30 organizations worldwide to share $4 million in funding
TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - RBC today announced its 2011 RBC Bl0.ue
Water Project Leadership Grant recipients. Thirty organizations,
delivering projects in five countries, will share more than $4 million
for programs that help protect watersheds and improve access to clean
drinking water. A list of organizations receiving grants is provided
"Since we launched the RBC Blue Water Project in 2007, we have now
provided funding to over 450 organizations around the world that care
about protecting and preserving water," said Gordon M. Nixon, president
and CEO, RBC. "I congratulate this newest group of grant recipients.
Their work is critical to the protection of the world's valuable water
resources, and we are proud to support them in their efforts."
RBC's 2011 funding will support a range of projects from wetland and
shoreline restoration to water quality monitoring and sharing of
sustainable water management practices in agricultural regions. More
than 180 organizations applied for 2011 Leadership Grants.
"This is our fourth year of evaluating grant proposals, and our panel
has never been more impressed with the quality of applications. We
really are seeing the best of the world's best organizations working to
protect water," said Rob de Loë, professor and University Research
Chair in Water Policy and Governance, University of Waterloo, and chair
of the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory Panel. "This year, we were happy
to see an increased number of collaborative projects between various
organizations, more on-the-ground projects that will restore shorelines
of rivers, streams and lakes and more initiatives to engage the
agricultural community. I'm confident that our recipients will make a
demonstrable difference in the health of their local watersheds."
The RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year, $50 million philanthropic
commitment to supporting organizations that protect watersheds and
ensure access to clean drinking water in Canada and abroad. Since 2007,
RBC has committed more than $32 million in single and multi-year grants
to 454 organizations, including the 30 announced today. Earlier in
September, RBC also announced a commitment of $1.1 million to ONE
DROP's Project India, a program to educate and improve access to safe
drinking water and sanitation in Orissa, one of India's poorest states.
This is part of RBC's 10-year, $10 million pledge to ONE DROP.
For more information on the RBC Blue Water Project, as well as grant
guidelines and application forms, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.
Note: Financial references in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.
2011 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grants
Financial references in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Free the Children: A grant of $420,000 will fund the delivery of H2O 4U, a water-focused
speaking tour that is offered to middle and high schools across Canada.
Speakers will inspire and educate youth about the importance of clean
water at home and around the world. An RBC Blue Water Project grant of
$300,000 in 2009 helped Free the Children take this tour to over 100
Tides Canada Initiatives Society/Waterlution: A grant of $200,000 will help Waterlution build on its "Future of Water" workshops, where 18-35 year olds explore
critical and complex water management issues. A new "Hub Project" in
five regions across Canada will allow workshop participants to put
their learnings into action. An RBC Blue Water Project grant of
$120,000 in 2008 helped Waterlution provide 40 workshops in 28
Clean Annapolis River Project: A grant of $36,000 will fund field assessments and restoration plans for
watercourse barriers on the Annapolis River and its tributaries.
Culverts and dams are preventing the free migration of threatened fish
species to critical habitats.
Atlantic Coastal Action Program Cape Breton: A grant of $35,000 will help this organization monitor streams that are
affected by development and land use as well as restoring the Salmon
River and its tributaries.
Comité Zone d'Interventions Prioritaires (ZIP) Alma-Jonquière: A grant of $240,000 will fund a community stewardship project, operating
in 40 major watersheds in Quebec and expanding into New Brunswick.
Volunteers are trained to monitor hundreds of rivers, collecting data
for the identification and assessment of developing problems. Students
from elementary school and up will be engaged through the Ministry of
Education for New Brunswick.
Fondation de la Faune du Quebec: A grant of $200,000 will help this organization develop and share water and habitat conservation best practices and
raise awareness about sustainable agricultural practices with more than
500 agricultural producers in southern Quebec.
