May 16, 2012

California American Water Funds 2012 Environmental Grant Program

Two community improvement projects awarded a total of $10,000

California American Water recently announced the recipients of its 2012 Environmental Grant Program awards. Two projects located within its California service areas will be supported by grants totaling $10,000.

The first recipient is The Ocean Foundation, which was awarded $5,000 to fund its Ocean Connectors Project to launch its innovative new watershed restoration effort in San Diego. This program's goal is to inspire 1,000 low-income elementary students to take community action to protect watersheds and the environment. Students will actively work to restore and improve various sites, such as in the Otay River Watershed, a degraded watershed in South San Diego County.

"This award will greatly support our efforts to bring students into contact with nature," said Frances Kinney, Ocean Connectors director. "Students will be able to participate hands-on in local wetland restoration efforts."

The second recipient is Monterey County Business Council, which was awarded $5,000 for its Rainwater Catchment and Graywater Recycling Outreach program. This project will develop and distribute educational materials to more than 15,000 Monterey County residents about rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling to meet individual household water needs as well as to expand the existing directory of local product and service providers as a resource to residents.

Mary Ann Leffel, president of the Monterey County Business Council, said, "Education and public outreach are critical to transition our residents from ground water dependency to environmentally responsible sources of fresh water, in an effort not to only conserve water but to show how to do it safely according to the rules outlined by the state. Moreover, it is imperative that we translate our educational materials into Spanish, given that more than 55% of our population in Monterey County is Hispanic or Latino."

Established in 2005, American Water's Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the communities it serves.