VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, announced today the recipients of the company’s 2012 Environmental Grant Program awards. A total of 48 projects throughout American Water’s service areas in ten states will be supported by grants totaling more than $180,000.
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.
“Every individual and community has the ability to positively impact our environment - and these projects bring us one step closer to help achieve that,” said Debra Vernon, Manager of Corporate Responsibility. “Our state environmental grant program is an important resource that allows communities to help improve, restore and protect our valuable natural resources through partnerships. We are proud of the opportunity to support such worthy projects in communities we serve.”
The 2012 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:
- The Ocean Foundation will receive $5,000 to fund its Ocean Connectors Project to launch their innovative new watershed restoration effort in San Diego. This program’s goal is to inspire 1,000 low-income elementary students to take community action to protect watersheds and the environment. Students will actively work to restore and improve various sites, such as in the Otay River Watershed, a degraded watershed in South San Diego County.
- Monterey County Business Council was awarded $5,000 for its Rainwater Catchment and Graywater Recycling Outreach program. This project will develop and distribute educational materials to more than 15,000 Monterey County residents about rainwater harvesting and graywater recycling to meet individual household water needs as well as to expand the existing directory of local product and service providers as a resource to residents.
Illinois American Water is issuing six grants totaling $25,766 to the following organizations:
- Bradley University in Peoria will receive a $5,000 grant for Phase 2 of the River Action League, which engages community volunteers to collect Illinois River samples for research and watershed improvement. The project incorporates additional testing protocols, data publication and a partnership with the Peoria Riverfront Museum.
- Living Lands and Waters will receive its requested $1,500 grant in full for the Great Mississippi River Clean Up. The goal of the project is to engage volunteers to help with the removal of approximately four tons of debris from the river.
- The City of Peoria’s $6,000 grant for the Peoria Rain Garden and Native Landscaping Program will incorporate a pilot rain garden, native seeds and print materials to educate residents about the importance of rain gardens for storm water management.
- The City of Waterloo will receive its requested $4,120 grant in full for the restoration of a historic freshwater spring located at the site of the Monroe County History Museum. This site is also home to the first Illinois settlement. The project includes debris removal, erosion prevention and the installation of a walking bridge.
- The Morton Arboretum’s grant of $6,075 for the Wetland Restoration Stewardship Program will engage and educate audiences through volunteer workdays. Workday activities include native plantings, removal of invasive plants, trash removal and educational programs.
- The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center will utilize a grant of $3,071 for the Mississippi River Workshops to provide educators with activities, curriculum guide and tools for participating in The Mississippi River XChange (MRX) program. MRX is a platform for high school students along the Mississippi River to share information about their watershed and source water protection.
Indiana American Water is issuing six grants totaling more than $10,000 to the following organizations:
- Wabash Park Department received a grant of $3,266 to complete a 70-foot long vegetated storm water swale located within a parking lot for a new section of pedestrian trail along the Wabash River. The swale will help enhance and preserve water quality by capturing and filtering storm water runofffrom this parking area and adjoining street surfaces that would otherwise end up in the WabashRiver.
- Gary Storm Water Management District’s grant of $3,000will be used for a community-wide, multi-stakeholder stewardship project to improvewater quality through community clean ups, education and outreach, and a rain garden project.The district and its partners will launch a stewardship campaign to increase local residents’participation and involvement in community cleanups and design a watershed management andgreen infrastructure/low-impact development project that will improve water quality inareas basins.
- Motivate Our Minds was awarded a grant of $2,000to help fund construction of an environmental learning center forMotivate Our Minds students and the Whitely community in Muncie. The center will expandexisting learning opportunities by serving as a classroom teaching tool and this grant will helpteaching faculty to incorporate water education into the classroom. The project incorporates a raingarden, pervious concrete parking lot and a sustainable learn & playground component.
