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2012 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grants Announced

More than $4.4 million in funding to go to 30 organizations worldwide

TORONTO, July 12, 2012 - RBC today announced its 2012 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients. Thirty organizations from five countries, selected from 219 applicants from around the world, will share $4.4 million in grants for programs that help protect watersheds and improve access to clean drinking water.

"We can't afford to become complacent when it comes to caring about water," said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "Since launching the RBC Blue Water Project in 2007, we have now committed more than $42 million in grants to some 500 organizations around the world that care about protecting water. I congratulate this newest group of grant recipients. Their work is critical to the protection of the world's valuable water resources and we are proud to support them in their efforts."

RBC's 2012 grant recipients are from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago and China and work on a wide range of projects involving water restoration, conservation, management and education.

"We received an unprecedented 219 applications for funding this year, asking for a total of more than $40 million for projects around the world," said Rob de LoŽ, professor and University Research Chair in Water Policy and Governance, University of Waterloo, and chair of the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory Panel. "It was a challenge to whittle down the list to 30 recipients, given the number and quality of applicants, and our Advisory Panel is confident that RBC is funding some of the best programs out there."

The grants announced today are in addition to recent announcements of a $2 million grant to the RBC Queen's Water Initiative and a $500,000 grant to the World Wildlife Fund's Living Rivers Initiative. 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. Grant guidelines, application forms and more information about the RBC Blue Water Project can be found at www.rbc.com/bluewater.

Media contact:

Jackie Braden, Brand Communications, (416) 974-1724, jackie.braden@rbc.com

2012 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grants

Note: Financial references throughout are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated; projects that support First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples are marked with an asterisk (*)

NATIONAL

  • Evergreen: A $500,000 grant will support efforts to implement a multi-faceted water strategy over the next five years that will include watershed stewardship, education and public awareness and community action programming across Canada. The grant will also support Evergreen's Watershed Champions & Awards Program.
  • Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)*: A second-time RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient, CIER will receive a $300,000 grant for "Our Water - Our Future", a new program that will build leadership among First Nations' youth, protect source water and promote community awareness about watersheds. CIER helps build capacity within First Nation communities so that they can address environmental issues.
  • Tides Canada Initiatives Society: A $300,000 grant will help establish the Canadian Freshwater Alliance (CFA), a group of organizations that will elevate the importance of water health, creating public and political attention about the need to protect Canada's water resources. The grant will help CFA build a communication and public engagement strategy for water stewards across the country, to help improve the effectiveness of their initiatives.
  • Jane Goodall Institute*: A $225,000 grant will support Project Blue: Roots & Shoots for Aboriginal Youth, a new program to raise awareness among Aboriginal youth in Canada and the U.S. about water issues through community-based activities that protect local watersheds and promote sustainable water use.
  • Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre: A grant of $100,000 will support the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, encouraging people to remove shoreline litter and help create healthy waters. In addition, the funds will help expand their educational program into Quebec.
  • Wildsight: A grant of $100,000 will support the Living Lakes Canada Network, to encourage Canadians to protect lakes, as well as provide training in standardized water monitoring and capacity building in watershed stewardship in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Wildsight is a second-time RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient.
  • Toronto Zoo: A $50,000 grant will support the Zoo's three-year "Great Lakes" program, inspiring high school students to become stewards for aquatic conservation, eventually connecting Canadian students to students in the Bahamas for peer interaction on local water issues.

ATLANTIC CANADA

  • Clean Annapolis River Project: A $90,000 grant will help citizens protect drinking water resources, as well as ground and surface water quality on the Annapolis River. Clean Annapolis River Project is a second-time RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient.
  • Clean Nova Scotia Foundation: A $60,000 grant will support outreach to students, youth groups, communities and businesses across the province, to foster water stewardship through activities including planting trees, removing invasive species and restoring streams.

QUEBEC

  • David Suzuki Foundation: A second-time RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient, the David Suzuki Foundation will receive $240,000 for the second phase of its "Our Living River" campaign on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec. The Foundation will continue to educate people about the valuable services the river provides, the threats it faces and the steps people can take to protect the river.

