Two restoration initiatives demonstrate company’s continued commitment to good corporate citizenship
Stamford, Conn., (January 17, 2014) - Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) announced today the completion in 2013 of two water stewardship initiatives supported by NWNA. One project restored fish habitat in the Wekepeke Brook in Massachusetts. The other cleaned up a dump site within the Muskegon River Watershed in Michigan.
In its Corporate Citizenship Report, NWNA committed to partnering with communities and stakeholders to support two watershed improvement projects every year through 2015. In 2012, the company undertook the restoration of a fish hatchery to more natural conditions at Ruby Mountain Springs in Chaffee County, Colorado. They also partnered with the Mill River Collaborative to develop a flood plain meadow along the river corridor to protect water quality in Stamford, Connecticut, the company’s company headquarters community. The Nature Conservancy’s salmon restoration effort in California and a wetland conservation program with Duck’s Unlimited in Texas rounded out the 2011 commitment.
“We believe watersheds are critical to supporting human, animal and aquatic life,” said Heidi Paul, Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “NWNA’s leadership in water stewardship is a cornerstone of our commitment to creating shared value. That leadership means promoting sustainable practices that benefit our own facilities as well as the local communities where we work and live. That’s why we’ve partnered with not-for-profit organizations and community stakeholders to help improve watersheds and habitats for native wildlife and help improve water quality for people living nearby.”
In Sterling, Massachusetts, various stakeholders partnered to form the Wekepeke Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI) to identify projects that could restore the Wekepeke Brook, a recognized Cold-water Fishery Resource and tributary to the Nashua River. The project conducted in 2013, the Wekepeke Brook Reconnect Project, aimed to improve habitat connectivity in a highly impacted section of the brook by taking out fish passage barriers, removing invasive species of plants from the riverbanks and replacing them with native plants. This project was sponsored by Central Massachusetts Trout Unlimited Chapter with matching funds from NWNA.
“Our objective in the Wekepeke was to create a working model with the community so we could understand how a watershed is impacted by human activity,” said Tom Brennan, Senior Natural Resource Manager for NWNA. “We also wanted to identify how to mitigate those impacts and improve the watershed. The Wekepeke restoration work is indicative of NWNA’s commitment to good water stewardship and we are proud to have been a part of such a great collaborative project.”
In Michigan, NWNA established the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund (IMESF) in 2002 as a resource for organizations working to ensure the welfare of the Muskegon River Watershed. Ice Mountain, a spring and drinking water brand for consumers in the Mid-west of the United States, provided the initial $500,000 to the fund over a five-year period. Grant requests were submitted to the Fremont Area Community Foundation where the funds were invested. Specifically, the fund financed 33 projects over ten years that improved water quality, restored natural wildlife habitat and preserved and restored critical wetlands, streams, and water bodies associated with the watershed. Grants were awarded to multiple community partners who share NWNA’s commitment to improving water quality and watersheds.
For example, in May 2013, approximately 70 local area volunteers participated in cleaning up a historic dumpsite located within the Muskegon River Watershed that had been identified as having a high potential risk for ground and surface water contamination. In total, 473 cubic yards of garbage, automobile parts, batteries, appliances and household refuge were removed. More than 277 tires and several hundred pounds of scrap metal were removed for proper disposal and recycling.
“Grants given by the IMESF have funded a diverse range of organizations and NGOs while staying consistent with the fund’s mission of serving as an important resource for organizations working to ensure the welfare of the Muskegon River Watershed,” said Greg Fox. “By involving different organizations in the decision-making process, the IMESF was able to create shared value throughout the community and make a real impact on the restoration of the watershed.”
NWNA Natural Resources Managers are focused on managing our spring water sites for sustainability and improving those watersheds where we operate across the country every day.
NWNA will continue to identify water stewardship initiatives in the coming years that will benefit from additional resources as was provided to the Wekepeke and IMESF. Projects for 2014 are currently under consideration.
About Nestlé Waters North America
As the third largest beverage company by volume in the U.S., Nestle Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of healthy beverages. Among them are natural spring water brands Poland Spring ®, Deer Park® and Arrowhead®. Its national purified brand is Nestlé® Pure Life®. International brands include Perrier® and S.Pellegrino®. The company’s line of ready-to-drink teas now includes Nestea®, Sweet Leaf® and Tradewinds®. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with 7,500 employees nationwide, Nestle Waters strives to reduce its environmental footprint, improve recycling rates in North America, and create shared value in those communities where it has operations.
Nestlé Waters North America