County received $5,000 for a county-wide household hazardous waste clean-up that has collected an average of 25 tons of hazardous waste in the past 11 years.
- The Open Space Council received $3,000 for development of a Lower Meramec River Trail Guide to be distributed to residents and also those using the river for recreation.
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
In 2011, American Water is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a yearlong campaign to promote water efficiency and the importance of protecting water from source to tap. To learn more, visit www.amwater125.com.