RBC awards $2.3 million in funding to protect water in cities and towns
around the globe
TORONTO, June 14, 2013 /CNW/ - RBC today announced the recipients of the
2013 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action Grants,
totalling more than $2.3 million in funding for water protection and
preservation programs. Awarded on the fourth annual RBC Blue Water Day,
the grants support 123 organizations spanning seven countries,
including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia,
Singapore, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos Islands.
"Water is the lifeblood of our planet and vital for our social and
economic wellbeing," said Gord Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "Since
the RBC Blue Water Project was established in 2007, we have committed
more than $38 million in grants to some 650 organizations around the
world working to protect our most precious natural resource, including
the grants we're announcing today. We are honoured to support the
important efforts of this year's grant recipients, whose projects
reflect our new focus on urban water issues."
In December 2012, the RBC Blue Water Project announced a shift in focus
to address a significant, emerging issue that is relevant to the
majority of RBC employees and clients - protecting and preserving water
in towns, cities and urbanized areas. The 2013-2014 Leadership and
Community Action Grants are funding programs that improve urban water
quality and efficient use, enhance storm water management and protect
and restore urban waterways.
"By 2050, three quarters of the world's population will live in cities,"
explained Alexandra Cousteau, RBC Blue Water Project Ambassador and
National Geographic Emerging Explorer. "With more people, our urban
water resources will become even more strained than they are today. The
2013 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action Grant
recipients are working to solve some of the most critical water issues
facing our growing communities and helping to ensure we have the clean
water we need for the future."
About RBC Blue Water Project
The RBC Blue Water Project is a historic, wide-ranging, 10-year global
commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource:
fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $38 million to more than
650 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water, including
the grants announced today, with an additional $7.8 million pledged to
universities for water programs. In 2013-2014, the RBC Blue Water
Project will focus on supporting initiatives that help protect water in
towns, cities and urbanized areas. For further information, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.
About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate
under the master brand name RBC. We employ approximately 80,000 full-
and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal,
business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in
Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. RBC is recognized among the
world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on
the 2012 - 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North
American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is
one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially
Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable
Corporations in the World. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations,
sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed
more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and
community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in
2013 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action Grants
Note: Financial references throughout are in Canadian dollars unless
NATIONAL - CANADA
Alliance for Water Efficiency: A $60,000 grant will help the Canadian Plumber Water Sustainability
Training Pilot Project offer training to plumbers in major Canadian
markets. Plumbers can help improve water efficiency in homes and
businesses, but their influence is often neglected. This pilot project
aims to equip plumbers to take a more active role in water management.
Green Communities Foundation: A grant of $50,000 will help the foundation remove unnecessary paving
and replace it with greenspace, which acts as a filter and sponge for
polluted stormwater runoff. Program partners will receive hands-on
training with a depaving expert then return to their communities to
depave high profile sites.
Northern Environmental Action Team: A $50,000 grant will help provide practical storm and melt water
management recommendations to northern communities. This project will
also recommend improvements to northern building codes to encourage the
installation of green infrastructure.
Tides Canada Foundation: A $40,000 grant will enable a series of water leader workshops to
encourage collaboration around urban water issues, while bridging the
gap between community-based and larger scale water efforts. As a result
of the workshops, Tides Canada will produce a research paper to weave
together the best practices determined by the water leaders.
Safe Drinking Water Foundation: A grant of $10,430 will provide Safe Drinking Water Foundation Education
Kits to teachers located in urban centres across Canada. Due to budget
cuts, more than 2,900 teachers are waiting for education kits to be
sent to their schools.
Capital Regional District: A $75,000 grant will inform and engage residents, youth and businesses
about urban water quality, watershed health and climate change issues
through workshops, focus groups and social media.
City of Vancouver: A $50,000 grant will help the city evaluate the role of rain barrels in
reducing stormwater flow by installing rainbarrels in two Vancouver
communities and monitoring the amount of rainwater collected and used.
Regional District Okanagan Similkameen: A $15,000 grant will help this program educate more residents in
communities with serious water issues through water conservation
workshops and events. Residents who have already used the program
showed a reduction in irrigation use, increased mulch use and more low
flow fixtures/appliances changeovers.
Local organizations: $80,000 in Community Action Grants will be shared by these fifteen
Comox Valley Land Trust
Georgia Strait Alliance
Fraser River Discovery Centre Society
Osoyoos Desert Society
Mainstreams Environmental Society
Squamish River Watershed Society
Langley Environmental Partners Society
British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society
Seymour Salmonid Society
Powell River Salmon Society
Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition
Peninsula Streams Society
Cowichan Community Land Trust Society (Cowichan Land Trust)
Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Sanctuary
Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology: A $50,000 grant will support a unique water education program (Youth
Wavemakers) that informs, educates and celebrates the impact youth have
on local and global water issues.
City of Camrose: A $50,000 grant will help the city develop a water conservation program,
including a public awareness and education campaign.
