STAMFORD, CT -- (Marketwire) -- 03/21/12 -- In honor of World Water Day, Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) highlights its commitment to keeping watersheds clean and healthy through watershed improvement projects, both in the communities in which it operates and across the United States. Today, many watersheds are impaired by development. NWNA believes that clean, high-quality water is essential to human and environmental health, and for the well-being of communities. The company collaborates with leading nonprofit organizations on projects to improve wetland habitats and stream habitats for fish and wildlife.
'We are excited to be working with partners that are leaders in ecological restoration,' said Debora Fillis Ryba, sustainability manager at NWNA. 'With so many waterways impaired, it is important to research and implement sustainable management approaches that can improve habitat quality of water resources,' Fillis Ryba added.
Urban storm water, suburban development and agricultural runoff can negatively impact watersheds because of either physical impacts (dams, culverts or fill) or from toxins, nutrients and fertilizers that flow into water-bodies and upset their natural systems. To help manage these effects, NWNA is committed to supporting two watershed improvement projects each year through 2015 in partnership with local partners and community stakeholders. In 2011, NWNA honored its commitment to watersheds through support of two key projects:
The Nature Conservancy's 'Wood for Salmon' Project
Streams in the Pacific Northwest were once abundant with coho salmon, but due to impacts to streams these populations have declined. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is currently spearheading a multi-year effort to restore damaged instream salmon habitat. In 2011, NWNA supported TNC's efforts with a $75,000 contribution. 'Water is our most important natural resource, and all life depends on it,' said Brian Stranko, The Nature Conservancy's Director, North and Central Coasts Region. 'Salmon are an integral part of California's stream ecosystems as well as our state's economy, and restoring portions of watershed critical to salmon will help strengthen salmon populations.'
Ducks Unlimited and Wetland Conservation
Wetlands have historically been undervalued systems, ditched and drained or used for waste disposal -- which has led to the disappearance of half of the nation's wetlands. Ducks Unlimited, the world's largest wetland conservation organization, and NWNA's Ozarka® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water forged a partnership based on a mutual commitment to environmental stewardship. Ducks Unlimited will help NWNA manage its spring-fed wetlands. 'By sustainably managing its spring water sources, Nestlé Waters North America supports vital spring-fed wetland ecosystems important to the health of waterfowl, frogs, turtles and fish,' said Dale James, Manager of Conservation Planning for Ducks Unlimited. 'Ducks Unlimited's partnership will ensure wetland habitats at Nestlé Waters' Texas springs are sustained.'
In addition to supporting two more watershed protection projects in 2012, NWNA is actively involved with water education efforts, locally and nationally. As the largest corporate sponsor of Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) in the United States and around the world, Nestlé Waters has helped educate more than 25 million students and 200,000 teachers on water resource management, hydration and health, and environmental stewardship in the United States. Project WET's DiscoverWater.org, an online teaching tool that brings important water lessons to life, is aligned with National Science Standards and has been field tested with educators and children. Other examples of NWNA education efforts include:
- Environmental Education at Crystal Springs Preserve: Crystal Springs, preserved land on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida, is the primary spring source for NWNA's Zephyrhills® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water. Thanks to a unique partnership with NWNA, the spring also serves as a world-class environmental education center that teaches thousands of students about springs ecology and the importance of conservation.
- Environmental Education at Mineola Nature Preserve: The Mineola Nature Preserve alongside east Texas' Sabine River boasts 193 species of birds, wildlife, buffalo, longhorn cattle, a pristine wetlands environment and numerous hiking trails. In 2011, Ozarka® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water provided funds for a constructed 2-acre pond -- Pullen Pond -- and comprehensive educational aquatic loop features, bringing even more life and educational opportunities to the Preserve.
About Nestlé Waters North America's Corporate Citizenship: Creating Shared Value
Nestlé Waters North America is built on the premise that success lies in being a responsible leader by creating value for consumers, communities, employees and other key stakeholders. We describe this as Creating Shared Value -- a fundamental way of doing business. Our Corporate Citizenship goals in the areas of water, sustainability and community are pursued within a framework of Creating Shared Value.
About Nestlé Waters North America
With 35-years of experience with healthful hydration in the bottled water segment, Nestlé Waters produces six regional spring water brands in the U.S., three international brands and Nestlé Pure Life, its nationally distributed purified bottled water. Sales for Nestlé Waters North America topped $4 billion in 2011. The company's dedication to quality, employee development, seeking to bring shared value to communities, and its commitments to environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of water use, energy and packaging, has led Nestlé Waters to the number one bottled water position in the U.S.