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RBC announces $500,000 for Blue Water Project in United States

Five U.S.-based organizations among 12 successful applicants for funding

RALEIGH, N.C., October 2, 2008 — RBC today announced that five organizations from the United States were part of a group of 12 applicants chosen to receive US$500,000 in Leadership Grants as part of the RBC Blue Water Project, a 10-year, C$50 million global philanthropic commitment to projects that help protect freshwater.

Grants totaling $500,000 will be awarded to:

  • Alabama Coastal Foundation. Rapid urbanization and construction in this region have caused a loss of wetlands and serious degradation of water quality. A grant of $25,000 will support the development of best management practices for homeowners and businesses about non-point water source pollution and wetland protection.

  • 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 $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 $75,000 will support community outreach and education with landowners to restore and protect sensitive natural areas and rare habitats.

  • Water Resources Research Institute. A grant of $200,000 will fund an outreach program to educate elected officials and community leaders in North Carolina about water management issues in this quickly growing region that 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 watershed, which supports a region undergoing tremendous growth. A grant of $100,000 will fund a project to monitor and map the watershed, and train community water monitors.

Gordon Nixon, CEO of RBC, announced the 2008 grants on behalf of RBC's four U.S.-based businesses at building dedication that marked the grand opening of RBC Plaza, the new headquarters for RBC Bank in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Our goal with the RBC Blue Water Project is to protect fresh water, a cause that matters in the United States, and all around the world," said Mr. Nixon. "We believe that these five organizations are well-positioned to make a substantive difference and we're looking forward to working with them to raise awareness about water stewardship here in the southeast and across America."

Competition for the 2008 grants was intense. RBC received 206 applications for funding from organizations across North America during a two-month window earlier in 2008.

"It was a daunting challenge for RBC to evaluate and choose from all the strong and deserving applications received for this round of grants," said David Moreau, Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and U.S. representative on the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory Panel. "I am confident that the finalists represent a very good cross-section of projects that will result in better protection for our watersheds."

The five U.S.-based 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 and the Tides Canada campaign for conservation management in the Great Bear Rainforest region in British Columbia.

The RBC Blue Water Project, launched in late 2007, will help foster a culture of water stewardship in Canada and abroad. To date, RBC has committed almost
C$13 million in grants to 39 organizations globally.

Applications for the next round of Leadership Grants are due on March 6, 2009. Applications for Community Action Grants, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, are accepted year-round.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name of RBC. It is Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization and one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies. RBC employs approximately 75,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 46 other countries.

RBC's U.S. operations include RBC Bank, providing banking, investment, loan and mortgage services to individuals and businesses in the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Alabama; RBC Wealth Management, serving high net worth clients nationally and internationally; RBC Capital Markets, the corporate and investment banking arm of RBC; and RBC Insurance, a national provider of insurance protection and asset accumulation solutions.

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 C$82.8 million to community causes worldwide in 2007, through donations of more than C$47.7 million, and an additional C$35.1 million in sponsorship of community events.

For more information on the RBC Blue Water Project, as well as grant guidelines and applications for Leadership Grants, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.

- 30 -

For more information contact:
Jamie Mitchell, RBC Bank, Public Relations, (919) 788-5613


 



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10/02/2008 13:24:26