VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- American Water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, has announced a partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in support of the organization’s national internship program. American Water will partner on a series of internships that address issues of water conservation, quality or advocacy across the company’s service areas. The program is part of American Water’s ongoing commitment to consumer education and environmental stewardship, and is among a series of initiatives that American Water is undertaking during its 125th Anniversary year in 2011, each designed to highlight the importance of protecting water from source to tap. The SCA partnership program is being announced in conjunction with the start of “National Drinking Water Week,” May 1- May 7, an annual observance sponsored by the American Water Works Association.
Jeff Sterba, President and CEO of American Water, commented, “We’re honored to partner with the Student Conservation Association, an organization that has been training and inspiring students in the field of environmental stewardship for more than 50 years. The SCA’s mission closely matches our own commitment, now in its 125th year, to sustainable water supply, treatment and protection across our service areas. I can think of no better way to launch this partnership than in conjunction with National Drinking Water Week.”
“American Water shares SCA's commitment to protecting our environment and supporting emerging conservation leaders,” states SCA President and CEO Dale Penny. “With this partnership, SCA will engage more young people and ensure the next generation of conservation leaders will be representative of the great diversity of America.”
The Student Conservation Association is the largest youth conservation service program in the United States. Since 1957, the SCA’s mission has been to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and local communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land, through programs embodying team work, community service, and volunteerism.
Internship programs for which American Water is partnering with the Student Conservation Association and additional stakeholders, such as the EPA and local non-profit organizations, include:
California - StepUp2Green, Water Conservation Intern
A collaborative effort in Monterey County, Calif. that provides homeowners with information, guidance and incentives to implement upgrades to their home and property that will save water and energy and improve air quality.
California - Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Water Quality Intern
The program will focus on monitoring environmental conditions in natural and restored coastal wetlands in San Diego County. The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve preserves, protects, and manages the natural and cultural resources of the Tijuana River Estuary by focusing on research and education with compatible recreation and resource use.
Illinois - Friends of the Forest Preserves, Water Conservation Intern
The forest preserves are unique to Chicago and protect over 11 percent of the county’s open green space. The program will advocate through community organizing and education for the adoption of a Stormwater Management Policy for the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
Indiana - Indiana Dunes, Water Quality Intern
Located on the Lake Michigan shore, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore contains dunes, beaches, bogs, marshes, prairie remnants, oak savanna, woodland forest and historic buildings. The program will include sample collection and water quality monitoring/database management.
Kentucky - Daniel Boone National Forest, Water Quality Intern
The Red River Gorge is a portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest and is located in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. This 42,000-acre gorge contains towering cliffs, dense hardwood forests, and the Red Wild and Scenic River. The program will conduct assessments of water quality and habitat by monitoring fish populations, aquatic insects, and water chemistry.
Missouri - Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center, Water Conservation Intern
The Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center is located in the diverse setting of Wildcat Park, consisting of 160 acres of natural area. It also provides 85 percent of the public water supply for the residents of Joplin, Missouri. The program will conduct invasive plant monitoring and removal in the riparian corridor, and will monitor water quality in Shoal and Silver Creek.
New Jersey - New Jersey Highlands Coalition, Water Quality Advocacy Intern
A network of organizations with the goal of protecting, enhancing and restoring the New Jersey Highlands and preserving the quality and quantity of drinking water for the 850,000 people in the Highlands as well as the more than four million people in Northern and Central New Jersey who depend on Highlands water. The program will seek to increase public support for water protection efforts in the Highlands.
Pennsylvania - The Outdoor Classroom, Water Conservation/Environmental Education Intern
The Outdoor Classroom is an educational facility nestled within 475 acres of Boyce-Mayview Park, just 12 miles south of downtown Pittsburgh. The program utilizes wetlands, fields, streams, and other resources as the foundation of structured educational initiatives for all grade levels, and for environmental and water conservation camps during the summer.
Tennessee - Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Environmental Education Intern
Moccasin Bend National Archeological District (MOBE), with its approximately 755 acres, is a valuable landmark and repository of over 12,000 years of American identity. Its stories include those of the native peoples who used the rich, natural resources of the region to feed, clothe, shelter, and protect themselves. The program will research and develop information relevant to the transportation and trade route uses of the Tennessee River in connection with Moccasin Bend and may include the research and rehabilitation of indigenous cane breaks along the river bank.
West Virginia - Department of Environmental Protection, Water Conservation Intern
The program will work with researchers to evaluate the health of four local West Virginia bodies of water and will help educate students at local K-12 schools on home and school water conservation.
American Water will also establish employee volunteer events in partnership with each of these internship programs during the course of the summer. In addition, American Water will partner with the SCA’s urban-based community conservation program. This green jobs readiness program gives youth a foundation of knowledge in environmental issues; introduces them to green career pathways; and facilitates the development of pre-vocational skills. American Water will host participants in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Seattle, Wash., where they will visit treatment and operations facilities to learn about best environmental practices and green career opportunities in the water industry.
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA’s hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Charlestown, N.H. and maintains regional offices in Boise, Idaho, Oakland, Calif., Pittsburgh, Pa., Seattle, Wash., and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.thesca.org.
About American Water
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.
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.
About Drinking Water Week
For more than 35 years, the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. For more information on what only tap water delivers, visit www.drinktap.org.