American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, announced today the recipients of the company’s 2013 Environmental Grant Program awards. A total of 54 projects throughout American Water’s service areas in 12 states will be supported by grants totaling more than $200,000.
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.
“Each one of these 54 organizations is making a difference in one of American Water’s communities, and we are very proud to partner with them on these important watershed improvement projects,” said Debra Vernon, Manager of Corporate Responsibility. “Now in its eighth year, our state environmental grant program has provided needed support for communities to help improve, restore and protect our valuable natural resources through partnerships. We are proud of the opportunity to support such worthy projects that positively impact the environment and our water sources.”
The 2013 grant recipients, which are located throughout American Water’s service areas, include the following:California California American Water is issuing two grants totaling $10,000 to the following organizations:
- The WiLDCOAST Foundation which was awarded $5,000 to fund its Tijuana River Action Initiative. Their project will increase the knowledge of local residents of the need to cleanup and restore the Tijuana River Watershed by taking Coronado and Imperial Beach residents through a series of cleanup and restoration events. In addition, guided tours of two Tijuana River Watershed areas and educational watershed conservation presentations will be held increasing participants understanding of the role they play in helping to restore the Tijuana River Watershed.
- The American River Parkway Foundation was awarded $5,000 to fund its “Strengthening the Parkway” watershed protection program. The program involves removal of invasive plants, river and trash cleanups, planting understory in established oak trees, and installing dog waste stations. Volunteers throughout the Sacramento community will take part in the program ensuring the parkway remains sustainable for all to enjoy.
- Living Lands and Waters will receive its requested $1,500 grant in full for the Great Mississippi River Clean Up. Mississippi River cleanup efforts will take place on October 12, 2013 from the Grafton Boat Launch in Illinois American Water’s Alton District. 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 Waterloo, located in Illinois American Water’s Interurban (Metro East) District, will receive its requested $3,000 grant in full to preserve the environmental nature of a parcel of land within William Zimmer Park, while preventing ground erosion of the land surrounding the retention basin which eventually leads to Gerhardt Creek.
- Country Club Estates Civic Association in the Chicago Metro service area will receive a $6,443 grant for a community rain garden project. The project includes installation of a 300 square foot rain garden within a .75 acre drainage area. The expected benefit is a reduction in surface run-off by 54 percent. Overall benefits include beautification of the area, mitigate flooding and surface run-offs.
- Great Rivers Land Trust in Alton will receive a $4,000 grant for the Piasa Creek Wetland Project to restore about 2.5 acres from degradation caused by agricultural practices. This restoration will provide vital habitat food and breeding sources.
- The Illinois Green Business Association in the Champaign District will receive a $4,900 grant for the Businesses on Board for Water Conservation project. The project will help businesses earn green certification with a focus on water conservation, helping to protect the precious water source of the Mahomet Aquifer.
- River Trails School District 26 in the Mount Prospect service area of the Chicago Metro District will receive an $8,000 grant for their Watershed Protection and Storm Water Collection project. This project will focus on storm water collection to address problems of flooding, water pollution and high irrigation costs as well as incorporate an outdoor classroom concept and engage students in problem solving.
- The Sierra Club in the Champaign District will receive a $3,500 Grant for the Perkins Road Park Riparian Restoration project to restore native vegetation on a parcel of land within the Champaign Park District. The site was previously used by the sanitary district for sludge removal.
- Trees Forever will receive a $3,600 grant for the Stewards of Our Water project in Pontiac to engage citizens in workshops about the importance of water protection. Participants will learn about best practices and have hands-on training prior to implementing a water quality project in Pontiac.
- The City of Kokomo will use its $4,000 grant to remove the Philips Street dam on Wildcat Creek. The removal of this dam, which was originally built in the late 1920s, will enhance aquatic habitat and fish passage through the creek, improve recreational uses such as fishing and canoeing, and reduce flooding. The removal will also enhance safety in the area since it is located next to a school and walking trail, which often attracts people to walk out across the top of it, posing a drowning hazard.
- Chesterton Street Trees for Clean Water will use its $2,000 grant to plant several dozen trees to replace those lost due to age, decline and storm damage. The cooperative effort involving volunteers, residents and town employees will not only beautify the areas where they are located, but will also provide environmental benefits by diverting stormwater runoff from tributaries flowing into Lake Michigan. Chesterton has been awarded Tree City USA status since 1995.
- Trees for Stormwater Demonstration Project’s $4,000 grant will help fund the development and installation of a stormwater demonstration project at Brown Avenue and Locust Street along a recently constructed 1.5 mile section of the National Road Heritage Trail. The project, which includes nine partners participating in some way on the project, will add 40 trees to the area and intercept more than 5,200 gallons of stormwater and capture more than 1,200 pounds of CO2 during the first year after planting. The project will also include an educational component with on-site kiosks and participation by area elementary school students.
