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American Water announced organizations to receive funding through this year’s Environmental Grant Program. Of the seven participating states this year, three organizations in Pennsylvania, two in Kentucky, one in West Virginia and one in Tennessee received a share of grant funds totaling $68,900. Grant opportunities in Maryland are still being examined for distribution this month. Decisions for California and Virginia will be announced in the fall.
In Pennsylvania, the three grants were awarded to the Blitz on Banksville Beautification project, the Octoraro Watershed Association and the Township of Spring in Berks County. These organizations will help to restore native plants to the stream bank of the Saw Mill Run tributary in the Banksville Wildlife Sanctuary, induce reforestation and buffer restoration in the Octoraro Watershed and promote a used motor oil recycling program, respectively.
The funding given to West Virginia’s Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission will help coordinate programs to improve water quality in the Ohio River and its tributaries, and will further provide education to students about water quality and the importance of watersheds and land use.
The Tennessee Aquarium will receive a grant for its program that reaches out to over 25,000 children each year to teach them the importance of water. These children will learn through various activities why clean water is important to plants and animals and why it is important for their own health and wellbeing. They are also taught the role they must play to help protect our waterways.
Finally, in Kentucky, two projects will receive funding. The Bluegrass PRIDE organization will receive a grant for an outreach and education campaign about septic system maintenance to a low-income, rural community located directly on a tributary to the Kentucky River, a major source of drinking water for Central Kentucky. The Fayette County Conservation District grant will be used for its “We Live in a Watershed” project—a comprehensive educational program consisting of 10 lessons offered to students at two Fayette County middle schools. The lessons will address concepts such as watersheds, non-point source pollution, and best management practices and will include tours of wastewater and water treatment plants.
American Water launched its first Environmental Grant Program in January of 2005, with a pilot project in Pennsylvania resulting in three grant awards. Due to its overwhelming success, American Water expanded the program to 20 states where the company owns water and wastewater utilities. Applicants were asked to address a source water protection need in the local community or a project that improves, restores or protects one or more watersheds.
“The Environmental Grant Program leverages local resources and capabilities to make a
positive impact on the environment,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship. “Working together, we can make a difference.”