Green Calgary: A $45,000 grant will support an education program about community water
quality and supply issues, including water conservation, rain
harvesting to reduce storm water run-off and decreasing the use of
potable water for landscaping and toilet flushing.
Helen Schuler Nature Centre (City of Lethbridge): A $40,000 grant will help fund renovations to the Nature Centre. The
expansion will feature displays on rainwater harvesting, and show how
permeable surfaces enable storm water absorption.
Local organizations: $50,000 in Community Action Grants will be shared by these seven local
The Miistakis Institute
City of Dawson Creek
Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley
City of Spruce Grove
Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (Southern Alberta Chapter)
Red Deer River Watershed Alliance Society
Water Matters Society of Alberta
Meewasin Valley Authority: A $30,000 grant will enable the Nature by Design Project to showcase
innovative design and conservation efforts to protect the northeast
swale in Saskatoon. The project includes restoration work, an
awareness-raising campaign and innovative design highlights such as
low-impact stormwater management and recreational facilities.
Local organizations: $13,000 in Community Action Grants will be shared by the Regina
Catholic School Division and the City of Moose Jaw
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD): A grant of $50,000 will help advance an innovative project to capture
phosphorus and prevent it from entering urban waterways. IISD will
collaborate with key partners to harvest cattail and other plant
species at numerous sites in Winnipeg. IISD will then compress the
harvested plant material into a form that can be burned to produce
Lake Winnipeg Foundation: A grant of $30,000 will support an action plan to reduce the amount of
phosphorus released into Lake Winnipeg. The project will include
collaboration with municipalities and educational outreach in six
cities across the Lake Winnipeg basin.
Local organizations: $33,000 in Community Action Grants will be shared by these four local
Ecolé Crane Grounds Transportation
West Souris River Conservation District
University of Winnipeg - Department of Geography
Ottawa Riverkeeper: A $100,000 grant will support the creation of a web-based map that
tracks the frequency and size of sewage spills, a common occurrence in
the Ottawa River. The project will increase the frequency of water
testing at beaches and popular recreation areas and will report the
results using the Waterkeeper Swim Guide.
Trout Unlimited Canada: A $100,000 grant will help improve water quality in the Bronte Creek
Watershed through community engagement. Project leaders will work with
community stakeholders to link residents to their water resources, and
provide advice to residents wishing to undertake small restoration
projects at home.
Toronto Zoo: A grant of $50,000 will help the Great Lakes Program teach participants
about at-risk aquatic species and how conservation is linked to the
health of the Great Lakes. The program is free, interactive and
curriculum-based. New initiatives for 2013 include expanding the
program into new regions and rehabilitating the fishway in the
Morningside Tributary on Toronto Zoo property.
Earth Rangers Foundation: A $40,000 grant will enable further greening of the Earth Rangers Centre
(ERC) in Woodbridge, Canada's highest rated LEED platinum building. The
grant will be used to install additional meters to the existing system
to allow better monitoring of green roofs, white roofs, rain water
capture and reuse systems, storm water mitigation strategies and the
waste water treatment plant.
Long Point Region Conservation Authority: A $40,000 grant will support the installation of low-impact development
demonstration sites (LID) to prove their feasibility and effectiveness.
The LID sites will be a model on how to create green space, reuse water
and incorporate stormwater controls into new or existing developments.
Nickel District Conservation Authority: A $35,000 grant will support the development of low impact development
(LID) demonstration sites to manage stormwater in commercial areas in
the Ramsey Lake watershed. Stormwater is a key contributor to water
quality issues and LID technologies, combined with re-vegetation and
reforestation efforts, will decrease these pollutant levels.
The Town of Fort Erie: A $35,000 grant will help the town develop a water quality monitoring
program. The town has 33 municipal drains, which drain approximately
two-thirds of the town's stormwater into Lake Erie and the Niagara
Local organizations: $151,000 in Community Action Grants will be shared by these 26 local
Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury
St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
Rouge Valley Foundation
Lower Trent Conservation
The Ecologos Institute
The Regional Municipality of Peel
Mississippi Valley Conservation
Durham Children's Water Festival
Raisin Region Conservation Authority
City of Hamilton (Hamilton Children's Water Festival)
The Museum of Ideas and Transcending Objects
Oxford County Trails Council
St. Lawrence River Institute
Environment Hamilton Incorporated
Centre for Sustainable Watersheds
Ladies of the Lake
Town of Orangeville
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
Friends of Ecological and Environmental Learning
Conservation Halton Foundation
Essex Region Conservation Authority
Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Brant Waterways Foundation
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
L'association des scouts du Canada: A $25,000 grant will enable water conservation activities as part of
Moot Canada 2013, a gathering of 5,000 Scouts between the ages of 18-25
from 100 countries. Partnering with ONE DROP, the activities will help
the Scouts educate the public about storm sewer management and water
Local organizations: $43,000 in Community Action Grants will be shared by these nine local
Amis des jardins de métis
Groupe d'éducation et d'écosurveillance de l'eau
Bassin Versant Saint-Maurice
Groupe de recherché appliqué en macro-écologie
Fondation en environnement et développement durable
Fondation de l'eau Rivière du Nord
Comité zone d'intervention prioritaire ZIP du Haut St-Laurent
Ecology Action Centre: A $70,000 grant will help the centre pilot a study to see how low-impact
design methods reduce stormwater runoff, control pollutant loading and
enhance groundwater infiltration.
