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RBC announces 2008 Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients

12 North American organizations to share more than $1.7 million

TORONTO, October 22, 2008 — 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.

  • H20 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 Loë, 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.

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

 



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10/22/2008 09:25:37