- Silver Creek/Ohio River Clean Up Project will utilize its $1,000 grant to address a significant environmental eyesore along a future potion of the Ohio River Greenway Project known as the Loop Island Wetlands. The Ohio River Greenway is a linear park system being developed to provide a common linkage between the Communities of Jeffersonville, Clarksville, and New Albany, Indiana along the banks of the Ohio River and to promote a passive recreational environment for river access, while allowing each community to construct riverfront amenities to enhance the overall project.
- Scott County Soil & Water Conservation District will receive $4,200 for its Duck Creek Stormwater Runoff Reduction Program to improve water quality and reduce flash flooding of local streams by helping landowners install best management practices to reduce stormwater runoff. Residents will be informed of the importance and application of infiltration practices, be sullied with resources to design and construct these practices and receive an incentive of up to a 50 percent cost share on the installation of practices.
- Keep Scott County Beautiful will receive its requested $2,000 grant for the Xstream Cleanup 2013 effort that will be held in August. 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.
- Beaumont Middle School EcoTeam, in partnership with the Friends of Wolf Run, Shelby Jett and John Cobb, will receive a $6,400 grant to design and install a new rain garden that will be an expansion of a small rain garden project at the school. The expansion will provide a larger outdoor classroom for students and community members and address a higher volume of water running off the impervious surfaces at the school.
- Franklin County Conservation District, in partnership with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Franklin County Farm Bureau, Community Farm Alliance and Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association, will receive a $5,000 grant to help establish a long-term, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for animal carcass disposal. Specifically, the funds will help with the establishment of a new animal composting facility in Franklin County, which will encourage farmers to avoid disposing of livestock carcasses in sinkholes and waterways on their properties.
- The Friends of Wolf Run, in partnership with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Parks and Recreation, McConnell Springs Nature Center, Friends of McConnell Springs, LFUCG Division of Water Quality, Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant laboratory, EcoGro, Third Rock Consultants and Bluegrass Community and Technical College, will receive a $3,500 grant to establish several “floating wetland islands” to help reduce nitrogen and phosphorous levels in Wolf Run Creek, and to educate others about this unique method for addressing pollutants that enter waterways via stormwater runoff.
- The Lansdowne Neighborhood Association, in partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Division of Water Quality, will receive a $6,500 grant for the Zandale Park Streambank Protection Project to improve the stability, safety and aesthetics of the West Hickman Creek tributary in Zandale Park. The project will involve installing engineered log vanes along the stream bed, re-grading the banks in key areas and replacing mowed turf grass along the creek banks with a mix of native flowers and grasses.
- Ocean Pines Association will use its grant to develop a beach grass buffer zone as a demonstration project to educate residents about what buffers can do and how they protect water quality and habitat. The project also will provide information on what residents can do to improve water quality by using best practices in stormwater management.
- Missouri River Relief will receive $6,000 for the “Big Muddy Home Waters” clean-up. This community based clean-up of trash from the Missouri River in Jefferson City will include river education days for local high school students, and will consist of volunteers from across the state.
- The City of Saint Joseph will utilize its $4,000 grant for the Parkway Infiltration Garden to reduce volume and velocity of storm water entering the combined sewer system.
- The Open Space Council will receive a grant for $3000 for the Passport to Clean Water. This source water protection educational program teaches and promotes the importance of water conservation to youth in the St. Louis County area.
- Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center will receive $5,000 for a program focusing on water quality with summer school students from the Joplin Metro Area. Students will be touring the Missouri American Water treatment plant as part of the program.
- The St. Louis County Household Hazardous Waste Education Project will use its $4,000 grant to target county students and residents increasing their role in protection of the environment and waterways by properly managing hazardous household waste.
- Ocean City Environmental Commission - Green Streets and Bioswales Project will help design and construct Green Bioswales along the streets in Ocean City to help control stormwater accumulation and provide filtration for the water, allowing it to recharge the groundwater table and help reduce flooding.
- Township of Middletown - Department of Public Works Poricy Park Rain Garden Project will construct and plant a rain garden in Poricy Park, to accept rain water run-off from nearby buildings, allow the run-off to flow back into the ground and reduce the loading of nutrients and pollutants in the run-off. The Park Rain Garden will also serve as a teaching tool for park visitors on how rain gardens can be employed to improve the environment and help recharge the groundwater table.
- Camden County Soil Conservation District Camden Floating Wetland Education and Implementation Project in cooperation with the Rutgers cooperative extension, will construct and use floating wetlands to treat storm water, and remove nutrients. As a model of passive wastewater treatment, the floating wetland will prevent nutrients and pollutant laden run-off from entering into the watershed.