- Stage One Family Theatre received $2,000to educate very young citizens of Southern Indiana and the Louisville area about the environment through the inter-disciplinary exploration of drama and science. The Eco Drama program is critical because it reaches students at a young, impressionable age and teaches them to be environmental stewards.
Iowa American Water is issuing three grants totaling more than $7,000 to the following organizations:
- Living Lands and Water will receive its requested $3,500 grant in full for the Great Mississippi River Clean Up. The effort will take place on July 7, 2012 in the Clinton and Camanche areas where about 100 volunteers are expected to remove about 10 tons of debris from the Mississippi River.
- River Action, Inc. will receive a $2,200 grant for its One Watershed Education Series that is aimed at creating a culture of conservation, more voluntary use of best management practices for runoff, and policies that encourage public participation in conservation.
- Keep Scott County Beautiful will receive its requested $1,500 grant in full for the Xstream Cleanup 2012 effort that will be held on August 11, 2012. The effort is a Quad-City wide cleanup of streams, creeks, drainage areas and sections of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers. About 1,500 volunteers are expected to participate.
Kentucky American Water is issuing two grants totaling nearly $20,000 to the following organizations:
- St. John Catholic School - in partnership with Georgetown College, Sheltowee Environmental Education Coalition, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute and Elkhorn Crossing High School will receive a $10,000 grant toward its efforts to improve the water quality in the North Elkhorn Creek watershed through a wetland restoration project in Scott County and the creation of an outdoor classroom at the site. The classroom will be used for student instruction as well as training for educators.
- The City of Winchester - in partnership with Strodes Creek Conservancy, St. Agatha Elementary School, Bluegrass PRIDE and Sekisui, Inc. – will receive a grant in the amount of $9,789 toward a four-acre wetland construction project along Town Branch in Winchester. The project will help remove pathogens, metals, sediment and nutrients from storm water as it overflows into the wetlands during storm events. The restored wetland area will be used for environmental education and research by neighboring universities and area schools.
Missouri American Water is issuing six grants totaling nearly $23,000 to the following organizations:
- Chariton County Community Foundation is being awarded$5,000for installation of eight rain gardens in the downtown Brunswick courtyard project to prevent run-off into the Grand River.
- Missouri Rural Water Association’s grant of $4,680 will assist in the creation of drug drop-off points throughout the state with funds focused primarily on education and publicity materials for 21 events.
- Mexico Parks and Recreation received $3,800 for construction of a run-off detention rain garden as part of a joint project between the YMCAS and the City of Mexico.
- St. Joseph Youth Alliance received a grant of $2,000 for development of a multi-faceted plan to improve and promote water quality in the Otoe Creek watershed.
- Keysor School’s $3,000 grant will be used for the construction of rain gardens in an outdoor learning center for the purpose of watershed protection.
- The Alliance of Southwest Missouri received a $4,500 grant for the purchase of a cyclonic incinerator to be used for prescription drug take-back events.
New Jersey American Water is issuing five grants totaling nearly $37,000 to the following organizations:
- Barack Obama Green Charter High School is being awarded$5,837to sample the water, hold a cleanup, and use as design support of the headwaters of the Robinson's branch of the Rahway River. They will also be building a nature trail.
- Belvidere Environmental Commission’s grant of$1,140will assist to mark areas prone to storm water flows, as well as begin a wetland transition project.
- Stratford Shade Tree Commission received$10,000 towards its 2012 Shade Tree Restoration Project.
- Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association will utilize a grant of $10,000 to runa community-based project to better manage the area storm water which will both protect and enhance Harry’s Brook.
- The City of Summit received $10,000 for a cleanup of the Martin’s Brook Watershed, and to create a groundwater education program.
Pennsylvania American Water is issuing eight grants totaling approximately $35,600 to the following organizations:
- Pennsylvania Environmental Council will utilize its grant to undertake an invasive species removal, riparian buffer planting and educational program involving Pennsylvania American Water’s property along the Huntsville Creek. The project will improve the creek’s water quality and educate volunteers about healthy riparian buffers.