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority: A grant of $120,000 will kick-start a Clean Water Project for individual
rural farming and non-farming landowners, providing technical
assistance and financial incentives for projects that will improve and
protect ground and surface water quality, such as decommissioning
unused wells, soil erosion control, clean water diversions around
barnyards, woodland and wetland enhancement, tree planting, fuel
storage and septic system upgrades.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (LOW): A $200,000 grant helped LOW launch Swim Guide in June, 2011. Swim Guide is a free smartphone app that helps people locate the closest, cleanest
beach for swimming, get directions, view photos, and share their
experience through social networks. LOW used an RBC Blue Water Project
grant of $200,000 in 2008 to create the Guide.
Georgian Bay Forever: A grant of $100,000 will support the production of the 'Eastern Georgian
Bay Health Report' for release in the summer of 2012. The report will
outline the current conditions of the region from the Severn River to
Killarney including ecological conditions, general threats, "hot spots"
of special concern, and emerging issues. In addition, the report will
identify knowledge gaps, research opportunities and detail local
Royal Ontario Museum: A $100,000 grant supported the delivery of the museum's Water: The
Exhibit display, providing an informative, dramatic, and educational
experience about the importance of water to more than 125,000 visitors
in six months.
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Foundation: A grant of $100,000 will help the George Richardson Park Project reduce
levels of phosphorus entering Lake Simcoe with activities such as
community tree planting and irrigation activities.
One Change Foundation: A grant of $100,000 will help this organization mobilize Ottawa
residents to take action on residential water waste. In collaboration
with the City of Ottawa, volunteers and One Change staff will go door
to door to distribute simple kits that show people how to detect and
repair common toilet leaks.
Hamilton Conservation Foundation: A grant of $90,000 will help the Foundation protect, enhance and restore
environmentally significant natural areas and watercourses by educating
and working one-on-one with landowners.
Ottawa Riverkeeper: A grant of $75,000 will fund a 28-day, 90 kilometre exploration of
crucial water issues in the Ottawa River watershed, in partnership with
Canadian Geographic and the Canadian Canoe Foundation. The expedition
will be broadcast online and the information collected will be used as
part of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper "Swim Drink Fish" application,
also funded by an RBC Blue Water Project grant.
Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority: A grant of $50,000 will support The Healthy Shorelines Clean Water
Stewardship Program, which will raise awareness about the ecological
health of the watershed through educational outreach to residents and
landowners, including shoreline consultations, community workshops,
demonstration projects and financial assistance to landowners to
implement qualified projects.
Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation: A grant of $225,000 will fund "Green Banks: Clear Waters", a program to
improve water quality in riparian areas in four south-central Manitoba
conservation districts. A new riparian health assessment tool will help
community-based watershed groups classify, analyze, and provide
riparian health information to their stakeholders. This collaborative
project also involves Agriculture Agri-Food Canada, Agri-Environment
Service Branch and Manitoba Water Stewardship.
Lake Winnipeg Foundation: A grant of $40,000 will support the Sensitive Habitat Inventory and
Mapping (SHIM) project that will provide baseline scientific
information for shoreline management.
Trout Unlimited Canada: A grant of $150,000 will enable this organization to increase riparian
health, and improve water quality in the Drywood Creek Watershed system
in southwest Alberta. Working in collaboration with Drywood-Yarrow
Conservation Partnership and Southwest Alberta Conservation
Partnership, agricultural producers will be engaged to protect
sensitive riparian areas from cattle grazing by installing protective
fencing and off-stream livestock watering systems.
Bow River Basin Council: A grant of $40,000 will help the Council modify an existing computer
program so it can simulate the effects of natural ecological processes
and land uses on water quality, natural capital values, agricultural
lands, municipal revenues, municipal operating costs, and natural
areas. Municipalities and watershed management groups will use the
information to identify optimum zoning strategies, planning and best
A.S.T.C. Science World Society: A grant of $300,000 will help Science World add a "Water Story" to its
new 35,000 square foot interactive outdoor science park. The Water
Story's exhibits will include a wetland habitat, a cistern to
illustrate rainwater capture for gardening and agriculture, an
interactive outdoor stream table to demonstrate the benefits and risks
of man-made reservoirs and dams, and a water infrastructure display to
demonstrate where our water comes from and where it goes.