City of Bathurst: A $10,000 grant will help the city provide grants to low-income
homeowners for decommissioning unused wells, repairing/replacing
leaking septic systems or removing/replacing old metal home heating oil
Local organizations: $26,350 in Community Action Grants will be shared by these four local
Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation
JW MacLeod Fleming Tower School
City of Charlottetown Water & Sewer Utility
Sackville Rivers Association
CANADA / U.S.
Gulf of Maine Association: A $100,000 grant will help the Gulf of Maine Council, in partnership
with organizations in five locations around the Gulf of Maine
watershed, restore urban freshwater resources at sites in Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick, Maine and New Hampshire.
Waterkeeper Alliance: A grant of $50,000 will fund a Waterkeeper Swim Guide, an innovative
tool that uses social media to connect people to their waterways. The
Swim Guide consolidates real-time beach water quality data, converts it
into an easy-to-understand format and delivers it free to anyone with a
computer or mobile device. RBC has supported the development of
Waterkeeper Swim Guides in several other regions with past RBC Blue
Water Project grants.
TreePeople: A $100,000 USD grant will enable a partnership with the City of Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power to create the city's first
stormwater capture master plan, ultimately increasing community-based
urban watershed management through stormwater capture and urban
The Nature Conservancy of Minnesota: A $100,000 USD grant will fund a feasibility study on providing water
funds to North American communities. First developed in Latin America,
water funds create predictable funding for conservation investments,
such as green infrastructure. Analysis increasingly shows that green
infrastructure can reduce the need for hard infrastructure, reducing
the cost burden on tax and ratepayers.
Local organizations: $100,000 USD in Community Action Grants will be shared by these 19
National Audubon Society, Audubon Arizona
Ducks Unlimited Bennington County Chapter
Conservation Lands Foundation
Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Inc
Alliance for the Great Lakes
Friends of Casco Bay
Civic Works Inc.
Parks & People Foundation
Save The River Inc.
Scenic Hudson Inc.
Otsego Land Trust Inc.
Rensselaer Land Trust Inc.
Chicago Zoological Society
Friends of Ballona Wetlands
Buzzards Bay Coalition
Renfrew Institute for Cultural and Environmental Studies Inc.
London Wildlife Trust: A $100,000 grant will help volunteers manage a 2-km stretch along the
Regent's Canal, a waterway running through one of the biggest urban
redevelopment zones in Europe. The Wildlife on your Waterways will
deliver water quality and habitat improvements to improve green
infrastructure in the Kings Cross area.
The Rivers Trust: A $35,000 grant will support a water saving project focused on the River
Ver, highlighting the links between levels of domestic water
consumption and water levels in the river. St. Albans is in one of the
driest areas of the U.K., yet has one of the highest levels of per
capita water consumption.
U.K. Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (Turks and Caicos Islands):
A $55,000 grant will help the Turks and Caicos National Museum
demonstrate the use of harvested rainwater for its gardens, toilets and
cleaning. The islands don't receive a lot of rain and rather than
harvesting rainwater, many households and businesses use city and
bottled water. The Museum will use the demonstration site to educate
residents and visitors about reducing their consumption of expensive
BREDS Treasure Beach Foundation (Jamaica): A $45,000 grant will help the BREDS Treasure Beach Sports Park and
Community Centre improve water storage and reduce water loss by
switching to nighttime irrigation of the grounds, reducing water loss
by at least 50 per cent. A large pond on the grounds will be
refurbished to collect and store water harvested from the land and
Peter Cullen Trust (Australia): A $40,000 grant will help the Science to Policy Leadership Program
bring together early to mid-career scientists with policy makers for an
experiential leadership course. Participants learn about bridging
science and policy and, in the process, learn how their own skills can
help them influence decision-making for sustainable water management.
National Book Development Council of Singapore (Singapore): A $25,000 donation will help the Splash! Into Savings project educate
youth about the importance of water. The project involves the creation
of Asian children's picture books with water-themed stories and a
web-based program called the "Sustainability Challenge" for teachers to
provide training and experiential learning.
Landcare Australia Limited (Australia): A grant of $10,000 will engage community volunteers in a range of urban
water conservation activities that will protect and restore urban
waterways and improve urban water quality around Sydney catchments.
Local organization: A $5,000 Community Action Grant will be given to Jamaica Environment
For further information:
André Roberts, RBC Communications, 416 974-3678, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alicia DeBoer, RBC Communication, 416 974-2131, email@example.com