ONTARIO

  • Kettle Creek Conservation Authority: Kettle Creek is one of four watersheds in Elgin County that drain directly into Lake Erie. A grant of $120,000 will support the Elgin Clean Water Program.
  • Friends of the Rouge Watershed: Supporting a three-year community volunteer program, a $100,000 grant will help fund conservation and restoration efforts for the Rouge River watershed and surrounding watersheds in the Rouge National Park.
  • Kawartha Region Conservation Authority: A $75,000 grant will fund the Blue Canoe Program, an education initiative to help develop sustainable shoreline of 2,640 lake residences on the Sturgeon, Cameron and Balsam Lakes.
  • Credit Valley Conservation Foundation: A $70,000 grant will help the Foundation develop an outreach and education project on the Credit River Watershed, building community appreciation of local rivers and engaging new Canadians in freshwater issues.

MANITOBA

  • Rural Municipality of Victoria Beach: A $50,000 grant will help the municipality test lake-friendly practices and showcase successes, with a goal of reducing the nutrient load entering the Lake Winnipeg watershed.
  • Red River Basin Commission*: A $50,000 grant will help support the engagement of First Nations in the Commission's project to reduce nutrient loading and flood damage in the Red River and Lake Winnipeg watershed through the creation of hydrologic models that will support local watershed management decisions.

ALBERTA

  • Science Alberta Foundation: A $100,000 grant will help fund a curriculum-linked package of videos, activities, experiments, digital simulations and demos to raise awareness and engage Albertans on watershed science.
  • Pigeon Lake Watershed Association: Supporting the creation of an Integrated Watershed Management Plan, a $25,000 grant will help the association engage local citizens and organizations improve the declining health of Pigeon Lake. This plan will also diagnose the source of nutrients and identify and prioritize various mitigation measures.

YUKON

  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)*: A $75,000 grant will support the final year of a seven-year project, working with First Nations to provide support, capacity, coordination and strategic advice to four communities to protect the pristine Peel Watershed. CPAWS is a second-time RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

  • Whitevalley Community Resource Centre*: A $400,000 grant will support a collaborative watershed planning project to engages community-based indigenous and non-indigenous groups in planning how water resources are managed in the Okanagan Basin of B.C.'s southern interior.<
  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation*: A $150,000 grant will help with the costs of field work and construction necessary to restore the Indian River Watershed in North Vancouver, an area of critical historic, cultural and economic importance to the Tsleil-Waututh people. Historic logging and poor land use choices degraded the watershed in the 1800s and 1900s.
  • Pacific Salmon Foundation: The Pacific Salmon Foundation is a second-time RBC Blue Water Project grant recipient. A $50,000 grant will continue RBC's funding of "Salmon-Safe BC", a project that seeks to inspire land management practices across B.C. to restore wild Pacific salmon. This project seeks to establish Canada's first third-party certification initiative focused on the protection of water quality and wildlife habitat.
  • Vancouver Aquarium: A $500,000 grant will support the new RBC AquaLab, the latest addition to the Vancouver Aquarium's successful onsite educational experiences and its marine conservation, research and education and marine rehabilitation programs.

UNITED STATES

  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Texas: A $150,000 USD grant will fund the Central Texas Freshwater Initiative, which protects the Blanco and Pedernales rivers and watersheds. The TNC will help improve drinking water resources through land and watershed conservation, restoration and community education.
  • National Aquarium in Baltimore: A $130,000 USD grant will fund three Chesapeake Bay Initiative projects - urban restoration and stewardship programs to improve water quality in tributaries to the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay; forest restoration and student education projects at Nassawango Creek Nature Preserve; and the Terrapin Head Start project at an Aquarium restoration site on Poplar Island. The Aquarium is a second-time recipient of a grant from the RBC Blue Water Project.
  • Everglades Foundation: A $100,000 USD grant will help the Foundation improve water flow and restore impaired wetlands and agricultural lands by providing a place to store and clean water during the rainy season, for use during the dry season. A source of water for nearly seven million people, water in the Everglades area is heavily polluted by municipal runoff and agricultural pollution.
  • American River Conservancy: The Conservancy will receive a $100,000 USD grant to protect and enhance the quality of water flowing from the South Fork American River, which serves 23 million residents in central and southern California, including Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

UNITED KINGDOM

  • Thames21: A $120,000 grant (approximately £75,000) will help fund a three-year expansion of the successful Thames21 pilot project, an awareness campaign about water stewardship issues, increasing volunteerism and protecting shoreline environments at 10 key risk locations along a 50-mile stretch in Berkshire County.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CNRI): A $60,000 grant will help increase community watershed protection efforts by addressing issues of unsustainable watershed degradation in Trinidad and Tobago.

CHINA

  • Friends of Nature: A $50,000 grant will enable groups in six communities to achieve practical improvements for serious drinking water problems. These member groups will identify causes, develop solutions and take greater responsi