Trout Unlimited Canada: A grant of $125,000 will help this organization complete a project that
will restore and improve access to degraded fish habitats in six
streams flowing into Qualicum Bay. RBC provided a grant of $75,000 in
2009 to cover the first phase of the program. This project is a
collaboration between Trout Unlimited, Nile Creek Enhancement Society
and Vancouver Island University.
Fraser Valley Conservancy: A grant of $120,000 will fund a collaborative project between the
Conservancy, the Chilliwack River Action Committee and the City of
Abbotsford to enhance and protect over fifty acres of land, restore
over ten acres, and increase the biological function and improve
wildlife habitats at four sites within the Fraser River Watershed.
Pacific Salmon Foundation: A grant of $70,000 will help the Foundation launch 'Salmon-Safe B.C.',
a farm certification program to protect Salmon by transforming land
management practices To earn Salmon-Safe certification, farms are
required to improve irrigation efficiency, reduce run-off and wind
erosion, protect wildlife habitat, cultivate ecological compensation
areas to enhance native biodiversity, as well as reduce or eliminate
the use of harmful pesticides.
New York Harbor Foundation: A grant of US$375,000 will help the Foundation improve water quality in
the Harbor through the Billion Oysters NYC project, which will plant
one billion oysters by 2050. In a healthy marine ecosystem, oysters are
a keystone species. Each oyster is a natural water-filtration system,
pumping between 20 and 50 gallons of water through its gills each day
and extracting algae and phytoplankton for its food.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: A grant of US$250,000 will fund an ongoing project to restore the Bay's
natural filters, through restoration of wetlands, forested buffers and
oysters that filter and absorb pollution. Seventeen million people live
in this 64,000 sq. mile watershed. The leading cause of the Bay's
impairment is nitrogen pollution from agriculture and the Foundation
will work with individual farmers to implement agricultural best
practices to prevent nitrogen pollution.
National Geographic Society: A grant of US$250,000 will provide ongoing support to Freshwater
Initiatives including a Freshwater Fellow who delivers briefings,
lectures and keynote speeches around the globe, building support for
global water issues and inspiring action. RBC's grant also provides
funding for a Fresh Water Editor to further develop the content of the
LightHawk: A grant of US$240,000 will help LightHawk, an organization that helps
conservation groups collect scientific data and imagery of land and
water resources from the air, develop guidelines for geo-referencing
photos and aerial data collection, provide tips for aerial photography
and radio telemetry for wildlife studies and encourage key partners and
pilots to serve as mentors to others. LightHawk's network of 180
experienced volunteer pilots donate flights to conservation groups,
government agencies and universities in North and Central America.
Great River Greening: A grant of US$100,000 will support an ongoing water quality improvement
project in five Minnesota watersheds. This organization works with
landowners, community, agriculture, nonprofit and government partners
to encourage participation in government agricultural conservation
programs that reduce water pollution. It also encourages farmers and
farmland owners implement conservation plans to reduce pollution.
Cahaba River Society: A grant of US$35,000 will be directed to programs that improve the
conservation of drinking water, and protect the recreational and
freshwater biodiversity value of the Cahaba River.
Bahamas National Trust: A grant of $300,000 will fund a collaborative project with the Nature
Conservancy to reduce threats to sensitive natural areas and increase
community stewardship of watersheds and water resources, including
training for park managers and guides about the significance of blue
holes, a water conservation program for schools throughout the country,
and a Geographic Information System database of freshwater resources
Woodland Trust: A grant of $95,000 will support a project to increase awareness of the
role of trees in managing water quality and flood management.
Wildlife Conservation Society: A grant of $100,000 will support a watershed and wildlife restoration
project in the Pantanal region of Brazil. This organization works
directly with ranchers to convert to more sustainable practices that
will result in improved watershed management and healthier and more
For further information:
Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, 416-974-1724