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RBC announces final wave of 2010 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients

TORONTO, July 29, 2010—  RBC today announced the last wave of its 2010 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients. Seven organizations from Canada, the United States and Trinidad & Tobago will share over $1.2 million. This is in addition to the $2 million in grants to 22 organizations announced in June, 2010.

RBC's 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. The seven new RBC Blue Water grant recipients are:

Wildsight: A grant of $150,000 will enable Wildsight and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation to launch the Living Lakes Network Canada, a national network whose mission is to enhance the protection, restoration and rehabilitation of lakes, wetlands, rivers, and other water bodies of Canada. This NGO based network is developed in partnership with Living Lakes International and Global Nature Fund.

Manitoba Museum: A grant of $200,000 will support the creation of a Lake Winnipeg Basin Ecosystem Challenge - the first Canadian virtual simulator that will allow users to manipulate different real-life variables that impact long-term sustainable development of the Lake Winnipeg Basin. By balancing issues such as economic development, environmental protection, water quality and biodiversity, people will experience how their personal choices affect the health of one of North America's largest ecosystems. The Museum has partnered with the International Institute of Sustainable Development, another RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient on this initiative.

Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society: A grant of $70,000 will help this organization protect the Englishman River watershed and its rich ecosystem by funding an assessment of the interaction of ground and surface water. The findings will be communicated to the public, as well as to provincial, regional and municipal water managers so they can make more informed planning decisions.

Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW): FLOW, a project of Tides Canada Initiatives, is an independent group of water leaders and experts from across Canada that promotes solutions to protect Canada's freshwater resources. RBC's funding of $300,000 will be used to work with Assembly of First Nations in scoping a First Nations Water Commission. The Water Commission will enhance First Nations' capacity to improve their drinking water systems as well as become more involved in broader, national water management discussions and decision-making. RBC will also support a water expert forum in the Northwest Territories (NWT) to assist in the exchange of water information and expertise between the North and South. The forum will help NWT water managers access world-class knowledge to implement the new territorial water strategy, while sharing innovative ideas applied by the Northwest Territories broadly across Canada.

Wildlands League: A grant of $200,000 will help Wildlands League develop an integrated watershed plan with the Shibogama Tribal Council, whose five main communities live in the Severn and Winisk watersheds in the far north of Ontario. These rare, ecologically significant watersheds remain undammed and unregulated, and Wildlands League will map them using the best available data on current and proposed uses. The organization will also work with the tribal council to develop "first principles" for watershed stewardship using indigenous knowledge.

Ocean Foundation:
A grant of US$250,000 will help this organization produce interactive, educational modules about local watersheds for visitors to the Expedition Blue Planet tour, featuring Alexandra Cousteau and her Blue Legacy team. Over five months, the team will travel across North America in a custom biodiesel bus to film significant global water issues and conduct community "watershed action" days along the way. The tour itself, sponsored by RBC and produced in partnership with the National Geographical Society's Freshwater Initiative (also funded by the RBC Blue Water Project), will travel 23,000 kilometres and its content will be delivered through online, live events, media, classroom programs and television.

University of West Indies:
A grant of US$60,000 will help the University's Institute of Gender and Development Studies/Women Gender Water Network, of St. Augustine Campus partner with the Institute for Public Health and Water Research to offer a vacation camp for more than 90 children, aged 8-12 in Matelot, Biche and Icacos, three rural communities recently affected by school closures caused by water scarcity. The camp will be an interactive and fun environment to learn about all aspects of water - sources of water, the sustainable use of water and water management, hygiene and sanitation.

RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2009-2010 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the DJSI North American Index. RBC has been named one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and one of the Best Workplaces in Canada. In 2009, RBC contributed more than $105 million to community causes worldwide, through donations of more than $52.6 million, and an additional $52.5 million in sponsorship of community events and national organizations.

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 $25 million in single and multi-year grants to 292 organizations, including the seven announced today.

Applications for the 2011 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grants are due in March 2011. 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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Media contact:
Jackie Braden, Brand Communications, (416) 974-1724, jackie.braden@rbc.com

Note: Financial references in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.


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