RBC announces 2008 Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients



    12 North American organizations to share more than $1.7 million

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - RBC today announced its latest round of RBC Blue
Water Project Leadership Grant recipients. Twelve organizations, selected from
206 applicants from across North America, will share more than $1.7 million in
grants to support programs that help protect watersheds and ensure access to
clean drinking water.
    "We were overwhelmed by both the quantity and the quality of grant
applications in this first year of the RBC Blue Water Project," said Gordon M.
Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "It's gratifying to see such a vital network of
organizations at the regional and national level doing the critical work of
protecting fresh water resources."

    
    RBC Blue Water Project grants totaling $1.76 million will go to:

    CANADA

    -   Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. A grant of
        $400,000 will fund an online education tool to improve watershed
        management in traditional territories in British Columbia,
        Nova Scotia and Alberta, where inadequate resources and capacity
        often limit a community's ability to engage in watershed planning.
    -   Learning for a Sustainable Future. A grant of $400,000 will support a
        Water Action Project Program for elementary and secondary school
        children across Canada, with a focus on underserviced schools and
        First Nations communities.
    -   The Yukon Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. A
        grant of $100,000 will help protect the Three Rivers watershed in the
        Yukon, a hotspot for mineral and fossil fuel extraction, and
        traditional territory of the Na-cho Nyak Dun and Tetl'it Gwich'in
        First Nations.
    -   Green Communities Foundation. Many wells and communal drinking
        systems are at risk of contamination in aboriginal communities. A
        $100,000 grant will fund the "Well Aware" Program, providing
        education about well-water monitoring in aboriginal communities in
        north-eastern Ontario.
    -   H(2)0 Chelsea Partners. Many rural regions and municipalities in
        Quebec rely exclusively on groundwater. The health of these
        communities depends on monitoring, education and legislation to
        protect water resources. A grant of $100,000 will support the
        development of a model for managing groundwater issues, to be shared
        across the province of Quebec.
    -   Royal Botanical Gardens. A grant of $100,000 will fund the
        remediation of a seriously degraded wetlands area caused by heavy
        industry and urban development in Hamilton, Ontario.
    -   Waterlution. A grant of $60,000 through the Sage Foundation will
        support water education workshops for young leaders who are working
        on water issues in several locations across Canada, with a focus on
        water issues in First Nation communities.

    UNITED STATES

    -   North Carolina State Engineering Foundation. A grant of
        US$200,000 will fund an outreach program to educate elected officials
        and community leaders about water management issues in this quickly
        growing region which suffers from limited opportunities to develop
        new water resources.
    -   World Wildlife Fund. There is a lack of credible data on the
        ecological health of the Little Tennessee River, a watershed that
        supports a region undergoing tremendous growth. A grant of
        US$100,000 will fund a project to monitor and map the watershed, and
        train community water monitors.
    -   Donors Choose. It is increasingly common for teachers to spend their
        own money on classroom materials, especially in rural and
        disadvantaged inner city communities. A grant of US$100,000 will help
        public school teachers all across the United States purchase
        classroom supplies for projects dealing with water.
    -   Friends of the Mississippi River. Rapid growth of the real estate and
        agricultural sectors are leading to increased sources of water
        pollution. A grant of US$75,000 will support community outreach and
        education with landowners to restore and protect sensitive natural
        areas and rare habitats.
    -   Alabama Coastal Foundation. Rapid urbanization and construction has
        caused a loss of wetlands and serious degradation of water quality in
        this region. A grant of US$25,000 will support the development of
        best practices for homeowners and businesses about non-point water
        source pollution and wetland protection.
    

    "It was a daunting challenge for RBC to evaluate and choose from the
206 applications received for this round of grants," said Rob de Loe,
professor and University Research Chair in Water Policy and Governance,
University of Waterloo, and chair of the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory
Panel. "I am confident that the finalists represent a strong cross-section of
projects in key regions across North America that will result in better
protection for watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water."
    These 12 organizations are now added to a growing list of RBC Blue Water
Project grant recipients announced recently, including commitments to the
Institute for Public Health and Water Research at Texas A&M University for a
project in Trinidad & Tobago; Lake Ontario Waterkeeper's Swim Drink Fish
Project; an elementary school education program in Nova Scotia through Ducks
Unlimited, and the Tides Canada campaign for conservation management in the
Great Bear Rainforest region in British Columbia.
    Launched in late 2007, the RBC Blue Water Project, will help foster a
culture of water stewardship in Canada and abroad, and includes a 10-year,
$50 million philanthropic commitment to programs supporting watershed
protection and access to clean drinking water. To date, RBC has now committed
more than $13 million in grants to 39 organizations. The RBC Blue Water
Project was kicked off with a $10-million commitment to ONE DROP, founded by
Cirque du Soleil's Guy Laliberté.

    RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental
leaders and is included on the Dow Jones World and North American
Sustainability Indices, the Jantzi Social Index, the FTSE4Good Index, and the
Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations ranking. RBC is among 67 companies
and one of only 18 financial institutions worldwide named to the 2008 Global
Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. RBC contributed more than $82.8 million to
community causes worldwide in 2007, through donations of more than
$47.7 million, and an additional $35.1 million in sponsorship of community
events.

    Applications for the next round of Leadership Grants are due by March 6,
2009. Applications for Community Action Grants are accepted year-round. For
more information on the RBC Blue Water Project, as well as grant guidelines
and application forms, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.




For further information:

For further information: Jackie Braden, RBC, Media Relations, (416)
974-2124; Lindsey Coulter, (416) 355-7430, lindsey.coulter@ketchum.com


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