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This summer, River Network partnered with Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser to coordinate eleven projects in brewery communities throughout the US. River Network granted $65,000 to its Partners for a range of on-the-ground projects, including river cleanups, restoration plantings, invasive species removal, rain capture and environmental education initiatives.
These efforts engaged thousands of volunteers and hundreds of brewery employees, removed more than 30 tons of garbage from waterways, and helped make our rivers, lakes and streams cleaner now and for the future.
The following is a brief synopsis of what was accomplished:
River Network Partner - Nine Mile Creek Conservation Council
Nine Mile Creek is a widely used water trail in Onondaga County, with links to the Erie Canal. This project will build a new community dock to provide access to the river for additional education programs, family activities and stocking of trout.
River Network Partner - Upper Etowah River Alliance
UETR staff hosted rain barrel building workshops for employees at the AB Cartersville brewery during each shift in June (including 3 am!). Dozens of syrup barrels were retrofitted into rain catchment systems and put to use in the community. The Alliance is also currently working with the brewery to redesign its entrance gardens for stormwater infiltration and native vegetation that will require less watering throughout the year.
River Network Partner - Friends of the Scioto River
FOSR participated with employees from the AB Columbus brewery on an invasive plant removal event. Additional cleanups are scheduled for Spring 2011.
River Network Partner - Solano County RCD
Budweiser and River Network sponsored the 2010 Coastal Cleanup throughout Solano County. More than 2,900 people volunteered and 28,714 lbs of trash and 4,383 lbs of recyclables were removed from county waterways. In addition, we sponsored a summer-long boater education campaign on Lake Berryessa, source of the county’s drinking water – 511 people were surveyed about water quality and invasive species; 1,231 bilge pads were distributed to boaters (with 30% using a pad for the first time or changing out an existing pad).
River Network Partner - Galveston Bay Foundation
The grant supported Galveston Bay Foundation’s annual Marsh Mania restoration projects. Nearly 44,000 stems were planted, including smooth cordgrass and freshwater plants, by 339 volunteers at six sites throughout the Bay.
River Network Partner - Keep Jacksonville Beautiful
River Network and Budweiser sponsored three Keep Jacksonville Beautiful events: Coastal Cleanup (Sept)-922 volunteers, including brewery employees, collected 20,000 lbs of bagged litter; Right Whale Festival (Nov) and next spring’s St. Johns River Fest (March).
Los Angeles Brewery-CA
River Network Partner - Friends of the Los Angeles River
Not all of the Los Angeles River is in a culvert (though in June the entire river was designated by EPA as navigable). This summer nearly 40 brewery employees joined Friends of the Los Angeles River to clean up the Sepulveda Basin, a two-mile stretch of the river that harbors a natural bottom, riparian vegetation and full array of bird life. Over a ton of debris was removed.
River Network Partner - New Hampshire Rivers Council
McQueston Brook in Manchester is a small stream that flows behind a strip mall in New Hampshire’s largest urban area. Two years ago a population of eastern brook trout were discovered there. Stormwater and trash are significant impacts on the stream. This summer the NHRC along with members of Trout Unlimited and state agency staff joined ten Anheuser‐Busch “Green Team” staff for a cleanup. The next steps in the restoration of the brook include monitoring water quality, developing a stormwater management plan, and getting the Green Team back to help implement the restoration strategies.
River Network Partner - Passaic River Coalition
More than 50 employees from the brewery and Anheuser-Busch InBev headquarters in NYC spent the day cleaning up a 2.5-acre stretch of Riverside Park along the Passaic River in commemoration of the United Nations World Environment Day. Sixty yards of debris were removed, clearing a path for walking and biking along the riverfront.
St. Louis Brewery-MO
River Network Partner - Living Lands & Waters
In September, River Network and Budweiser sponsored the Great Mississippi River Cleanup in St. Louis. More than 250 people volunteered (including 100 brewery employees and their families), removing more than ten tons of garbage from the river (anyone missing a foam deer head?).
River Network Partner - James River Association
A mix of 182 native trees and shrubs were planted within the stream buffer and surrounding habitat in James County by JRA, the public and brewery employees. This planting supplemented a previously completed stream restoration project. In April 2011, Budweiser and River Network will support the Extreme Stream Makeover project in Newport News, VA to protect the James River.