Thursday, April 23, 2015

Illinois American Water Announces Environmental Grant Recipients in Conjunction with Earth Day

Over $23,000 Awarded for Water Source Protection Projects

 Illinois American Water announced today that six watershed initiatives across the state will receive funding through the company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $23,515 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

This announcement is being made in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22, 2015, to remind consumers of the vital need to protect our precious resource every day for future generations.  “At Illinois American Water, Earth Day is every day.  Our team works hard to not only provide water for life, but for our communities to thrive,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.  

Illinois American Water awarded the 2015 Environmental Grants as follows:
- The Stream Discovery Released in the East program received a $5,000 grant.  The program, which is administered by the National Great River Research and Education Center in Alton fills a void in today’s education by providing teachers with tools to engage and educate students about aquatic resources.  Students participate in hands-on stream monitoring and research.  The program will be expanded to include classrooms in the Champaign and Lincoln areas.
- The Hickory Creek Watershed Bio-Blitz project received a $2,915 grant to conduct a one-day aquatic assessment where community volunteers within Hickory Creek watershed will team up with biologists to help collect and sort macro invertebrate.  The species will later be identified by professional aquatic biologists.  More than 100 attendees are expected, including K-12 students via pre and post-blitz lesson plans.
- The Peoria Art Guild’s Rainwater Revival project will receive their requested grant of $2,500 in full.  The Rainwater Revival project addresses Peoria’s sewer system overflow concerns.  The Peoria Art Guild will collaborate with area schools to create unique artistic rain basin collection systems to reduce water fun off in downtown Peoria, raise awareness and implement an innovative use of water in Peoria.
- The Peoria Riverfront Museum received a $4,100 grant for an Education Garden project. The project aims to educate children on the importance of native plants to surface water protection and river bank erosion.  The 1,500 square foot garden will be used during summer camp, summer classes and programming during the weekly Riverfront Market on Saturday mornings.
- The City of South Beloit received a $4,000 grant for the community’s Meet Me at the Confluence 2 project.  This the second phase of a project that began last year to remove invasive species along Turtle Creek.  The restoration project demonstrates the City’s commitment to realizing the vision of the Confluence as a focus for natural education and restoration of native ecosystems.
- The Conservation Technology Information Center will receive a $5,000 grant for the Indian Creek Watershed project which focuses on a farming in watersheds.  A series of success story vignettes will be produced to educate on successful conservation systems including benefits, data and insight from leading farmers on adopting priority best practices in real-world situations.

Residential customers can also make a difference.  On Earth Day, customers are reminded that they can help maintain the quality and supply of drinking water through the following actions:
- Be conscious of daily water use and take the necessary steps to be water smart and help preserve this precious natural resource.
- Be sure that leaking pipes and faucets — indoors and outdoors — are repaired.
- Take care in the use of garden, lawn, garage or other home products and ensure that they inadvertently do not find their way into groundwater.
- Dispose of chemicals or other potentially harmful products properly by not pouring them directly into home drains, the sewer, street drains or the lawn.
- Learn more about water through the annual local water quality reports. American Water customers can access their report by zip code on the company’s website at www.illinoisamwater.com under the Water Quality tab.

To learn more about the Environmental Grant Program, Water Quality and Wise Water Use, please visit www.illinoisamwater.com.

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