- The Township of Irvington for the 2013 Shade Tree Reforestation Project. The township will plant trees along selected streets where none currently exist. Residents who live at the selected locations will also receive education on the use of rain barrels and how to care for the trees. The planting of these trees in these selected locations will help to green the city, as well as help to reduce some storm water run-off from just flowing down city streets into the Elizabeth River.
- Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation will utilize its grant to address watershed and habitat degradation of Solomon’s Creek. The restoration project will remove large woody blockages from previous flood events, plus trash and debris that compromise the health and ecosystem along the Creek and its tributaries. The group will also implement tree plantings and trout stream restoration within the riparian corridor of the watershed.
- Evergreen Conservancy’s grant will be used to purchase and install a solar panel that will power a water quality monitor in the Tanoma Wetlands. An educational program involving renewable energy and water quality will also be part of the program.
- Friends of Cherry Valley received a grant to enhance and restore wetland area in a bog turtle habitat recently acquired as part of the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers will remove invasive plant species from a 20-acre area and monitor bog turtle nesting.
- Pennsylvania Resources Council will utilize its grant to host household chemical collection events in western Pennsylvania and educate the public about alternative cleaning products and waste disposal.
- Londonderry Township’s grant will support restoration of the riparian buffer along sections of Swatara Creek in an area flooded by 2011’s Tropical Storm Lee. Volunteers will plant native trees and shrubs to vegetate the restored floodplain.
- Borough of Kittanning’s will use its grant to support the installation of a rain garden along the Armstrong Trail that will address drainage issues. The project will utilize best management practices to reduce runoff volume and enhance aesthetics along the trail.
- Dunmore Historical Society’s funding will allow the group to improve wetland areas around the Dunmore #1 Walking Trail by stabilizing the wetlands with vegetation, improving drainage in those areas, and reducing the amount of standing water.
- Manada Conservancy plans to restore wetland areas in Boathouse Park along Swatara Creek with its grant. Native shrubs and plants will be planted to restore the riparian zone, promote biological diversity, and improve the aquatic habitat.
- Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) will apply its grant towards the CGLA Community Garden, an organic urban garden project to educate students regarding organic gardening, water conservation and environmental sustainability.
- Lookout Mountain Conservancy will utilize its funding for “Environmental Connection: Connecting Youth with Water and Land”, the second phase of a kudzu, trash removal and restoration project with tree-planting on Chattanooga Creek and the Tennessee River.
- Tennessee Aquarium will use its grant towards Conservation Leadership in Action Week, a week long summer camp experience for high school students. Educational sessions will be incorporated with a habitat restoration project.
- Wild South received a grant for the Tennessee Wild Outreach Project, an educational outreach to protect the Tennessee River in the Cherokee National Forest.
- The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (College of William & Mary) received a $3,000 grant to conduct tidal, spectral and seasonal analyses of water quality parameters of the Appomattox River.
- Petersburg-based Friends of the Lower Appomattox River, which works to protect the Appomattox River and promote its natural beauty and history, will use its $3,000 grant to build organizational capacity, which includes refining its master plan, organizing a membership drive, writing grants, updating its website, coordinating water quality monitoring and managing volunteers.
- The Friends of the Occoquan, which is based in Woodbridge and works to preserve and maintain the Occoquan Watershed, will use its $1,000 grant to plant trees at the Occoquan regional park in Fairfax County.
- Coal River Group, serving Kanawha and Lincoln counties, is outfitting the Coal River Science & Education Center’s new water lab with scientific equipment to evaluate the water quality of the Coal Rivers. The group will use this lab to engage local university students and school groups in river and stream monitoring. The company awarded funding for lab and monitoring equipment.
- Davis Creek Watershed Association, based in Charleston, plans to hold a Watershed Appreciation Day to promote watershed education among area residents. The company awarded funding for a hands-on watershed model learning tool as well as outreach materials.
- Mountain State Clean Streams holds the annual Elk River Cleanup along a 26-mile stretch of the Elk River in Braxton County, removing tons of debris and thousands of tires from the waterway. The company awarded funding for kayaks to aid volunteers in the collection and cleanup process.
- Southern Appalachian Labor School in Fayette County is planning a drug take-back event in coordination with local social service providers and law enforcement for the rural Loop Creek area. The grant covers the cost of advertising, disposal containers and water testing.
- Morris Creek Watershed Association, based in Montgomery serving Fayette and Kanawha counties, continues to expand its water monitoring education project that engages students from elementary school through college. The company awarded funding for pH., conductivity and temperature probes as well as a flow meter.
- National Committee for the New River is working to help communities in the Lower New River Gorge area develop comprehensive storm water management programs. The grant helps offset the program’s costs related to outreach materials and a storm water hotline.
- West Virginia Rivers Coalition partners with other environmental organizations to offer watershed learning stations for children in Fayette, Nicholas and Greenbrier counties. The company awarded funding for an educational portable water source demonstration model for use at these learning stations.
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