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Resource Conservation and Development Council’s grant will support volunteers working on environmental restoration and beautification projects throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. The grant will help provide tools, power equipment, safety gear and related supplies for the council’s mobile shed known as the Conservation Planting Trailer.
- Derry Township Environmental Action Committee will use its funding to host a Water Protection Workshop to educate residents and businesses on storm water runoff and source water protection. The funding will also provide rain barrels to participants of the workshop, which will also serve as a model for future community partnerships on watershed protection.
- Carnegie Borough Shade Tree Commission received a grant to support the commissions’ plans to plant a sunflower rain garden, which will educate residents on the use of rain gardens to alleviate runoff during rain events. A community mural and video documentary will commemorate the project and provide additional educational material on the project.
- Timmy’s Town Center’s grant will be used to develop an educational program entitled “Wet Paint” to educate children about watershed protection and resources. Additionally, the program will include decorating four benches to be placed along the Lackawanna River to encourage children to visit the river and foster environmental stewardship.
- Butler County Department of Community Corrections will utilize its granttoprovide materials necessary for watershed cleanups along lakes, streams and reservoirs in the county. The project will collect, transport and dispose of litter from the waterways, as well as recycle the collected waste materials, whenever possible.
- East Pennsboro Township’s plan to improve the quality of the waterways impacted by the community's storm sewer system and resulting storm water runoff, will use its grant to fund the purchase storm sewer curb markers for raising public awareness that storm water content drains into local water sources. The project will engage volunteers from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other community organizations.
- Paddle Without Pollution’s grant willallow the group to engage volunteers in a watershed cleanup project throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Kayakers and canoeists will take to the waterways to rid the shorelines of debris during their journey.
Tennessee American Water is issuing six grants totaling $8,500 to the following organizations:
- Howard School of Academics & Technology received $2,500 for water quality monitoring and clean-up activities of Chattanooga Creek. The project will include all science teachers at the high school and 300 students in chemistry and environmental science classes, as well as students from Calvin Donaldson Elementary School.
- Lookout Mountain Conservancy was awarded $2,500 to work with local volunteers and students from Howard School of Academics & Technology and Calvin Donaldson Elementary School to plant trees and remove trash along Chattanooga Creek watershed.
- Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance’s grant of $1,500 will be used to collaborate with Red Bank Elementary School to construct and install a rain garden on the school’s campus with monitoring of water quality.
- Urban Century Institute received $500 for educational outreach for promotion to restore an area along South Chickamauga Creek in the Brainerd area.
- Tennessee Aquarium will use its $1,000 towards Conservation “Leadership in Action” Week, a week-long summer camp for local high school students that will feature educational sessions with a local habitat restoration project.
- Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences received $500 to enhance awareness among local students through monitoring of streams on Walden’s Ridge.
West Virginia American Water is issuing four grants totaling $5,000 to the following organizations:
- Coal River Paddle to Tire project will remove approximately 4,000 tires from the Big Coal and Little Coal rivers in four river cleanups. These cleanups, in partnership with the West Virginia DEP, will introduce youth to stream ecology and sustainability.
- Morris Creek Watershed Water Monitoring Enhancement Project will utilize their grant to address the need for a sustainable water monitoring and data collection program as well as educational outreach.
- Paint Creek Tributary Stream Improvement Project’s grant will improve the water quality of Tenmile Fork – a tributary of Paint Creek. The stream, which is high in aluminum and magnesium, will be treated with limestone to achieve significant reductions in heavy metals.
- Wolf Creek Stream Restoration Project, led byThe Plateau Action Network, will use their grant to restore the headwater tributary of Wolf Creek, which flows into the New River. The project will involve restoring 600 feet of stream and will reduce the frequency of flooding, improve drainage and restore stream habitat.
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 approximately 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.