The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect freshwater resources. Announced in late December, a $200,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, provides continuing funding for conservation projects in four ecologically significant watersheds in the United States.
“The Nature Conservancy is proud to partner with The Coca-Cola Company toward the conservation of our most precious natural resource – our fresh water,” said Shelly Lakly, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. “Our organizations both focus on projects where we live and work that have measurable, on-the-ground results on water quality and quantity.”
This grant supports the Flint and Etowah rivers in Georgia, the Paw Paw River in Michigan and the North Texas Watershed, all projects that are part of The Coca-Cola Company’s Conserving Fresh Water Across North America replenishment program. These sites represent a suite of best conservation practices including innovative techniques to restore streams, capture stormwater, work directly with communities to reduce water use, and a host of other tactics that allow these watersheds to better function and to be more resilient to environmental stress. Beyond grants to this important work, Coca-Cola employees have volunteered to have first-hand experiences in restoring some of these remarkable landscapes.
“At the Foundation, our goal is to make a positive impact by promoting and creating sustainable communities around the world,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president, Global Community Connections, The Coca-Cola Company and chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation. The funding provided to The Nature Conservancy will support community programs that align with The Coca-Cola Foundation’s giving priorities across the U.S. and Canada.
The Nature Conservancy and The Coca-Cola Company share a long history. Since 1976, the Conservancy has received more than $1 million in funding through outright gifts and matching gifts from Coca-Cola employees in support of a host of conservation initiatives here in Georgia and across the nation.
This new grant will allow The Nature Conservancy to complete restoration activities, implement policy initiatives and work with farmers and landowners on the best water management practices.
Georgia’s Etowah River Watershed: The Nature Conservancy will expand our restoration efforts on Raccoon Creek, the most diverse tributary of the Etowah River and home to federally- endangered aquatic species.
Georgia’s Flint River Watershed: The Nature Conservancy will continue to work with farmers in southwest Georgia to retrofit aging irrigation systems and implement other practices that can save billions of gallons of water a year.
Michigan’s Paw Paw River Watershed: Also working directly with farmers, The Nature Conservancy will continue to work to integrate best conservation practices such as conservation tillage farming, wetland restoration and the use of protective buffers of native plants to reduce sedimentation and water contamination.
North Texas’s Watershed: The Nature Conservancy will continue working to restore native prairies at the Clymer Meadow Preserve and adjacent privately owned land. Not only will this result in the restoration of important prairie habitat, but will provide rare seeds from native grasses to help the restoration of other sites.
This grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation is one of many announced in late December. In total, The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded $4 million to 38 organizations in the fourth quarter of 2010, including the gift to The Nature Conservancy.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated more than $355 million to community projects and initiatives across the globe. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/foundation_coke.html
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.