Jun 02, 2008

Royal Bank of Canada Announces $200,000 Community Action Grant Pool

Grants will support watershed protection projects at local level

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has announced the third and final component of its Blue Water Project grants pool for 2008.

Community Action Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each, up to a total of $200,000 for 2008, are available to support local and community projects in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean that are dedicated to watershed protection. Grant proposals will be accepted all year, with applications available online at www.rbc.com/bluewater.

The overall Blue Water Project grant strategy and guidelines were developed in collaboration with an advisory panel of North American water experts. The panel determined that Community Action Grants should focus on watershed protection because local water resources are best protected by effective watershed management. Problems that occur in one part of a watershed, like pollution, over-consumption, degraded habitat or mismanagement, affect people, agriculture, industry and natural habitats elsewhere.

"When it comes to water, problems often are local, and we're all upstream or downstream for someone or something else," said Rob de Loe, professor, Canada Research Chair in Water Management, University of Guelph, and chair of the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory Panel. "Industry, government, business and individuals can all play a part in watershed protection by preventing pollution, reducing consumption, using water more efficiently in agriculture and manufacturing and protecting biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems."

"The better our watersheds are managed, the more likely we are to have a sustainable and safe water supply," said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "We are looking forward to helping community organizations contribute to a culture of water stewardship, and we hope that the programs funded through our grants will make a real difference in both action and understanding when it comes to valuing watersheds at the local level."

The RBC Blue Water Project is a wide-ranging, multiyear program to help foster a culture of water stewardship in Canada and abroad, so that people have clean fresh water today and tomorrow. The first phase of the RBC Blue Water Project, announced in late 2007, is a 10-year, $50-million grant program, comprising three streams: Visionary, Leadership and Community Action Grants. The first Visionary Grant was a $10 million commitment to the ONE DROP Foundation, established by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte.