Julie Miller, left, Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission, accepts a check for $20,000,from Scott Stubbins, RBC Blue Water Projects, at the October Lake Improvement Association meeting.  

In 2007, RBC selected water as its global cause by launching the RBC Blue Water Project. The RBC Blue Water Project is an innovative, 10-year, global commitment to help protect the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water.

Under the RBC Blue Water Project, RBC has committed:

  • To provide $50 million in charitable grants to not-for-profit organizations that protects watersheds and provide or ensure access to clean drinking water. Since 2007, RBC has committed more than $28 million in single and multi-year grants over 380 organizations;
  • To promote responsible and sustainable water use with our employees and clients through education and awareness programs that create an understanding of the value and vulnerability of our water resources; and to reduce the intensity of our own water footprint;
  • To encourage the growth of North American businesses that develop and commercialize innovative solutions to the water issues facing the world and increase our ability to provide financial services to these companies;
  • To take a leadership role to encourage the involvement of other corporations and encourage a spirit of collaboration among and between all sectors to help protect the world’s freshwater.

The centerpiece of the RBC Blue Water ProjectTM is a ten-year, $50 million grant program supporting not-for-profit organizations that protect watersheds and provide or ensure access to clean drinking water.

“We’ve narrowed our focus to two areas so that our donations can make a measurable, meaningful difference to communities and the environment, state Stubbins, “We are looking for programs and projects that focus on watershed protection, through the protection and restoration of sensitive natural areas, community-based watershed stewardship, sustainable water use and conservation, or watershed awareness, and programs and projects that focus on making sure communities have access to clean, safe drinking water, when and where it is needed.”

“The water quality crisis at Grand Lake St. Marys is a great example of the kind of the RBC Blue Water Project was created for.  RBC is proud to support the great work that is going on in the Grand Lake St. Marys Water Restoration Commission and we hope that our grant can be part of restoring this critical watershed.”

The primary goal of the Grand Lake Restoration Commission is to restore the health of the lake to ensure that the lake is functional for tourism use this year and every year thereafter.  To help address this need, community leaders and volunteers came together in December 2009 to form the Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission – a pioneering initiative dedicated to fostering the regional cooperation and resources needed for the environmental renewal and sustainability to the lake.  Our initial efforts primarily focused on identifying the proven scientific strategies and technological solutions able to solve our environmental crisis.

Together, these partner agencies have identified various watershed and in/near-lake alternative best management practices (BMPs) that could be used to help meet the qualitative and quantitative restoration goals for Grand Lake St. Marys and its surrounding communities. Success of these partnerships is driven by the unique strengths of the collaborators wishing to identify new technologies and target entrepreneurial funding to bring them to market.