MillerCoors and River Network Announce $54,000 in Watershed Grants

CHICAGO (March 28, 2011) – MillerCoors and River Network today announced the recipients of more than $50,000 in grants to be used towards watershed protection and quality

The winning organizations were chosen by the public through an online voting competition in which more than 20,000 people cast votes for one of six local non-profits over a one month voting period.

As part of MillerCoors total donation of $80,000 to River Network, the organizations partnered to bring the third annual MillerCoors–River Network grant competition to the ballot box.

North Carolina Big Sweep of Zebulon, North Carolina, received the most votes and will be awarded the largest grant of $30,000. Big Sweep will allocate the funds towards a statewide cleanup effort and also to implement a litter awareness campaign to help improve water quality in all 100 counties in North Carolina.

“As a company that relies on clean, quality water to brew our beers, protecting our local watersheds is a top priority for MillerCoors,” said Kim Marotta, vice president of corporate social responsibility at MillerCoors. “We’re proud to provide grants to worthy organizations across the country whose mission aligns to our beliefs and our responsibilities.”

Drawing the second most votes, Johnson Creek Watershed Council will receive $10,000, and the third place vote-recipient, River Revitalization Foundation will receive $5,000. The three remaining finalists will each receive $3,000.

“To achieve a healthy water future, local organizations must have the capacity to protect and restore our rivers and watersheds,” said Todd Ambs, River Network President. “Thanks to the support and leadership from MillerCoors, thousands of people around the country are actively engaged with projects that will have long-term benefits for water resources in their community and state.”

MillerCoors and River Network will continue to work with the winning organizations throughout the year to execute the projects. More information on MillerCoors commitment to sustainable development and water stewardship can be found on GreatBeerGreatResponsibility.com.

Details on the six organizations follow:

1st Place, $30,000 Grant
North Carolina Big Sweep North Carolina
The organization will coordinate a statewide cleanup and implement a litter awareness campaign to help improve water quality in all 100 counties in North Carolina.

2nd Place, $10,000 Grant
Johnson Creek Watershed Council Milwaukie, Oregon
The Council will restore six acres of riverland forest with native plantings and a trail overlooking the area. In addition, 16 newly- engineered log jams will provide cover for threatened salmon throughout a quarter-mile reach of Johnson Creek, where it flows into the Willamette River.

3rd Place, $5,000 Grant
River Revitalization Foundation Milwaukee, WI
The organization will restore major riparian habitat on a 2.8 acre riverfront parcel, reducing polluted water run-off, improve habitat for wildlife and serve as primary entrance for recreation in the Milwaukee river valley.

Remaining $3,000 Grants
Friends of the Chicago River Chicago, IL
The group will form a new program, Chicago River Eco-Warriors (CREW), to increase the number of river volunteers, expand the efforts of those already engaged and provide a forum for advancement. Volunteer participation will also be tracked across all of the organization’s programs and activities, and reward volunteers as they acquire hours and become “multipliers” of the mission.

West Atlanta Watershed Alliance Atlanta, GA
This group will educate and engage low-to-moderate income West Atlanta residents in water efficiency and conservation. The goal is to help residents realize needed savings for their households and learn about residential rainwater capture, conservation, green infrastructure, stream monitoring, cleanups and stream bank stabilization.

Savannah Riverkeeper Augusta, GA
The group will restore 15-acres along the Savannah River in downtown Augusta. The goal is to remove debris and rehabilitate the shoreline of an abandoned car parts facility along the river. The area will be converted to a nature education center and international disc golf course.

About MillerCoors
MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel’s craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver.

MillerCoors vision is to create the best beer company in America by driving profitable industry growth. MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company.

About River Network
Since 1988, River Network has provided leadership, support and coordination for people working to protect and restore healthy rivers, lakes, streams and bays at the local, state and regional levels. In addition, River Network serves as a catalyst and coordinator for major projects, such as this one, that require national leadership and collaboration among widely separated organizations. With more than 600 partner groups in all 50 states, River Network is helping build a powerful new water protection movement in the United States.

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Media contacts:
Allie Cowan
MillerCoors
312.377.4129
acowan@digcommunications.com

Matt Burke
River Network
503.542.8383
MBurke@rivernetwork.org

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